For the last few years, the postseason has been a time where I enjoy it because I don’t have to think about the Orioles losing any more, with several more months to go before I have to start thinking about the Orioles losing again. The 2022 team has managed to chase away that feeling for me, and now the baseball playoffs are making me impatient instead. I want to get them over with so it’ll be the offseason and we can start to find out what’s going to happen to make this team better next year.
Maybe this is completely foolish and entirely uncharacteristic optimism. It’s been fueled mostly by the Mike Elias comments about things like “it’s liftoff from here” and about wanting to compete in the AL East from here on. I hear those things and think about the coming offseason and I feel like it means there have to be significant additions from outside the organization to make a better team.
It might not mean that, in which case I’ll be disappointed for a while and then have to talk myself into whoever’s left being able to be better than this year’s 83 wins. Compared to 52 wins, getting 83 is pretty dang good. It’s also not worth anything when it comes to getting into the postseason, even with the third expanded wild card. Many more things went right than not for the 2022 O’s and they came up four games short. Their luck could be worse next year. They need better players from somewhere to do better than that.
Are they going to trade prospects to get a guy, or even a couple of guys? Will they do something crazy like sign a free agent who is much better than Jordan Lyles or Rougned Odor? We’ve still got three rounds of postseason to get through before we find that out.
The Division Series round continues tonight, with the two American League series each playing Game 2. Mariners-Astros is set to get underway at 3:37, with Seattle hoping to recover from a brutal Game 1 walkoff loss. Guardians-Yankees is scheduled for a 7:37 first pitch. Please, Cleveland, find a way to take New York out of the postseason.
It is weird that the postseason schedule this year had a day off with no travel in between Games 1 and 2 for the AL teams. The NL teams are off today as they travel between cities. Atlanta evened up their series with the Phillies last night. I went to sleep before the Padres and Dodgers game finished, but as you are resourceful enough to read this post, I am confident you can find the score of that game.
Around the blogO’sphere
Wondering where the Orioles would slot new bat into their lineup (School of Roch)
Roch notes that pretty much every spot on the diamond has either an established MLBer or a prospect who you can squint and think they’d do OK - which isn’t to say that’s guaranteed - so any additions will probably push aside someone here already.
Heston Kjerstad flexing power stroke in Fall League (Orioles.com)
Through Tuesday night, Kjerstad had already homered twice in seven games out there. It’s going to be encouraging if he can continue to shake off the rust this month.
Now in Arizona Fall League, pitching prospect Noah Denoyer aims for consistency (Press Box)
And speaking of the AFL... the former undrafted free agent signing, Denoyer, is out there as well, looking to perhaps play his way into the 2023 roster picture, or at least into a spring training audition for that picture.
Reviewing Orioles’ 2022 starters and a look ahead to next spring’s competition (Baltimore Baseball)
Rich Dubroff writes that six starters combined to make 136 of the team’s games. That’s not quite 2014-level consistency, but it was a steadier rotation than it seemed like it might be in May.
Other teams have locked up their young stars. Will the Orioles do the same with Adley Rutschman? (The Baltimore Sun)
My prediction is no. Maybe something will come together with Gunnar Henderson, on account of his being younger and not at as punishing of a position.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Today in 1970, the Orioles beat the Reds to take a 3-0 lead in the World Series. The 9-3 victory saw pitcher Dave McNally go the distance, and even more interesting, McNally hit a grand slam in the game. Really! Frank Robinson and Don Buford also homered for the O’s.
The 1979 Orioles also won a World Series game today, while the 1971 O’s lost one.
There are a pair of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2005-06 pitcher Hayden Penn, and 1956/58 pitcher Ron Moeller. Penn is memorable to me for being the first Orioles player who was younger than me, but is perhaps more notable as having been traded for 2011 Red Sox destroyer Robert Andino.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: L.L. Bean founder Leon Leonwood Bean (1872), baseball Hall of Famer Rube Waddell (1876), baseball Hall of Famer Eddie Matthews (1931), rocker Sammy Hagar (1947), baseball Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman (1967), figure skater Nancy Kerrigan (1969), actor Sacha Baron Cohen (1971), and basketball Hall of Famer Paul Pierce (1977).
On this day in history...
In 1775, the Continental Congress established a Continental Navy. Today’s United States Navy recognizes this date as its birthday, though the Navy wasn’t officially and continuously established until 1794.
In 1792, construction formally began on the United States Executive Mansion as the cornerstone was laid. Today, we simply know this building as the White House.
In 1903, what’s recognized as the first modern World Series was won by the Boston Red Sox, who defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in... eight games? That’s really weird.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on October 13. Have a safe Thursday.