Good morning, Birdland!
That means it will be Diamondbacks v. Rangers in this year’s World Series. The Fall Classic will get underway on Friday in Texas. First pitch is 8:03 on FOX.
The teams representing each league were both Wild Card teams, squeaking into the playoffs by a couple of games each. That will make the calls to change the playoff format even louder.
Perhaps that make sense, but it’s also reasonably to look at these two teams and see that while both have flaws that prevented them from winning their divisions, they are also built in a way that has allowed them to be successful in the postseason.
The Rangers lineup is simply scary. Every spot in the lineup is capable of going deep each time they step to the plate. And oftentimes they are doing so with runners on base. That was their recipe during the summer, and it has worked again here. Their pitching staff—a concern coming into October—has figured itself out. Much of that is because depth on the pitching staff simply doesn’t matter as much this time of year as it does in mid-July.
The Diamondbacks use a bit more finesse on offense. They like to steal bases, be opportunistic. That style can run hot and cold, likely why they won just 84 games this season. But they have made the mot of it in the postseason with some nice pitching performances from both starters and relievers to keep things close.
Can the Orioles take anything from this? Not exactly. These are not revolutionary ideas or anything. Hit homers. Steal bases. Pitch well. The Orioles could stand to make moves in all of those directions, but it’s much simpler to say it than it is to do it.
If you had to pick one trait to pursue, power feels like the most logical one. Some of that may come from the continued growth of Gunnar Henderson and Adley Rutschman, perhaps a healthier season for Ryan Mountcastle. But in order to take a significant jump it will require a reallocation of playing time. Is 16 home runs from your everyday left fielder enough? Can the team get more power from the second and third base positions? Again, some tough decisions ahead.
How Orioles will handle first base in 2024 | Roch Kubatko
The Orioles could run back the exact same strategy of essentially platooning Ryan Mountcastle and Ryan O’Hearn. That duo was quite good, add in an occasional start from Anthony Santander and maybe Heston Kjerstad in 2024, and this position feels solid. But there is always the domino effect that could happen if any one of these names is dealt in the offseason.
Looking at the Orioles’ future for these 5 players | Baltimore Baseball
The Orioles will make some changes this winter. They need to in order to take another leap forward. That could mean some familiar names move on.
For the Orioles, it’s nice to head into the offseason with options | Steve Melewski
There are many ways for the Orioles to get better. Plenty of prospects from which to trade. Theoretically, there should be enough room in the budget to splash some cash too. What they cannot do is stand pat.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
- Tito Landrum turns 69 today. He was a depth outfielder in two separate seasons for the O’s: 1983 and ‘88.
- The late Bobby Thomson (b. 1923, d. 2010) was born on this day. He played outfield for three games with the Orioles in 1960.
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:
1760 - King George III succeeds to the British Thrown after his grandfather George II dies.
1875 - Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 premieres in Boston.
2001 - Microsoft releases Windows XP.