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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the Red Sox could be eliminated tonight

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The annoyingly successful Red Sox run could come to an end tonight, or tomorrow, in Houston. We’re so ready for it.

MLB: ALCS-Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Hey, remember when the Orioles were still playing? Specifically, remember their final home series of the year, when they hosted a Boston Red Sox team that was desperately trying to cling to their playoff hopes, only for the O’s to hilariously beat them in two out of three games? The Orioles, it seemed, had ruined the Red Sox again, and it was delightful.

And yet, like a zombie rising from the dead, the Red Sox wouldn’t go away. As soon as they left Baltimore, they swept a Nationals club that didn’t put up much of a fight, allowing the Sox to sail into the postseason without even having to deal with a tiebreaker game. Then they knocked off the Yankees in the Wild Card Game, followed by a stunning ALDS victory over the 100-win Rays. The Red Sox somehow became the team of destiny — the Red Sox who, again, couldn’t even win a critical series against the Orioles in the season’s final week.

Now, at last, the Red Sox could finally, maybe, possibly be on the brink of elimination, as they trail 3-2 in the best-of-seven ALCS. The Houston Astros have two chances on their home field to swat away the pesky Sox once and for all. It’d be much more satisfying if it were literally any team besides the problematic Astros that was doing the eliminating (except perhaps the Yankees), but I suppose beggars can’t be choosers.

All right, Astros. Let’s do this. Don’t get complacent, though — so many other clubs have failed to drive a stake into the Red Sox when they had the chance. What can you say? Not every team can be as successful as the Orioles.

Links

Orioles offseason positional breakdown: Trey Mancini entering winter of uncertainty as Ryan Mountcastle grows into first base job - Baltimore Sun
I’m glad it appears the Ryan Mountcastle-in-the-outfield experiment is over, but it does kind of put Mancini on the outs, unless you’re willing to pay him to be a full-time DH.

Another look at players in the fall instructional league camp - School of Roch
Roch Kubatko looks as some of the less-heralded prospects who are attending the Orioles' fall instructional camp. Personally, I'm pulling for JD Mundy. I just feel like “JD Mundy” is a great name for a beefy slugger.

Catching up with former Oriole Ken Singleton - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Former O’s great Ken Singleton, who’s retiring after a long broadcasting career, offers his thoughts on the Birds’ rebuild and says he would put Adley Rutschman on the Opening Day roster next year. Hire this man!

Mancini, Mullins and Mountcastle are MLBPA award finalists - Steve Melewski
With all due respect to Cedric Mullins...imagine anyone other than Trey Mancini winning the Comeback Player of the Year award?

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have five Orioles birthday buddies, the most recent being popular reliever Darren O’Day (39). O’Day was a mainstay in that strong O’s bullpen during the club’s most recent stretch of success, making nearly 400 appearances and posting a 2.40 ERA in his seven-year stint in Baltimore. Injuries have since slowed O’Day, who has pitched just 59 games in the last four years combined, including 12 this season with the Yankees. Chant “O’Daaaay, O’Day O’Day O’Day!” today in his honor.

Other ex-Orioles born on this day are right-hander Hector Carrasco (52) and catchers Eli Whiteside (42), Keith Osik (53), and Jamie Quirk (67).

On this day 10 years ago, the now-familiar bronze statue of Brooks Robinson wearing a literal gold glove was unveiled on Russell Street, just outside Oriole Park. The statue was created by Baltimore sculptor Joseph Sheppard, and Robinson and his wife, Connie, were on hand for the ceremony. The Orioles weren’t involved in commissioning the statue, but a year later they unveiled their own Brooks statue as part of the Orioles Legends series.