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Sunday Bird Droppings: A Mike Elias lieutenant departs

Brad Ciolek, who directed the last two drafts for the Orioles, left for a position with the Nationals.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles
Mike Elias has at least one front office opening to fill this offseason.
Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 165 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2024. Spring training is not so far off, more like four months until pitchers and catchers will be reporting and a new season will start to move towards getting under way. We’ve got the rest of the month plus potentially a few days of November for baseball’s postseason to finish before things get into the offseason and there will be decisions that could change everyone’s imagined version of the 2024 O’s roster.

It’s ALCS Game 1 tonight as the Astros and Rangers battle for Texas supremacy. I do not expect to watch. I’m not ready to inflict that on myself yet. Now that it’s been a few days, I’m not as crushed as I was, but I still wish this was the Orioles instead. Maybe next year.

Mostly, I’m impatient about getting to the end of the postseason because I want to start to find out what the Orioles will do this offseason. That’s about what I said around this time last year and that turned out to be setting myself up for disappointment when they didn’t do all that much that made a splash. As we know, it didn’t matter that they didn’t do more. The Orioles won 101 games with who they had.

Mike Elias has a lot of things he’s going to have to think about over this offseason. Which of the veteran players who bridged the rebuild are going to be able to at least repeat if not improve on their 2023 seasons? That’s going to be important particularly when thinking about Anthony Santander, Cedric Mullins, and Austin Hays. Which prospects will be ready on Opening Day or darn near close to it? Will anyone be traded for pitching? Will they sign a better pitcher than Kyle Gibson?

If last year’s movement is any indicator, any of the questions that involve adding players from outside the organization will not be answered with immediately exciting answers. This trend continued into the pre-trade deadline activity. The Orioles were an exciting team, but it wasn’t the signings or trades that made them this way. Even after saying all this, in two weeks time I’ll be ignoring all history and stumping for the O’s to sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto. No point worrying about that right now, though.

Around the blogO’sphere

Ciolek leaving Orioles for position with Nationals (School of Roch)
The Orioles director of draft operations has gotten a promotion, or at least more impressive-sounding title, in joining the Nationals as senior director of amateur scouting. Ciolek had been with the O’s for 10 years and was the director for the past two O’s drafts.

The Orioles season left its mark on baby names. Could another awesome year birth more Adleys, Gunnars, Cedrics, and Félixes? (The Baltimore Sun)
I encourage everyone who’s considering using an Oriole’s name for their coming baby to familiarize themselves with baseball’s free agency rules and John Angelos’s comments on that broad topic across 2023.

Baseball’s new playoff format is apparently the great equalizer (Baltimore Baseball)
So was the old one!

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1970, the Orioles finished off a World Series championship by beating the Reds, 9-3, to take the series 4-1. In the clinching game, the O’s fell behind 3-0 in the top of the first and then rattled off nine unanswered runs starting with Frank Robinson’s two-run homer in the bottom of the inning. Brooks Robinson received the series MVP award.

One legendary Oriole has a birthday today. Happy 78th to Jim Palmer, whose career accomplishments could be listed for the whole rest of this article. I’ll be glad to hear him broadcasting O’s games for as long as he wants to do so.

Some other Orioles birthdays today: 2023 pitcher Jack Flaherty, 2018/20 pitcher Cody Carroll, 2004 outfielder Chad Mottola, and 1982-83 infielder Glenn Gulliver.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: poet Mikhail Lermontov (1814), philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844), novelist P.G. Wodehouse (1881), chef Emeril Lagasse (1959), musician Ginuwine (1970), Governor Wes Moore (1978), and actress Bailee Madison (1999).

On this day in history...

In 1582, several Catholic countries adopted the Gregorian calendar, skipping from the previous day’s date of October 4 to the new date of October 15.

In 1888, investigators trying to solve the Jack the Ripper killings were sent a letter known as the “From Hell” letter, which also came with half of a preserved kidney. The writer, suspected though not known to be the killer, claimed to have eaten the other half of the kidney.

In 1956, programming language FORTRAN, recognized as the first modern computer language, was shared widely and entered into use.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on October 15. Have a safe Sunday.