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Tuesday Bird Droppings: The post-Mancini era is upon us

The Orioles traded their longest tenured player and franchise favorite yesterday. It stings, even if it makes baseball sense.

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MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles
Good luck always and forever, Trey.
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Well, here we are. The first full day of the post-Trey Mancini era in Baltimore.

Gotta say, I don’t love it.

Yes, I certainly understand all the baseball reasons for the Orioles’ decision to trade Mancini to the Astros for two pitching prospects yesterday. He was an impending free agent. His position and skill set are redundant with the younger Ryan Mountcastle. Better to get something of value for him now than to lose him for nothing in the offseason. From a business standpoint, it was probably the correct call.

But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting.

It’s hard to put into words what Trey Mancini meant to this team, both in the clubhouse and among the fan base. He already a fan favorite and a respected team leader even before his courageous comeback from cancer in 2021. Trey was a holdover from the last good Orioles team, debuting in September for the 2016 wild card-winning Birds, then breaking out as a player in his first full season with a third-place Rookie of the Year finish in 2017.

A former eighth round pick who never appeared in a top 100 prospects list, Trey exceeded all expectations, excelling for a lot of O’s teams that — through no fault of Mancini’s — endured a lot of losing. Along the way, he was a class act at every turn, from his friendship with young superfan Mo Gaba to his willingness to reach out to total strangers who are battling cancer. Mancini’s incredible performance at the 2021 Home Run Derby, in which he finished as runner-up to Pete Alonso, put him in the national spotlight, giving baseball fans everywhere the chance to see the special player and person he is.

Wherever his career takes him for the rest of this season and beyond, Trey Mancini won’t soon be forgotten in Baltimore. Here’s wishing him all the best. For a player who has never gotten to spend a full season with a winning club, it’d be awesome to see him win a World Series, even if it’s with the not-particularly-appealing Astros. (Hey, at least it’s not the Yankees.) Go get ‘em, Trey.


Orioles trade Mancini to Houston as part of 3-team deal, get pitching prospects from Astros, Rays; Elias: ‘It’s certainly a bittersweet moment’ -
Mancini, Mike Elias, and others weigh in on yesterday’s momentous trade. You won’t be shocked to learn that Trey’s departing words were as classy as always.

Orioles Prioritize Head Over Heart, Trade Trey Mancini to Astros | FanGraphs Baseball
Dan Szymborski, friend of Camden Chat, supports the Mancini trade, noting that trading him doesn’t significantly change the Orioles’ already slim chances of making the playoffs. Remember, if you have any questions about this article, simply type “Szymborski Szymborski Szymborski” in the Bird Droppings comments below.

Trey Mancini trade to Astros leaves former Orioles teammates disheartened: ‘It sucks’ | Sporting News
David Suggs, on the other hand, finds the Mancini trade "difficult to stomach" due to his importance in the locker room. He has a point, but I suppose we'll never know how the rest of the 2022 season would have played out if Mancini had stayed.

Orioles Top Prospects - MLB Pipeline
Peep the new prospects rankings! Mancini trade acquisitions Seth Johnson and Chayce McDermott come in at #8 and #12, respectively. Not too shabby.

Orioles defeat Rangers 7-2 as Rutschman has big night at the plate - Camden Chat
Oh by the way, the Orioles had a game to play last night, and they played it very well indeed with a 7-2 win. Check out Stacey’s recap for all the highlights.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Two former Orioles pitchers were born on Aug. 2: right-hander Parker Bridwell (31) and lefty Matt Riley (43).

The Birds’ last win on this date came just last year, a delightful 7-1 victory at Yankee Stadium in which they crushed Andrew Heaney for four home runs: Cedric Mullins, Austin Hays, Ryan Mountcastle, and Ramón Urías. Then-starting pitcher Jorge López temporarily conquered his fifth-inning demons by holding the Yankees to one run in six innings, despite walking five.

On this day in 1964, third base umpire Sam Rice cost Brooks Robinson a home run in Kansas City, mistakenly ruling a long fly ball off the foul ball as in play. Robinson was thrown out trying to get to third base. The blown call didn’t cost the Orioles the game — they beat the Athletics anyway, 8-7 — but Brooks had to settle for 268 career home runs instead of 269.

Exactly three years later, Brooks hit a home run that counted, and it was a dramatic one. With the Orioles trailing the Tigers 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth, Brooks smacked a walkoff, two-run homer off his future O’s teammate, Pat Dobson. The win salvaged a split of a doubleheader with Detroit.