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Friday Bird Droppings: Where MLB needs a new superstar catcher

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Buster Posey’s retirement leaves the majors with one fewer legend behind the plate. A certain Orioles prospect could change that soon.

Buster Posey Announces Retirement Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

The hot stove season is barely two days old, and already there’s been huge MLB news about the departure of a once-in-a-lifetime catcher.

That’s right — Pedro Severino has been outrighted off the Orioles’ roster.

I kid, I kid. Of course I’m referring to the retirement of San Francisco Giants legend Buster Posey, who walked away from baseball in an emotional announcement last night. Posey packed a boatload of storied accomplishments into his 12-year career, including three World Series championships, both a Rookie of the Year and an MVP award, and seven All-Star selections. He also was behind the plate for two no-hitters and a perfect game. He’ll be a serious candidate for the Hall of Fame when he’s eligible in five years.

Congratulations to Posey on a great career. And I can’t help thinking about how the Orioles could have drafted him in 2008 with the fourth overall pick, but selected Brian Matusz instead. (The Giants scooped up Posey with the next pick.) The O’s, in fairness, already had a potential world-class catcher in their system at the time, having drafted Matt Wieters the previous year. We now know that Wieters, who had a perfectly decent career, didn’t hold a candle to Posey. And the less said about Matusz, the better.

In any case, MLB is now down one superstar catcher. I wonder if there’s another one on the way who could fill that void?

Maybe that’s setting expectations too high for Adley Rutschman. But the consensus #1 prospect in baseball continues to defy expectations at every minor league stop, both offensively and defensively. Every teammate, coach, or impartial observer who’s interviewed about him has nothing but glowing reviews of his talent and demeanor. Winning three World Series in his first five seasons, as Posey did, is going to be a tall order for Rutschman, considering ... (gestures at Orioles). But it’s not impossible that he could put up the same kind of individual numbers, if the hype is to be believed.

What do you think, Camden Chatters?

Poll

Will Adley Rutschman have a Buster Posey-type of career?

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    He’s going to be even better than Posey. YEAH. I SAID IT.
    (120 votes)
  • 35%
    His on-field production will be similar, but without all the championships.
    (152 votes)
  • 11%
    No, he’ll be more of a Matt Wieters type, with a good-but-not-great career.
    (49 votes)
  • 1%
    He’ll be a bust, because the Orioles can’t have nice things.
    (6 votes)
  • 23%
    Asking this question is a total jinx, and I will not stand for it.
    (102 votes)
429 votes total Vote Now

Links

The 50 best MLB free agents of 2021-22, starting with Carlos Correa: Keith Law – The Athletic
For your hot stove reading pleasure, a list of the top 50 players whom the Orioles will in no way considering signing.

5 questions facing the Orioles as the offseason officially begins - Baltimore Sun
Nathan Ruiz ponders some questions for the Orioles this offseason, including, “Will they sign a player to a multi-year deal?” I think I can answer that one.

This, that and the other - School of Roch
Roch Kubatko continues to extend his daily consecutive-posts streak despite getting married last week. Now that’s commitment.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your two ex-Oriole birthday buddies are 2019 right-hander Josh Lucas (31) and 2004-06 catcher Javy “javylicious” Lopez (51).

On this day in 1958, the Orioles made the wise decision to hire Lee MacPhail as their general manager. During his seven-year stint at the helm of the Orioles, the future Hall of Famer MacPhail helped turn the fledgling O’s into a powerhouse franchise. Among other things, he laid the groundwork for the brilliant Frank Robinson trade just before his departure in 1965.

On this date in 1976, Hall of Fame O’s ace Jim Palmer won his third AL Cy Young Award in a four-year span, garnering 19 of 24 first-place votes. He was the most durable hurler in the league that year, leading the AL with 315 innings pitched, 40 starts, and 22 wins, while posting a 2.51 ERA.

And this was a particularly embarrassing day for the Orioles in 1997, when skipper Davey Johnson announced his resignation on the same day he was honored as AL Manager of the Year. Johnson had led the team to back-to-back playoff appearances in his two years as manager — including a wire-to-wire run to the AL East crown in ‘97 — but quit after a spat with owner Peter Angelos. It was not the finest year for Angelos. Or the finest decade-plus. It took 15 years for the O’s to find another manager who could lead them to a winning season.