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Monday Bird Droppings: The offseason is still at least another two days away

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The World Series isn’t over after a dramatic comeback win by Houston, so the baseball-less winter is not upon us - yet.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles - Game One Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

The end of the 2021 baseball season will be waiting another couple of days at least. Houston managed to pull off one of the largest comeback wins by a team facing elimination in the World Series in the entire history of baseball. They came back from a 4-0 deficit to beat Atlanta in Game 5 to send the series back to Texas on Tuesday. As MLB’s Sarah Langs noted, only one team had ever pulled off a five run comeback, and the last time anyone came back from four down to win a WS elimination game was 1925.

The Astros will still need to win the next two games to take the series. It’s over if they lose on Tuesday, but they can worry about that on Tuesday. For today, there will be no baseball, but we aren’t headed into the long dark of the offseason just yet. Very soon, though.

One of the offseason rituals will take place today even as the World Series is still going on. Top three finishers for the big three awards handed out by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) - that is, both leagues MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year awards - will be announced tonight. The winners will not be announced until next week.

It’ll be interesting to see whether Ryan Mountcastle sneaks into the top three of the ROY voting. Though some of the more homer-ish segments of Orioles media have treated it as a given that Mountcastle deserves the win for leading AL rookies with 33 home runs, that’s probably not going to be enough for a victory with the 2021 electorate.

By more modern measures that try to encompass defense and positional value, Mountcastle is not so close to the top. He finished with only a 0.9 bWAR and 1.4 fWAR - Mountcastle didn’t even have the highest WAR among Orioles position players, as Ramón Urias finished with 2.0 bWAR and 1.6 fWAR. The impressive pair of Rays rookies, Randy Arozarena and Wander Franco, as well as Rangers rookie slugger Adolis Garcia, all seem likely to end up ahead of Mountcastle.

Around the blogO’sphere

Should O’s look to buy out some of Mancini’s free agent years? (Steve Melewski)
It’s one of the more interesting second-tier questions facing the Orioles this offseason. I am not sure that either player or club would use Melewski’s comparison to the four year, $82 million contract given to Salvador Perez as a starting point. I think if something is going to happen, it’ll be in the three years, $33 million range.

Breaking down the Orioles ‘22 roster options (Orioles.com)
A big hope of mine for the Orioles is that the version of this article to be written this time next year will look a lot more exciting.

Cedric Mullins’s highlight-field season not enough to earn Gold Glove nomination (The Baltimore Sun)
If you weren’t glued to the reveal of the top three Gold Glove finishers on Friday, you may not know that Cedric Mullins finished outside the top three for center field. Oh well.

Gibbons praises Cullen as “a throwback” player (School of Roch)
Kyle Stowers and Yusniel Diaz both suffering minor injuries in the Arizona Fall League means that there are no Orioles prospects you probably ever cared about playing there right now. Hence, it’s “write about Greg Cullen” time of the year. Quick, how did Greg Cullen get in the Orioles organization? If you correctly remembered he was part of last year’s Tommy Milone trade, give yourself a pat on the back.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1960, Orioles shortstop Ron Hansen was named the AL Rookie of the Year, the first of six times the O’s have had a ROY. Hansen was a near-unanimous choice; the two votes that didn’t go to him went to his teammates, Jim Gentile and Chuck Estrada. Top three finishers for this year’s awards will be announced today.

In 1979, the Orioles were sold. Edward Bennett Williams paid then-owner Jerold Hoffberger a reported $12.3 million for the team. The most recent Forbes estimated value of the Orioles franchise is $1.4 billion.

One current Oriole has a birthday today, though if we’re being honest, it’s unclear how long he’ll remain an Oriole. Happy 28th nonetheless to pitcher Eric Hanhold, who appeared in ten games this season. It’s also the birthday of 2012 infielder Steven Tolleson, 1993 pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, and 1955-57 reserve Jim Pyburn. Pyburn passed away in 2011 at age 78.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: French admiral/early American ally Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte (1720), adult entertainment publisher Larry Flynt (1942), and current Apple CEO Tim Cook (1960).

On this day in history...

In 1512, Michelangelo’s painting of the Sistine Chapel was shown off to the public for the first time. The painting had been the work of about four years.

In 1604, the Shakespeare play Othello had its debut performance in Whitehall Palace in London, then the residence of England’s king James I. Seven years later, The Tempest also debuted at Whitehall.

In 1765, the Parliament of Great Britain passed the Stamp Act, a tax levied against its North American colonies to pay for military operations on the continent during the aftermath of the Seven Years’ War. The act proved unpopular with the colonists.

In 1938, a match race between 1937 Triple Crown winner War Admiral and an underdog horse named Seabiscuit took place at Pimlico in Baltimore, with Seabiscuit pulling off the upset.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on November 1. Have a safe Monday.