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Tuesday Bird Droppings: The Orioles are shut out of MLB awards again

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No Orioles player has won a BBWAA award since 1991. That streak will continue for another season, as Ryan Mountcastle wasn’t a finalist for Rookie of the Year.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

As the old saying goes, there are only three certainties in life: death, taxes, and Orioles players getting shut out of MLB’s major awards.

Last night, MLB announced the three finalists per league for each of the the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s major end-of-season awards: Most Valuable Player, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year. There was nary an Oriole to be found on any list.

That’s obviously not a surprise in three of those categories. Cedric Mullins might have gotten a few down-ballot MVP votes, but certainly not enough to put him in the top three. Brandon Hyde seems like a nice guy and all, but presiding over a 110-loss team isn’t exactly going to earn him any national praise. And Cy Young? I’m wondering how deep the list of finalists would have to go before any O’s pitcher would appear on that list. A hundred? Two hundred?

The only category in which the Orioles stood a chance was Rookie of the Year, where Ryan Mountcastle led all major league rookies with 33 home runs (and was voted as the AL’s Outstanding Rookie by the MLB Players Association a couple weeks ago). But he too was left out in the cold, as the top three vote-getters for the AL award, in some order, were Tampa Bay’s Randy Arozarena and Wander Franco and Houston’s Luis Garcia. The winner will be announced next week.

Mark Brown discussed some reasons for Mountcastle’s exclusion, most notably the fact that he isn’t a particularly good fielder — and, as a first baseman, plays a less valuable defensive position than Arozarena and Franco. If voters were at all taking team performance into account, that too would hurt Mountcastle’s case, as he languished on the worst team in baseball while the three finalists played for the two best teams in the AL.

With Mountcastle officially out of the running, the Orioles extended their dubious streak to 30 consecutive years without a player winning a major BBWAA award. Cal Ripken’s 1991 MVP award was their most recent. They haven’t won a Rookie of the Year since 1989 (Gregg Olson) nor a Cy Young since 1980 (Steve Stone). For what it’s worth, their skippers have gotten some recognition, with three Manager of the Year awards in the last 32 years: Frank Robinson (1989), Davey Johnson (1997), and Buck Showalter (2014).

Will the O’s snap that streak next year? They certainly have the odds-on 2022 Rookie of the Year favorite in Adley Rutschman, assuming he’s in the majors early in the season. As for MVP or Cy Young... (looks at Orioles’ roster) ... uh, yeah, let’s just pin our hopes on Rookie of the Year.

Links

Matt Kremnitzer: Does Orioles 1B Ryan Mountcastle Have Another Gear? - PressBoxOnline.com
Rookie of the Year or not, Mountcastle was a positive force in the O’s lineup this season, and there’s room for him to keep improving. Who needs awards, anyway?

Orioles’ Yusniel Diaz shut down at AFL - MLB.com
Snakebitten fading prospect Yusniel Diaz has been shut down with yet another injury. You have to wonder if he’ll soon go the same way as Hunter Harvey, with the O’s cutting him loose and letting another team try to rehabilitate him.

Sometimes pitchers blossom late like this ex-Oriole did - Steve Melewski
Speaking of other teams rehabilitating a former Oriole, Kevin Gausman is now one of the league’s premier pitchers after a superb two-year stint in San Francisco. Dude is going to get paid, and good for him.

Orioles claim Bryan Baker off waivers (with Mountcastle note) - School of Roch
The Orioles filled the first of their many newly-cleared roster spots by claiming a pitcher from the Blue Jays. Now who’s going to fill this guy’s roster spot when he inevitably gets waived again?

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your two Orioles birthday buddies are 1969 right-hander Al Severinsen (b. 1944, d. 2015) and Whitey Herzog, an outfielder from the 1960-62 Birds who is best known for his prolific managerial career. The Hall of Famer turns 90 years old today, so a special happy birthday to him.

On this day in 1988, the Orioles acquired the underrated Randy “Moose” Milligan from the Pirates for a minor leaguer. While not a slugger, Milligan was an on-base machine during his four seasons with the O’s, posting a .388 OBP, including a 1992 season in which he drew 106 walks. Milligan might have been more appreciated by modern-day front offices if he’d played in this era, but alas, his career was over by age 32.