Good morning, Camden Chatters.
Last night was a good night for all those who take delight in the New York Yankees’ misfortune. The Yanks dropped Game 2 of the ALCS to the Astros, 3-2, and now face a 2-0 series deficit. After an off day today, the series will shift to Yankee Stadium tomorrow for up to three games (but maybe only two, if the Astros go ahead and sweep). The NLCS will be back in action today in Philadelphia, with the Phillies and Padres tied, 1-1.
Meanwhile, in off-the-field news, the 2022 Gold Glove “finalists” — meaning the top three vote-getters at each position — were announced yesterday. Two Orioles were represented, with Cedric Mullins a finalist in center field and Ramón Urías at third base. Both excellent defenders deserved the honor, even if it’s a bit surprising that Urías was a finalist at a position at which he started only about half the season (84 games).
But the fact that Jorge Mateo, a brilliant defensive shortstop both by the eye test and advanced metrics, wasn’t one of the top three AL finalists is dumbfounding. As O’s fans, we were spoiled by Mateo’s seemingly daily highlight reel, making the most sensational plays with the greatest of ease. He showed off his outstanding range to his right and to his left. He flashed his amazing athleticism. He turned double plays. He turned triple plays. He dived. He slid. He sprinted. He made backhanded flips. He made glove flips. He performed acrobatic feats. And all of those plays were just from the second half of the year! There were so many good ones I had to stop looking.
As Mark Brown noted, Mateo led all AL shortstops in Outs Above Average. He was second in Defensive Runs Saved. There’s no earthly reason for him not to have been even a top-three vote-getter, let alone the winner. A Gold Glove competition that doesn’t include Jorge Mateo is like a World’s Largest Ocean competition that doesn’t include the Pacific. There’s only one right answer here, people! How did you miss this??
It’s been said before that only good hitters win Gold Gloves, as the managers and coaches who decide on the award tend to vote for the biggest name players instead of the best pure defenders. (How else do you explain Derek Jeter winning five of these things?) Perhaps Mateo’s lackluster offense took him out of consideration in many voters’ minds, which is a travesty.
Oh well. At least Orioles fans know he was awesome. And good luck to Mullins and Urías when the winners are announced Nov. 1.
Orioles’ bullpen needs to repeat its 2022 success in 2023 - BaltimoreBaseball.com
I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that a bullpen full of no-name waiver claims and minor league journeymen somehow became one of the most elite units in baseball this year. I wouldn’t bet on them being quite as successful next year, but then, I don’t really know what to think anymore.
Why the Orioles may have to part with a player the fan base really likes - Steve Melewski
Melewski offers some reasons why the Orioles might need to trade Anthony Santander to acquire a frontline pitcher. Listen, if there’s a team willing to trade a frontline pitcher for Anthony Santander, the Orioles won’t need much convincing.
Reviewing Vespi's record-setting achievement with Triple-A Norfolk - School of Roch
Nick Vespi did something impressive at Norfolk by going all season without allowing a run. Now if he can repeat that feat in Baltimore next year, we’ll really be on to something.
‘I know and love the city’: Orioles great Adam Jones chats about returning to the local sports scene with new Banner podcast - The Baltimore Banner
You guys, Adam Jones is starting a podcast! Step aside, murder podcasts, this is the new must-listen during your commute to work.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Only one Oriole in history was born on this day: the late Valmy Thomas (b. 1925, d. 2010), a catcher who played eight games for the 1960 Orioles. If the O’s want to boost their Oct. 21 birthday roster, they should sign Zack Greinke, who turns 39 today and is still a pretty decent pitcher and a delightful human.