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Weekend Bird Droppings: Cedric Mullins named finalist for Hank Aaron Award

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While the playoffs push on, the O’s centerfield is considered for a great award.

MLB: Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

Only 14 players become finalists for the Hank Aaron Award, seven in each league. The award is given out annually to the player in each league that is determined to be the best hitter that season. Cedric Mullins has an opportunity to win for 2021.

It serves as another reminder of the season that Mullins put together. Despite a minor slump to end the season, his final line remains impressive. He hit .291/.360/.518 with 30 home runs, 37 doubles, and 30 stolen bases. He had an OPS+ of 135. It very well may have been the best season ever by an Orioles centerfielder.

Although we are just a tad biased around these parts for our guy, I think we all understand that Mullins will not, ultimately, win the award. That is likely going to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. or possibly Shohei Ohtani. But to be considered this late into the process is impressive in its own right.

Also worth noting is that Mullins was the only full-time center fielder to be named a finalist. Allow this to be all the proof we need to claim that the Orioles, without a double, employ the best centerfielder in baseball. I will not be taking questions at this time.

Links

Mullins chosen as finalist for Hank Aaron Award | School of Roch
Take a look at the list of nominees for this award. It is absolutely bonkers that Cedric Mullins is included. He deserves it, of course, it just still feels unbelievable that he was so good all year long.

Answers to your Orioles questions, Part 2 | Baltimore Baseball
The question of updating Camden Yards comes up here. That’s a topic I always find interesting. We are a little spoiled in that our 30-year-old ballpark is not being discussed for demolition but instead for upgrades. Not every franchise has been quite so lucky.

Will new CBA impact draft order, plus more notes | Steve Melewski
The CBA is likely going to address some things like service time manipulation and how long players must wait to hit free agency. But tweaking the draft order seems off limits, at least for the most part. Perhaps there is room for the competitive balance rounds to be altered.

2021 Roster Review: Baltimore Orioles | FanGraphs
It’s a review of the O’s from a fantasy perspective. You are gonna be shocked, but the pitching was basically worthless while the lineup had some hidden gems. Ramón Urías gets a mention, which is nice to see. He hit well enough to be a starter somewhere on the field for the Orioles next year. For me, he should be at second or third, but I’m open to whatever works best given the players they bring in over the winter.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Chaz Roe is turning 35. The right-handed reliever made 45 appearances out of the Orioles bullpen from 2015 through 2016.
  • Jason Pridie is 36. He played four games as an outfielder with the 2013 O’s.
  • Brian Roberts celebrates his 44th birthday. The two-time all-star second baseman had a terrific career with the Orioles from 2001 through 2013. He led the league in doubles twice (2004, 2009) and led in stolen bases once (2007).
  • Gordie Sundin (d. 2016) was born this weekend in 1937. The pitcher made on big league appearance, and it came with the Orioles in 1956.

This weekend in O’s history

1966 - The Orioles finish off a sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the franchise’s first World Series title. Baltimore’s pitchers set a World Series record by throwing 33 straight scoreless innings.

1971 - Dave McNally throws a three-hitter and Merv Rettenmund smacks a three-run homer to give the O’s a 5-3 win over the Pirates in Game 1 on the World Series.

1996 - The O’s beat the Yankees 5-3 in Game 2 of the ALCS, tying the series at one game apiece.

2012 - O’s closer Jim Johnson fails to close out a win in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Yankees as Raul Ibanez pinch hits for Alex Rodriguez and hits a game-tying homer in the 9th inning followed by a game-winning dong in the 12th inning.

2014 - J.J. Hardy and the Orioles agree to a three-year contract extension worth $40 million.