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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Happy birthday, Mike Elias

The Orioles GM turns 39 today. Thanks to the lockout, he can’t celebrate with any meaningful changes to the O’s roster.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Breaking news: the MLB lockout is still going on. Please go about your day as normal.

But while you’re at it, you can wish a happy birthday to Orioles general manager Mike Elias, who turns 39 today. He’s entering his fourth year as a major league GM and has helped the O’s build the best farm system in baseball, so I’d say he’s accomplished quite a bit in his professional career before the age of 40. By comparison, I’m the same age as Elias and I, uh, write about him on the internet.

Because of the lockout, Elias can’t celebrate his birthday by making any meaningful transactions. Not that the rebuilding Orioles would have landed a prized free agent in any case, but perhaps he could have traded a veteran for some shiny new prospects to help supplement the farm system even further. Alas, his hands are tied until the owners and players agree on a new collective bargaining agreement, which could be more than a month away.

In celebration of Elias’s birthday, let’s test your knowledge of the talent he’s added to the Orioles’ system. Given a sampling of O’s prospects from MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 list, can you identify which ones were acquired by the Elias regime?

Links’s great Orioles quiz, 2021 holiday edition -
Speaking of quizzes, Rich Dubroff’s got one, and some of these are real stumpers. I think I know maybe half of these, at best.

Rewinding an Orioles roster review - School of Roch
Roch Kubatko offers some early thoughts on what the 2022 O’s roster will look like, and...yikes. As much as I’m looking forward to the return of baseball, some names on this list are already making me dread watching the Orioles.

Orioles’ top prospects to watch in 2022 -
For me the answer is “all of them,” because I’m weird like that. But Joe Trezza narrows down the list to five in particular, led by Heston Kjerstad’s long-awaited debut.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Former Orioles with birthdays today are infielder Bill Hall (42), All-Star closer B.J. Ryan (46), third baseman Ray Knight (69), and the late infielder Aurelio Rodriguez (b. 1947, d. 2000), whose 17-year MLB career included a half-season stint in Baltimore in 1983.

On this day in 2005, the Orioles appeared to have agreed to terms with free agent outfielder Jeromy Burnitz on a two-year deal worth about $12 million. But Burnitz abruptly backed out of the deal and signed with the Pirates a week later. His agent, Howard Simon, blamed the Orioles’ “harsh, intimidating language” in the contract regarding Burnitz’s physical, saying it was much more complicated than other teams’. Simon added, “I’m not looking to throw darts, but the fact of the matter is it’s really a Baltimore problem.”

It didn’t turn out to be much of a problem — the O’s were likely happy not to have Burnitz on their roster after all, as he stumbled to a sub-par year in Pittsburgh and retired after the season.