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Wednesday Bird Droppings: For Brooks

A sad day in Baltimore, but the O’s inch closer to an AL East title.

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MLB: Houston Astros at Baltimore Orioles James A. Pittman-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

The number of heartfelt obituaries and stories about Brooks Robinson that poured out on Tuesday was such an incredible example of the impact that the man had on the world. It wasn’t just Baltimore that knew how special he was. Everyone did. And that wasn’t because of what he did on the field, although that was clearly exemplary. It was because of the person he was.

It doesn’t feel right to mix the Brooks links with the normal day-to-day news of the team below, so I’m going to pull out a few here that I noticed and found worthwhile:

The common thread through all of this is that yes, he was a stellar baseball player, but he was a better person. No one has ever seemed to say a bad word about Brooks Robinson, and they probably never will. That is a legacy all its own.

On the field, the Orioles beat the Nationals 1-0 last night to make their magic number 2. They can clinch the AL East title as soon as today if they win and the Rays lose.


Orioles closer Félix Bautista throws live bullpen for 1st time since injuring elbow, but timeline still unknown | The Baltimore Sun
It was good to see Bautista on the mound. But as Brandon Hyde explained, we’re running out of time, at least if you wanted him back by the start of the playoffs. To me, it does not seem realistic for him to be ready by the time the Wild Card round is here. Hopefully the Orioles don’t need to participate in that anyway. Even so, the October 7 start of the ALDS is also feeling like a stretch.

Bradish brandishes eight scoreless innings and Henderson homers in Orioles’ 1-0 win
Oodles of post-game quotes, including some nice mentions of Brooks. The season Kyle Bradish has put together continues to be simply incredible. I was extremely worried about a negative regression this year. That certainly didn’t happen.

Which Teams Are Best Built for Postseason Success? | FanGraphs
An interesting exercise from our friend Dan Szymborski. Unsurprisingly, the Orioles are lagging because this methodology does not love their starting pitching. But you could argue Grayson Rodriguez is only getting better and the return of a full strength John Means could upend things quite a bit. Fingers crossed!

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Radhames Dykhoff is 49 today. He pitched one big league inning, and it came with the 1998 Orioles.
  • Carlos López turns 75. He spent the 1978 season as a backup outfielder in Baltimore.
  • The late Dick Hall (b. 1930, d. 2023) was born on this day. From 1961 through ‘65 and again from ‘69 through ‘71 he was an important member of the Orioles pitching staff. He threw 770 innings, mostly as a reliever, and helped the O’s win two World Series titles.

This day in O’s history

1953 - The Browns lose their 100th game of the season, and the franchise completes its final campaign in St. Louis. They will move to Baltimore in the offseason and be renamed the Orioles.

1970 - The aforementioned Hall wins his 10th game of the season after tossing three hitless innings of relief. He ends the year with more wins than walks, the first time a big league pitcher has achieved this since 1919.

1996 - Orioles’ second baseman Roberto Alomar is ejected from a game against the Blue Jays for arguing a third strike call by umpire John Hirschbeck. Amid an argument between the two, Alomar spits in Hirschbeck’s face. Alomar would be suspended for five games for his actions, but the two men would eventually make amends and consider one another friends.