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Monday Bird Droppings: Barreling toward the World Series and the offseason

The Phillies are going to the World Series! And Ryan Mountcastle was unlucky, if you’re looking for some info about the Orioles.

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, Camden Chatters!

After a weekend of wild baseball, the World Series looms. The 6th seed, 87-win Phillies stunned their way to a WS berth, outlasting the Mets (101 wins), Braves (101 wins), and now Padres (89 wins). There was a lot of hand-wringing over the state of the playoffs when the Dodgers and Braves were eliminated and even more last night post-Phillies win, but as far as I’m concerned that’s what the playoffs are all about.

I don’t labor under the delusion that the best team in baseball is the one that wins the World Series, and I doubt many other people do either. If that were the goal, they’d just hand a trophy to the team with the most wins or have the NL and AL champions face off as the only postseason series. I know that’s how some people would have it but I’m certainly not one of them. I like excitement! Both the playoff races down the stretch of the regular season and the postseason series are more exciting when more teams have a chance.

Now, could I be talked into the fact that 14 teams are two too many? In a vacuum, I could. But the Phillies winning in the first year a team in their position is eligible was pretty darn exciting and I’m a sucker for excitement. And if you watched, the Phillies certainly didn’t look like a team that didn’t belong.

As for the ALCS, it started over an hour late due to rain in New York and some of us have to go to bed at a decent hour. When last I saw, the Yankees and Astros were tied 4-4 as the Yankees tried desperately to stay alive in the series. If they did put off the inevitable for once, you can see the two teams in action today at 5:07 p.m. If the Astros pulled ahead, then congratulations to Trey Mancini!


Can O's make something good even better in 2023? - MASN Sports
I sure hope so. Otherwise, what are we even doing here?

Offseason Outlook: Baltimore Orioles - MLB Trade Rumors
As they do every year, MLBTR has a thorough look at the Orioles' strengths and needs going into the offseason. Their overview can be explained with the following key lines: "The big question will be how bold they want to be." and "But with a wide open future payroll and plenty of young talent, the O’s could be big players in free agency or the trade market or both, if they want to be."

Orioles' Ryan Mountcastle among MLB's unluckiest hitters - Baltimore Sun
If you look at the raw numbers, Mountcastle should have had a much bigger year. So what happened?

Birthdays and History

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have three Orioles birthday buddies.

  • Omar Quintanilla (41) had a nine-season major league career, one of which came with the Orioles in 2012. Do you remember him? It’s ok if not. He only played 36 games after being traded from the Mets in July of that year.
  • Arthur Rhodes (53) spent his first nine MLB seasons with the Orioles as a pitcher, appearing in 238 games, mostly out of the bullpen. He went on to play for 20 years including one all-star season at the age of 40 with the Reds.
  • Dave Johnson (63) spent three seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, most famously as part of the 1989 Why Not team. He’s also known around these parts as a media personality and sometimes broadcaster for both the television and radio crews.

There is no Orioles history of which to speak today, so here is some general baseball history for your reading pleasure.

  • In 1972, Jackie Robinson passed away due to heart disease.
  • In 1981, the Yankees blew a 6-3 lead to the Dodgers in the World Series thanks partly to Reggie Jackson misplaying a fly ball that bounced off his shoulder.
  • In 1992, the first World Series game to be played outside the USA took place in Toronto as the Blue Jays hosted the Braves.
  • In 1994, Greg Maddux became the first pitcher to win three consecutive Cy Young awards.