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Monday Bird Droppings: Reviewing the 2023 Orioles movie

The Orioles have still made no moves. Maybe this week?

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MLB: ALDS-Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles
Neither the person in this photo nor the playoff game he was pitching in were mentioned in the Orioles 2023 movie.
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, Camden Chatters! I hope you all had a fun weekend. If you like football, perhaps watching the first round of the playoffs took your mind off the fact that another week has passed without the Orioles making any moves.

Yesterday I found myself at home fighting off a cold with a flurry swirling outside and my child visiting her grandparents. It seemed like the perfect time to sit down and watch the movie the Orioles released last week titled 101: The Story of the 2023 Baltimore Orioles. I originally planned to watch it when it came out on the 10th, but bailed when I saw that it was 1.5 hours long. That was too much for a weeknight.

I wasn’t completely sold on a movie about a team that didn’t win a single postseason game, but it turned out to be a nice way to spend a cold day indoors while I wait for the new season to finally start. It began in spring training and touched on the big moments throughout the season. It was a nice trip down memory lane and did serve to pump me up for the new season, even if I do have to wait 73 days until Opening Day.

The highlights were interspersed with interviews from various Orioles, taken before the postseason began. Those were fun but I would have liked to see more of the team’s big stars participate. I say that meaning no offense to Ryan O’Hearn, Tyler Wells, and Danny Coloumbe, among others. Austin Hays did participate, but there was no sign of Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson, or Cedric Mullins, to name a few.

In addition to the chronology, the movie included vignettes of many players who contributed to the team. I especially enjoyed Ben McDonald admitting that he thought Mike Elias was crazy for holding on to Yennier Cano. There were also stories on Félix Bautista, Aaron Hicks, Tyler Wells, John Means, Gunnar Henderson, and more. One player, however, was missing in action: Kyle Bradish.

If you hadn’t watched the 2023 season and just watched this movie, you would have thought that Bradish’s season ended with his injury in his first start in Texas. That was the last time he was seen. The best starting pitcher on the team, the one who finished the season fourth in the Cy Young award voting, was MIA. I sure hope the producers felt silly when they realized.

But by far the weirdest part of this movie was that it ended without mentioning the postseason at all. Like, not even one time. The movie culminated with the team winning the AL East and everyone declaring victory. It felt weirdly “mission accomplished” for a team that didn’t win a single postseason game.

I assume they didn’t want to end on bad news, but everyone watching knows how the season ended. It would have been very easy to frame the ending as “this amazing thing happened and it was incredible, but there are still better things on the horizon.” Instead, it portrayed winning the AL East as the ultimate goal. It was bizarre.

I guess maybe the team who made the movie thought John Angelos might fire them if they reminded us the Orioles were swept in the playoffs. But even with the weirdness, it was a find way to spend a cold January day when baseball feels very far away.


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Birthdays and History

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have two Orioles birthday buddies. Delino DeShields turns 55 years old today. He played in 305 games with the Orioles from 1999-2001.

It’s also the birthday of Bobby Grich, who is 75 years old today. Grich was named the 10th best Oriole of all time by this website. Grich played seven years for the Orioles and 10 years for the Angels and should be in the Hall of Fame.

On this day in 1991, the Orioles traded Rene Gonzales to the Blue Jays for Rob Blumberg. Gonzales had been with the Orioles as a utility player since 1986. He played for the Blue Jays for one season (71 games). Blumberg never made the majors. This was far from a blockbuster trade but was the biggest move the Orioles have made on this day in history as far as I can tell.