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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where you can throw all the sliders you want

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Repeat after me: Jake Arrieta does not throw a cutter! He's in the news after shutting out the Pirates in the NL Wild Card Game. Also, Brooks sells some memorabilia, and some high school Orioles get some glory.

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Hello, friends.

There are 178 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2016.

Did you tune in for the NL Wild Card Game last night? If you did, you probably experienced some pain, because there really is something cruel about watching Jake Arrieta toss a complete game shutout in the playoffs for another team. Imagine if this Jake had somehow manifest at any point in his tenure in Baltimore? The Orioles would have probably beaten the Yankees in 2012, made the playoffs in 2013, beaten the Royals in 2014, and made the playoffs in 2015, too. But it just wasn't meant to be.

The part of the playoffs that doesn't consist of one-game elimination matches begins today. Both of the ALDS matchups will be getting under way. First up, Rangers at Blue Jays at 3:37pm Eastern. Later, beginning at 7:37pm Eastern, the Astros travel to Kansas City to play the Royals. Well, I assume they're already in Kansas City now. They don't have to do any more traveling. You know what I mean. Who ya got?

Around the blogO'sphere

School of Roch: Former Orioles pitching coach Rick Adair talks about Jake Arrieta
Rick Adair, whom some blame for Arrieta's failure to launch in Baltimore, weighs in on the subject of Arrieta. This article disappointingly peddles the "no cutter" narrative, which may be a subject for a rant on another day, but for now, here's something: Jake Arrieta does not throw a cutter.

Orioles’ Robinson Selling Memorabilia to Fund Charity | Valley News
If you have a whole heck of a lot of disposable money and you'd like to get your hands on some Brooks Robinson memorabilia, you may soon get your chance - and it'll go to help charity, too. Who doesn't like that?

SCHMUCK: Orioles leaders offer conflicting messages about next season - York Dispatch
This article is not by a schmuck but rather by the Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck, who thinks the Orioles are sending mixed signals. When has that ever happened before?

Ellsbury, Yanks' $153M man, doesn't start in playoff loss | The Charlotte Observer
Schadenfreude keeps me warm at night.

Orioles soccer surges ahead in win over T-birds - Sports - Butler County Times Gazette
As you may know, it is the editorial position of this blog to celebrate the successes of all Orioles teams, anywhere. In this case, applause for the boys soccer team at Augusta High School in Augusta, Kansas, as those Orioles grabbed a win in what sounds like dramatic fashion.

Birthdays and anniversaries

On this day in 2012, the Orioles beat the Yankees in Game 2 of their ALDS at Camden Yards - the one I didn't go to, naturally.

Former Orioles with birthdays today include: 2005 short-timer Keith Reed; Mike Morgan, who pitched nine shutout innings in an April 1988 game that they still managed to lose; Enos Cabell (1972-74), and also the late Bob Mabe, who pitched in two games for the 1960 Orioles.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! In addition to those former Orioles, you share this birthday with race car driver and World War I ace Eddie Rickenbacker (1890), Dune author Frank Herbert (1920), actor/comedian Chevy Chase (1943), Ramones guitarist Johnny Ramone (1948), Alien actress Sigourney Weaver (1949), and the star of the recently-released The Martian (among other things), Matt Damon (1970).

On this day in history...

In 1480, forces of Grand Duke Ivan III of Russia defeated the Great Horde of Akhmat Khan in the Great Stand of the Ugra River, a defeat that eventually resulted in the dissolution of that Horde.

In 1582, the implementation of the Gregorian calendar meant that in Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain, this day did not exist. (This was true on Tuesday and it's still true today.)

In each of the World Wars, this day had an action that resulted in a Medal of Honor. In 1918, Corporal Alvin C. York was pressed into leading seven men in a battle that saw them kill 28 Germans and capture another 132 in the Argonne Forest.

In 1944, in the Battle of Crucifix Hill in Aachen, Army Captain Bobbie Brown crawled across the same field all alone, three times, with explosives to blow up three different pillbox machine gun nests - despite being wounded three times.

In 1956, Don Larsen of the New York Yankees pitched the only perfect game to be thrown in a World Series.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on October 8 - at least, unless something happens later. Have a safe Thursday.