Good morning, Birdland!
While the Orioles’ magical season ended over a week ago, we are still getting reminded of just how special it was. On Tuesday, a trio of Orioles were named finalists for several MLBPA awards.
Now, before we get TOO excited let’s be clear that these are not the definitive awards in Major League Baseball. MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and the rest are not given out by the MLBPA. They are given out by the Baseball Writers Association of America. We won’t hear about any of those until after the World Series.
You may be asking, “OK so then do these awards even matter?” Look, it’s the offseason around these parts and we need to write about something. I’m sure these Orioles players appreciate the recognition. But no, players don’t get footnotes on their Baseball Reference page for these, if that’s what you’re asking.
Anyway, the three players named as finalist are Gunnar Henderson, Kyle Bradish, and Ryan O’Hearn. Henderson is up for AL Outstanding Rookie. Bradish is in the mix for AL Outstanding Pitcher. And O’Hearn might win AL Comeback Player.
Of the three, Henderson is likely to be the only winner. Bradish had a great season, but the case for Gerrit Cole is likely too great. And while it was incredible to see O’Hearn come out of nowhere to be a productive player, it’s tough to not name Liam Hendriks the winner after battling back from a cancer diagnosis to get on the field, even if his season did last just five games due to an elbow injury that will require Tommy John.
Getting nominated for year-end awards is a big deal. While being named to an all-star game roster can oftentimes mean you had one good half of baseball, these awards (even the less-heralded ones) tend to show you put together a body of work over a long season. It’s something to be proud of, and it’s neat to see a few more Orioles than usual be named finalists.
Henderson, Bradish and O’Hearn finalists for MLBPA awards | Roch Kubatko
More information of the above-mentioned awards plus some context on where the players fit into the running.
Norfolk Tides are being sold to Diamond Baseball Holdings, but team ‘will stay in Norfolk.’ | The Virginian-Pilot
It always feels icky when a big conglomerate buys even more assets. The Tides will now belong to Diamond Baseball Holdings, an organization that owns 20 other minor league teams. DBH itself is owned by Silver Lake, a private equity investment firm. My love of the game has never been stronger.
Baumler making strides, catching up in Fall League | MLB.com
Nice to hear Carter Baumler is healthy and starting to catch up to others in his draft class. He’s only got 11 games of pro experience under his belt due to arm injuries. But he remains fairly well-regarded. It would be nice to see the Orioles turn him into a viable big league option down the line.
Jon Meoli: The Orioles’ assessment of rotation will determine the course of the offseason | The Baltimore Banner
Hopefully the Orioles are honest with themselves when it comes to the pitching staff. This group is fine, but it needs to improve. Kyle Bradish and Grayson Rodriguez are here to stay. The rest needs to jump up a level. Perhaps a healthy John Means can hold onto a role, but it cannot be a guarantee. They should look to the trade market and see if there are any big fish to reel in.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
- Garrett Olson turns 40. The left-handed pitcher was an occasional member of the Orioles rotation from 2007-08. He was then traded to the Cubs for Félix Pié.
- Alan Mills is 57. He was a key member of the Orioles bullpen for nine seasons, which were broken up into two stints, first from 1992-98 and then again from 2000-01.
- Terry Clark celebrates his 63rd. He spent part of the 1995 season in the Orioles bullpen.
- The late Ed Farmer (b. 1949, 2020) was born on this day. He pitched in just one game for the 1977 Birds.
This day in O’s history
It’s been a slow day in Birdland, historically. So, here are a few things that have happened on this date beyond baseball:
1648 - The first American labor union is formed amongst shoe makers.
1851 - Moby-Dick is first published.
1867 - The United States takes possession of Alaska after purchasing it from Russia.
1898 - The United States takes possession of Puerto Rico from Spain.
1954 - Texas Instruments announces the first mass-produced transistor radio.
1963 - Félicette, a stray black and white Parisian cat, becomes the first cat ever launched into space,