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Monday Bird Droppings: Goodbye to the 2021 Orioles

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The 2021 regular season has closed, now the long offseason awaits us.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays
Better luck next year, Bruce!
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, Camden Chatters! The 2021 regular season has come to a close and I, for one, was ready. The Baltimore Orioles finished the season with 110 losses, which is frankly absurd. Knowing that it’s all part of the plan sure didn’t make it any easier to watch. I’m happy to get a break from this team for a few months.

It wasn’t all bad, though. Trey Mancini made a triumphant return after missing the 2020 season with cancer. Just getting healthy would have been a blessing, but he did more than that. He played in 147 major league baseball games. He hit 21 home runs and came THIS close to winning the home run derby. He was a true bright spot.

And there was Cedric Mullins! In 2018, departing legend Adam Jones signaled Mullins as his heir apparent, but by 2019 he had been demoted to double-A Bowie. He continued to work hard and, before this season opted to give up switch hitting. He then went on join the 30/30 club and put up an All Star season with an fWAR of 5.4.

For the first time in my lifetime, an Oriole threw a no-hitter. John Means came within inches of a perfect game on May 5th. He settled for the no-no against the Mariners with 12 strikeouts. He put a masterful first half of the season before going down with injury for almost two months. He struggled some upon returning, but it was still a successful season.

Oh, and Ryan Mountcastle! The man with no position settled in to play a decent first base, looking more sure handed as the season went on. And he hit 33 home runs, most ever by an Orioles rookie. He won’t win Rookie of the Year, but he should get some votes.

The Orioles have a long way to go, no doubt about it. Even with the bright spots and the improved farm system, it’s a long uphill climb. Three of the five A.L. playoff teams are from the Orioles’ division. The other team in the division missed the postseason by one game. The Orioles will have to improve a lot more than they would need to if they played in another division. But there are bright spots, and I’m hopeful that in the next year there will be even more.

Links

Orioles end 2021 season tied for worst record in MLB after 12-4 loss to Blue Jays, could pick first in 2022 draft - Baltimore Sun
It's been pointed out a few times that the number one pick is based on the rules in the CBA that expires in December. The new CBA could change the draft rules. However, it seems unlikely to me from a logic perspective that any new rules will be put in place for the 2022 draft. How can you change the draft order to something different that will still, presumably, be based on something that has happened in the past? Seems like an ethical no no to me.

John Means has rough final start of 2021 for Orioles - MLB.com
John Means seemingly came out of nowhere (he came from the 11th round of the draft, specifically) and after this year he’s finally arbitration eligible.

Nationals’ Brandon Snyder retires after 17 years in pro baseball - The Washington Post
Today I learned that Brandon Snyder was still playing professional baseball. The first round draft pick for the Orioles in 2005 has been in the minors with the Nationals for the past three years and is finally calling it quits.

Hyde "excited about some of the young talent" on team - School of Roch
I'm a little excited, too! Just a little.

Name every 2021 Oriole Quiz - By bobandjordan
Can you name every 2021 Oriole? I got 44 out of 62. I missed a bunch of pitchers. There were so many!

Birthdays and History

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have five Orioles birthday buddies. They are:

  • Alec Asher (30), who appeared in six games for the 2017 Orioles and who has fantastic eyebrows.
  • 2016 short timer Drew Stubbs (37).
  • 1992-94 infielder and Adam Jones mentor Mark McLemore (57)
  • Dave Johnson (73). Not that one, or that one. This one.
  • Don Lenhardt (b. 1922, d. 2014), who played in 13 games for the inaugural 1954 team.

It’s also the 70th birthday of another very important person, my dad. I don’t know if he’s reading this, but if he is, happy birthday! I love you!

On this day in 1969, MLB held the first ever league championship series. The Mets played the Braves and the Orioles played the Twins. The Orioles defeated the Twins en route to a three-game sweep.

In 1971, the Orioles defeated the A’s in game two of the ALCS and hit four home runs. Boog Powell had two, Brooks Robinson and Elrod Hendricks had one each.

In 1993, American League owners approve the sale of the Orioles to Peter Angelos.