There’s not usually much in the way of baseball news during the postseason, but 2021 is proving to be an exception. Late last week saw the Cardinals part ways with their manager Mike Shildt, and over the weekend, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported on a big change in the minor league world: Next season, MLB will require its teams to provide housing for minor league players.
According to Passan, the plan is still in an outline form with details to be worked out. Just the idea is a welcome step in the right direction. It’s hard to know how many prospects might have failed to develop over the years because they were driven away from baseball by non-game pressures putting a squeeze on their ability to put their best foot forward.
Passan’s story outlines a number of the challenges faced by those players. He adds that the MLB owner-level approval for this program will only provide housing for some, but not all, players, in a plan that has also not been detailed yet. If “some” ends up being only a small handful of players per organization, that’s not worth a whole lot. If it ends up being housing for everyone who didn’t get at least a seven-figure signing bonus, that’s more interesting.
It’s not known whether this will take the form of team-provided housing or whether there will be housing stipends provided to whichever players meet MLB’s criteria. Some teams began these efforts in 2021 prior to the league’s mandate. The Orioles have not been reported to be a forerunner in any of this.
As for the postseason, one game awaits today, if you can stomach the matchup between the cheating Astros and the cheating Red Sox. Their series, tied at a game apiece, heads to Boston for three games. Game 3 is set to begin tonight at 8:08 Eastern. Find the game on FS1.
The National League has the day off as that series moves from Atlanta to Los Angeles. As you know if you stayed up for the end last night, the Braves have a 2-0 lead in the series after winning in walkoff fashion, again. It’s the kind of thing to make you feel like it might not be the Dodgers year after all, no matter that they won 106 games in the regular season and knocked off the 107-win Giants in the NLDS.
Both series are scheduled for games on Tuesday and Wednesday. After that, the last potential multi-game day of the year is Saturday, and that will only happen if the ALCS goes seven games and the NLCS goes at least six.
Around the blogO’sphere
Orioles facing many more 40-man moves (School of Roch)
The first offseason task for the Orioles will be to figure out how many of the 60-day injured list players they want back on the roster, and who to take off for those players. They already passed Travis Lakins Sr. through waivers and lost Zack Burdi to the Diamondbacks. Five 60-day players remain.
O’s brass still hopeful for the young pitchers (Steve Melewski)
Mike Elias hasn’t given up on Dean Kremer yet. That makes one of us who hasn’t.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2007-08 pitcher Garrett Olson, 1992-98/2000-01 pitcher and sporadic karate kick deliverer Alan Mills, 1995 reliever Terry Clark, and 1977 two-batter infinite ERA reliever Ed Farmer. Farmer’s 369 other MLB games went a bit better; he closed out an 11-year career with a 4.30 ERA. He passed away last year at age 70.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: FAO Schwarz founder Frederick August Otto Schwarz (1836), Myers-Briggs Type Indicator co-creator Isabel Briggs Myers (1897), musician Chuck Berry (1926), composer Howard Shore (1946), and actor Jean-Claude Van Damme (1960).
On this day in history...
In 1648, shoemakers in Boston formed a trade union, which is recognized as the first such labor organization on the North American continent.
In 1748, the War of the Austrian Succession came to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. The war, fought over whether Maria Theresa of Austria could inherit her father the emperor’s titles, involved most of the European powers and settled little, leading to the Seven Years’ War breaking out eight years later.
In 1851, London publisher Richard Bentley released the first copies of The Whale. We know this book by Herman Melville today by a different title: Moby-Dick.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on October 18. Have a safe Monday.