Good morning, Birdland!
The LCS matchups in the respective leagues couldn’t be more different.
On the NL side, we have two wild cards that both slayed their in-division dragons to get to this point. The Phillies took down the defending champion Braves, and the Padres knocked off the juggernaut Dodgers. Regardless of who ends up getting a spot in the World Series, it will be a fresh face.
On the AL side, it’s the Astros...again. They have been in every ALCS since 2017. In some ways, that is encouraging as an Orioles fan who currently has an Astros alum calling the shots. But as a more general baseball fan, it is kinda lame. And their competition is the Yankees. We have seen this matchup twice already since 2017. The Astros won both times, and there seems to be something of a rivalry there, with Yankee fans believing that they were the ultimate victims of the Astros trash can controversy from several years ago.
Regardless of all of this, many of us on this site have a rather clear path for rooting interest. Trey Mancini is an Astro. We will be rooting for the Astros.
Mancini has had a rough time with the Astros from a production standpoint. He hit just .176/.258/364 over 51 games in the regular season, and he is 0-for-6 with a hit by pitch so far in the postseason. But things can change at anytime, and it would feel good for that turnaround to come against the pinstripers.
Could Orioles field a homegrown lineup in 2023? | Roch Kubatko
Yes, maybe as a Sunday punt lineup. But it certainly wouldn’t be optimal as an everyday option if the Orioles are truly trying to put the best team on the field. The team needs to upgrade up and down the roster, and that means some of the homegrown talents (particularly Jordan Westburg and Joey Ortiz) may need to be traded to make that happen.
An added dimension: Digging into prominent Orioles’ prospect power numbers in the context of their current and future home parks | Jon Meoli
It’s only on season, but the Orioles do seem to have a home field advantage that they can now build the roster around. That’s a pretty powerful factor that this organization has never really had.
Pirates Claim Ali Sánchez, Beau Sulser; Designate José Godoy | MLB Trade Rumors
The Orioles may have to go without a Sulser sibling in 2023 now that Beau was claimed by the Pirates. However, a quick Google tells me that Cole and Beau have a sister name Tiffany. She is in the Coast Guard, but do not under estimate Mike Elias’ creativity in roster construction.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
- Anthony Santander turns 28 today. The switch-hitting former Rule 5 pick just wrapped up his sixth season in the Orioles organization, his best yet with 33 home runs and a 117 OPS+.
- Jordan Lyles celebrates his 32nd birthday. He came up huge for the 2022 Orioles, tossing 179 innings and compiling a 4.42 ERA. Whether or not his $11 million option for 2023 is picked up is one of the big questions facing the Orioles this offseason.
- José Bautista is 42. He made his name as a hated slugger for the division rival Blue Jays, but before that he spent part of the 2004 season with the Orioles after being plucked from the Pirates in the Rule 5 draft.
- Oswaldo Peraza turns 60. His entire MLB career came in 19 games for the 1988 O’s. He tossed 86 innings and had a 5.55 ERA.
- The late Vic Roznovsky (b. 1938, d. 2022) was born on this day. The catcher spent two seasons with the Orioles, including the World Series championship squad in 1966.
This day in history
Not much has happened in Orioles history on this day, according to Baseball Reference. Here’s how things have unfolded outside of Birdland:
1789 - John Jay is sworn in as the first Chief Justice of the United States.
1955 - The first Eurovision Song Contest is approved for staging by the General Assembly of the European Broadcasting Union.
1987 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls by 22%, an event known as “Black Monday.”