Happy New Year. Hope you remembered to hydrate before going to bed.
You’ll know if it wasn’t enough.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to order a water with every alcoholic beverage. You can thank me later.
Do people still use a designated driver, or have Uber and Lyft made it obsolete?
Anyway, the year 2022 is officially behind us and I can begin referring to it as “last season.” But I want to take a final glance. Never can say goodbye.
* Rylan Bannon met up with the Orioles on May 12 in St. Louis, bringing him closer to his major league debut four years after they acquired him from the Dodgers in the Manny Machado trade. Bannon got the start at third base and made a diving backhand stop along the line and threw out Nolan Arenado to end the first inning. He followed Jorge Mateo’s home run in the second by lining a single into left field on the first pitch thrown to him.
Welcome to The Show.
Bannon became the third Orioles player since 2000 to collect a hit on the first pitch seen in his major league debut, following Rhyne Hughes on April 24, 2010 in Boston and Willie Morales on April 9, 2000 versus the Tigers. Pitcher Brad Bergesen did it on May 24, 2009 in D.C., but it wasn’t his debut. Only his initial plate appearance.
The Orioles were down to one healthy player on their bench, which necessitated Bannon’s arrival from Triple-A Norfolk. He made the most of it, but the Orioles designated him for assignment three months later.
The Dodgers claimed Bannon off waivers. So did the Braves eight days later, the Cubs in November and the Astros in December.
* Anthony Santander homered from both sides of the plate in a game four times to set an Orioles record. He also tied San Diego’s Ken Caminiti (1996) for the major league record in a single season.
* The Orioles began playing the Omar whistle from “The Wire” on Aug. 8 when closer Félix Bautista entered a game with two outs in the eighth inning. They went a step or two further the following night with a light show and hype video.
Bautista might not have been familiar with the children’s tune “The Farmer in the Dell.” He definitely had no clue about the Baltimore-based HBO series, but he approved.
* I’ll also remember my stunned reaction, at a sushi restaurant in Sarasota, when news broke that the Orioles traded relievers Cole Sulser and Tanner Scott to the Marlins. Five days before the opener. But what looked like a white flag turned into something else entirely.
* I’ll remember Tampa Bay’s Drew Rasmussen retiring the first 24 Orioles on Aug. 14 at Tropicana Field before Jorge Mateo led off the ninth inning with a double. The only hit in a 4-1 loss. My perfect-game research was wasted.
* I’ll remember reliever Logan Gillaspie’s excitement after reaching the majors and making his debut on May 17, the reward for years spent playing independent ball and persevering following his release from the Brewers in 2019.
* I’ll remember infielder Terrin Vavra sitting at his locker on a Wednesday morning in Texas and swapping text messages with wife Carlie, who was due with their first child, daughter Tatum, later in the month. Vavra came off the bench in his sixth major league game to deliver a two-out, tie-breaking double in the eighth inning, boarded a flight to Baltimore and continued to deflect whatever pressure tried to swarm him.
* I’ll remember Dean Kremer’s complete-game shutout over the Astros on Sept. 23 and the ice chips in his hair and on the carpet in front of his locker from the postgame celebration. "My teammates were very mean today," he said. "I got a cart shower, and any liquid, or maybe not even liquid, got dumped on my head. They were exceptionally angry because I have good hair."
I hear ya.
* I’ll remember veteran starter Jordan Lyles’ silliness, for lack of a better word, during a few of his postgame media sessions at his locker. The grin, the quips. We didn’t know exactly where he was headed with some of his answers, but we enjoyed the journey.
* I’ll remember Trey Mancini’s return to Camden Yards after he was traded to the Astros. The 81st and 82nd victories in New York that guaranteed a non-losing and a winning season for the first time since 2016. Aaron Judge’s failure to hit home run No. 62 against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium, and then walking past the Baltimore media waiting for the elevator and asking whether he was headed in the right direction while trying to find the visiting clubhouse.
* I'll remember the day that I found out former Norfolk catcher Brett Cumberland signed with the Giants and was assigned to their Triple-A affiliate in Sacramento. It was yesterday. And I'll remember what I was doing last night when the team announced that it traded infielder Tyler Nevin to the Tigers for cash considerations. Filling my plate for dinner.
I’ll remember your kindness in 2022. Wish there was more of it in this world. Or at least on social media, but that’s why we mute.
I’ll say it again: I appreciate you. And I’ll continue to do so in 2023.
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