Seven months later, that’s a wrap on the 2022 MLB season. The Astros are the champions, having knocked off the Phillies in six games with a win last night. I guess we’ll see if within three years there are revelations about some new kind of cheating scandal like ended up putting a blot on their last title. Until then, a second title in five years for Houston feels like this for me: At least it means the Orioles are following a good plan. And I’m glad that Trey Mancini is officially a champion.
As has been written before, this was a year of fun in Birdland that exceeded anything that any of us - even the most optimistic of us - could have expected for 2022. That’s especially true when you consider the spring training injury to Adley Rutschman, the very early season injury to John Means, and the early June injury to Grayson Rodriguez. Rutschman, at least, became a major contributor. Hopefully we’ll see those other guys make their mark in 2023.
Now, we start the countdown for when things will start to happen. By week’s end, the Orioles will have to decide what to do with their team option for Jordan Lyles. Other teams will also have to make such decisions. Players will be exercising opt-outs, or not, and teams will extend qualifying offers that will be accepted or not, setting the free agent market. Then we’ve got three months where things could happen between now and the start of spring training.
Today, of course, there’s not much to do. As the great Rogers Hornsby once said of what he does in winter, “I stare out the window and wait for spring.” A person in the Baltimore area might have felt a touch of spring this weekend, but with baseball over, it’s a little colder and winter will be upon us soon enough. In four months and 24 days, a new season will dawn, with pitch clocks, no more infield shifts, and more.
Around the blogO’sphere
A look at O’s pitch usage/mix from 2022 (Steve Melewski)
The Orioles threw fewer fastballs this year, and the team’s average fastball velocity increased. This is generally a good formula for today’s game - and for the O’s, it was!
Heston Kjerstad finally starts Orioles career after dealing with a heart problem (The Athletic)
It’s been nothing short of delightful to see how Kjerstad has performed out in the Arizona Fall League. He even continued that a bit last night, finishing as the runner-up among eight participants in the league’s Home Run Derby, one homer behind the champion. I hope that he can carry that over into the next minor league season.
What to know ahead of the Orioles offseason (Orioles.com)
Perhaps your question is on the frequently asked question list.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Today in 1969, the Orioles had their first Cy Young Award winner in team history as Mike Cuellar was named the co-winner alongside of Detroit’s Denny McLain. Cuellar posted a 2.38 ERA while pitching 290.2 innings. In those days, that counted for a 149 ERA+, which led all AL pitchers who threw at least 200 innings.
In 2011, the Orioles officially hired Dan Duquette to become the new general manager, although that wasn’t his formal title. There were some good times for a while.
There are a pair of former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2003 shortstop Deivi Cruz, and 1982-83/85 infielder Leo Hernández. Today is Hernández’s 63rd birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you as well! Your birthday buddies for today include: Ottoman sultan Suleiman “the Magnificent” (1494), saxophone inventor Adolphe Sax (1814), composer John Philip Sousa (1854), basketball inventor James Naismith (1861), baseball Hall of Famer Walter “The Big Train” Johnson (1887), Academy and Primetime Emmy Award- winning actress Sally Field (1946), The Eagles rocker Glenn Frey (1948), and Academy Award-winning actress Emma Stone (1988).
On this day in history...
In 1860, President Abraham Lincoln was elected to his first term of office, receiving 180 out of a needed 152 electoral votes in a four-way race. Lincoln won a plurality of the popular vote at 40%, with Stephen Douglas at 30%.
In 1995, Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell announced that he would be moving the team to Baltimore. Neither the franchise name Browns nor its history ever left Cleveland, which had a team returned to it after only a three-season absence.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on November 6. Have a safe Sunday.