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Thursday Bird Droppings: Starting to digest the Orioles hasty postseason exit

The sadness about the end of the Orioles season is still here for me

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Division Series - Baltimore Orioles v Texas Rangers - Game Three Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 168 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2024. I really hoped it would be a smaller number when I got to the point of putting that countdown back in these articles. That is not the way that things have worked out. There is no ALDS Game 5 or ALCS Game 1 coming for the Orioles. It’s over.

I’m still feeling sad about it. I’m sure I’m not the only one. It was just such a crushing and unexpected outcome. And I didn’t even really believe the Orioles would end up winning the series! I just didn’t expect them to lose it like... that. That sucked. Once the series began, there was barely even a fun five minutes. The Orioles led for exactly one half of one inning. If you were there for Aaron Hicks’s two-run single on Sunday, you got a few batters of enjoyment and that was it.

When it comes to making grand pronouncements in regard to what happened, I’m trying not to do it. Other people are not trying as hard to resist this and a variety of takes are coming as a result. We all have to process what happened in our own ways. For some, that’s looking to hope. For others it’s embracing the dread. I feel that second one.

One of the realities of what happened is that there are going to be five years where the Orioles have both Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson on the team from start to finish. It is a shame that the first one has ended like this. I’m trying not to dwell on that too much. I can’t do anything about the next several years of Orioles baseball, or the several years beyond that, so there’s no point in sitting around and worrying about that. And as far as wondering about the 2024 roster, I figure let’s at least wait until the World Series is done and the possibility of player movement exists.

At least the season has been much less of a waste than, let’s say, the way the Orioles performed in odd years when Manny Machado was around. They won the division and made it to the postseason against all expectations! Ten or twenty years from now, when the disappointment has faded, this will be remembered as a great O’s season. But, you know, the disappointment hasn’t faded yet, at least not for me. It’s going to take a while and it’s going to take some more positive Orioles memories to banish that.

The Orioles were joined in being eliminated from the postseason last night. The Twins lost Game 4 of their series against the Astros and that means they’re going home for the year. The Astros will be playing in the ALCS for the seventh straight year. That’s really something. The Orioles had their three in a row from 1969-71.

Twins fans can feel good that their postseason losing streak was ended, but they didn’t get much closer to a World Series than that. We’ll have to wait until next year to see if the Orioles can break their own postseason winless streak before it starts getting to a silly number of games or years that it stretches on.

The Dodgers were ALSO sent down in flames in a sweep at the hands of the Diamondbacks, which came, like the Orioles did, after having secured a bye. Los Angeles’s offense was even worse than the O’s was, in that the Dodgers didn’t even have one game where they managed to score a bunch of runs.

It’s going to be up to the Braves to pull a reversal in their series against the Phillies to do a little more to ward off some people from going even deeper into committing the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy about who has the advantage after getting a bye. Game 4 of that series is in Philadelphia tonight.

Around the blogO’sphere

Losing the ALDS doesn’t erase the good that came out of the 2023 season (School of Roch)
The fact that John Angelos could suspend him for a less positive headline does not, in this case, make it any less valid. A lot of good stuff happened this year! Losing obscures that for a while but if you think that erases it entirely, get a hold of yourself.

How did the Orioles get swept in the ALDS? Here are 4 explanations. (The Baltimore Sun)
I’d say that The Sun is avoiding the Five Things industrial complex here, except there’s another article that was “five things we learned,” so instead I guess good for also using a different number. At the top is starting pitching struggles.

As the Orioles watched Texas celebrate, a fire was born: ‘We’ll be back’ (The Baltimore Banner)
“Adley Rutschman watched the Rangers celebrate for a long time to fuel his motivation” is the kind of thing that is probably almost entirely meaningless, but at this moment it’s all we’ve really got. Let’s hope that will power everybody who’s coming back next season.

For a variety of reasons, the 101 win Orioles weren’t ready for prime time (Baltimore Baseball)
This is a bad narrative. The Orioles didn’t play well for three games. That’s what happened! Dramatic hot takes beyond this are not only unnecessary but also wrong.

In Cleveland, MLB’s longest and quietest title drought reaches 75 years (The Athletic)
Sharing this because one line struck me hard: “Every day, Cleveland buries some devotee who despondently uttered at one point or another, ‘Just win one before I die.’” Orioles, it is up to you to make this not some day be true of the vast majority of millennial O’s fans, or even worse, zoomer O’s fans.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1979, the Orioles beat the Pirates in Game 3 of the World Series. In the 8-4 victory, which gave the Orioles a 2-1 edge in the series, Scott McGregor pitched a complete game while allowing four runs on nine hits, and Kiko Garcia went 4-4 out of the leadoff spot and drove in half of the O’s runs.

There are also a number of years where the O’s lost postseason games on this date, but we don’t need to talk about those. We’ve had enough of Orioles losing in the postseason this week already.

A few former Orioles were born on this day. They are: 2016-17 catcher Francisco Peña, 2009-13/15-16 outfielder Nolan Reimold, 2015-17 infielder Paul Janish, 2000-01 pitcher Leslie Brea, 1994-95 pitcher Sid Fernandez, and 1954 catcher Ray Murray.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872), Baseball Hall of Famers Pete Hill (1882), Rick Ferrell (1905), and Joe Cronin (1906), Gumby creator Art Cloakey (1921), actor Hugh Jackman (1968), and gold medal skier Bode Miller (1977).

On this day in history...

In 1810, the people of Munich in what was then the Kingdom of Bavaria and is today Germany held the first Oktoberfest. The occasion for the inaugural event was the wedding of Crown Prince Louis to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. They had nine children, including the future king of Bavaria and a future king of Greece.

In 1901, the White House was formally named as such by President Theodore Roosevelt. Up to this point it had officially been the Executive Mansion.

In 1973, then-House Majority Leader Gerald R. Ford was nominated by President Richard Nixon to fill the vacant vice president position, opened with the resignation of Spiro T. Agnew.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on October 12. Have a safe Thursday.