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Weekend Bird Droppings: Yusniel Diaz is back, folks

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The playoffs push on, there isn’t much O’s news, and this is a tough weekend in Birdland history.

Atlanta Braves v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

Here’s the deal. I’m not going to judge anyone for who they root for in the playoffs at this point. It’s a tough dilemma in which we all find ourselves. But I will admit that I am personally pulling for the Astros in the ALCS. Yeah, they cheated. It was awful. I agree. But the thing is that they still aren’t the Red Sox.

Plus, I can also tell myself that the Red Sox also cheated, and they employ (after originally firing to save face) the guy that was one of the ring-leaders of the Astros cheating. At least Houston fired some people and kept it that way.

It’s all grimy if you look too far beneath the surface. That’s true of most professional sports and, well, life in all honesty. It would make me feel better to not hear how the Red Sox are “defending AL champs” every time the Orioles play them next season. So that’s the angle I’m going for.

Anyway, root for who you would like. The NLCS kicks off tonight, which brings about a similarly complicated rooting situation, but for different reasons. Again, it’s baseball. Watch in the way that makes it most enjoyable for you and don’t think too hard about it. None of this will matter once the Orioles are the perennial World Series favorites.

Also, Yusniel Diaz is kind of crushing it in Arizona right now. That is very nice.

Links

The Orioles’ rebuild has taken many cues from the Astros. How Houston built its playoff pitching staff might be another. | The Baltimore Sun
It’s almost impossible to imagine the Orioles having the type of pitching staff necessary to make another deep playoff run. Of course, that is my recency bias dimming my belief in the team, but it’s not like the Orioles have had many good pitching staffs in, say, the last twenty years, so it’s far from a guarantee.

Three more injuries ruin another season for Hunter Harvey | School of Roch
I think it’s been at least a year or two since most of the Birdland faithful were pinning any of their hopes of a successful resurrection of Hunter Harvey’s career. It would be great if he could bounceback to be a meaningful bullpen arm, but that doesn’t seem too likely.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Hanser Alberto is turning 29. The current Royals infielder spent two seasons in Baltimore from 2019 through 2020, posting a 95 OPS+ in that time.
  • Jonathan Schoop is 30. The second baseman spent parts of six seasons with the O’s from 2013 through 2018, including a 2017 campaign in which he hit 32 home runs and made his first All-Star Game.
  • Ken Dixon will be 61. The pitcher’s entire career was with the Orioles and spanned four seasons from 1984 through 1987.
  • The late Kelly Paris (d. 2019) was born on this day in 1957. The infielder played in 10 games with the O’s in the mid-80s.
  • Mike Dimmel turns 67. He played in 33 games with as an outfielder the Orioles between 1977 and ‘78.
  • Don Hood celebrates his 72nd. From 1973 through ‘74, the southpaw pitched in 28 games, mostly out of the bullpen.
  • Jim Hutto is turning 74. He made a four-game cameo with the Birds in 1975.

This weekend in O’s history

1969 - The Orioles lose their four straight game to the Mets as the former love-able losers take home the World Series trophy.

1971 - Roberto Clemente and the Pirates finish off the Orioles to win the World Series.

1979 - The Pirates beat the O’s 4-0 to push the World Series to a decisive Game 7.

1979 - Those same Pirates beat the Birds to give them the World Series win.

1983 - The Orioles clinch their third World Series title, beating the Phillies 5-0 in Game 5. Rick Dempsey is named series MVP while Eddie Murray hits two homers in the final game.