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Friday Bird Droppings: A strong MVP showing for Gunnar and Adley

The Orioles’ young superstar duo finished eighth and ninth in the AL MVP vote.

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

MLB’s awards week wrapped up yesterday, and what a week it was for the Orioles, who boasted both the unanimous AL Rookie of the Year winner, Gunnar Henderson, and the AL Manager of the Year, Brandon Hyde.

The Orioles also put up impressive showings in the categories they didn’t win. Kyle Bradish finished in fourth place in the AL Cy Young vote after a breakout performance in his first full season. And in yesterday’s AL Most Valuable Player reveal — won unanimously by Shohei Ohtani, as expected — the Orioles’ young superstar duo of Henderson and Adley Rutschman finished in eighth and ninth place, respectively.

Henderson received votes from 21 of the 30 voters, whose ballots each run 10 deep, and was ranked in fifth place on four of them. Rutschman was listed on 17 ballots, including one that had him in fourth place. As noted by The Baltimore Sun’s Nathan Ruiz, it’s the first time multiple Orioles have finished in the top 10 for AL MVP since 2013, when Chris Davis was third and Manny Machado ninth.

If Adley and Gunnar’s careers turn out as hoped, this is far from the last time they’ll be getting MVP consideration. And they might finish quite a bit better than eighth or ninth in future seasons. But it’s not just them. Now that the Orioles have stockpiled so much young talent in the organization, it might become an annual occurrence for their players to be well represented at awards season. And after so many years of the O’s being utterly irrelevant, it’s a refreshing change of pace.


Answers to your Orioles questions, Part 1 -
Rich Dubroff tackles questions from readers, including one about the Orioles signing Trevor Bauer, which Dubroff thankfully shoots down.

Because You Asked - Frozen Empire - School of Roch
Roch Kubatko also tackles questions from readers, including one about the Orioles signing Rutschman or Henderson to extensions, which Kubatko discouragingly shoots down.

Gunnar Henderson’s best moments of rookie season -
It’s no easy task to narrow down Gunnar’s best moments to just five, but Jake Rill gives it a try. That defensive play in #3 was just unbelievable.

Mike Elias said O’s upward path will “involve the major league payroll” - Steve Melewski
Do any of Elias’s quotes in this interview make you feel confident that the O’s will shell out the money to sign a significant free agent? I can’t say that they do.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Seven former Orioles were born on this date, none more notable than Nick Markakis, who turns the big 4-0 today. The ever-steady right fielder spent his first nine MLB seasons with the Orioles, batting .290/.358/.435 with 141 homers, and Camden Chat ranked him as the 17th best Oriole of all time. Markakis retired in 2020 after six seasons with his hometown Braves, and was last seen at Camden Yards this September as an on-field guest for Adam Jones’ retirement ceremony. Enjoy your day, Nick!

It’s also the 40th birthday of ex-O’s infielder Scott Moore, who was teammates with Markakis in 2007-08 and 2010. How often have two unrelated people born on exactly the same day been teammates? Seems rare. Other ex-Orioles with Nov. 17 birthdays include infielder Everth Cabrera (37), outfielders Darnell McDonald (45) and Eli Marrero (50), left-handed pitcher Brad Havens (64), and righty Orlando Peña, who turns 90 years young today. An extra happy birthday to him.

There’s one more birthday to celebrate: happy 70th birthday to the Baltimore Orioles! On this day in 1953, the St. Louis Browns officially became the Baltimore Baseball Club Inc. after relocating to their new home city, and the franchise board renamed them the Orioles, which had been the name of Baltimore’s minor league team. Has it really been 70 years already? Time flies.