More questions that linger during the shutdown

As a young boy growing up in Severn, I used to believe that I’d have all the answers as soon as I reached adulthood. No more confusion and anxiety. Life would be much simpler.

If my parents were so smart, I’d naturally become wiser over the years.

Boy, was I dumb.

Part of my job at MASN and is to field questions, but I’ve got plenty of my own. And the coronavirus pandemic won’t lighten the load.

For instance:

* Would the team that wins the World Series this year celebrate it in the usual raucous manner, with a dogpile on the field and the spraying of champagne and beer?

Or would it be more muted given the lives lost during the pandemic and the shortened season with its new divisions, travel restrictions and adjusted roster sizes?

The Athletics swept the Giants in the 1989 series, forever remembered for the magnitude 6.9 earthquake that struck the Bay Area prior to Game 3. Out of respect for the victims, the A’s chose to keep the champagne corked.

Perhaps an earthquake in the middle of the World Series brings a more sensitive reaction. We’ve been dumped again in uncharted territory.

It just strikes me that crowning a champion in 2020 is going to be accompanied by the words, “Yeah, but ...” They might be etched on the trophy.

* Orioles players wrote the number 24 on their batting helmets in 1997 to support Eric Davis following his diagnosis of colon cancer. Davis underwent surgery in June and returned in September.

Will the Orioles write 16 on their helmets for Trey Mancini if the season begins later in the summer?

I’m Roch Kubatko and I endorse this idea.

Mancini is aiming for a 2021 return. Meanwhile, the outpouring of support this year that’s included messages on Twitter and in Zoom calls can be expanded to the use of markers or stickers on the helmets.

Rutschman-Bullpen-Glove-Up-ST-sidebar.jpg* Can Adley Rutschman still make the climb to Double-A Bowie this year?

Not if the minor league season is cancelled, which remains a strong possibility. But let’s work under the assumption just for today that it’s still a go.

The Orioles hadn’t made a final decision on Rutschman’s assignment to start the season, but were leaning hard toward high Single-A Frederick. I kept hearing the word “probably” from within the organization.

The first overall pick in the 2019 First-Year Player Draft wasn’t going to plant roots in Frederick. If able to stay on the path laid out for him, Rutschman eventually would join the Baysox and increase to five the number of affiliates played for since leaving college.

Rutschman wasn’t going to debut with the Orioles later this year. The pandemic didn’t wield that much influence. But he was supposed to play in the Eastern League and perhaps the International League with Triple-A Norfolk.

A cancellation obviously would put everything on hold until 2021. A truncated season could keep Rutschman in Frederick.

* Am I going to become a fan of the Korea Baseball Organization?

It’s quite possible, since we’re talking baseball and former Orioles are scattered throughout the league.

Dan Straily, whose Orioles career lasted 14 games, was named the opening day starter for the Lotte Giants.

(As opposed to the Latte Giants, who would be having a grande opening. And if that joke annoys you, please don’t venti at me. I’ll just blame my home confinement, which is a tall order.)

Straily’s status had been in question due to some back tightness.

In those 14 games with the Orioles last season, Straily registered a 9.82 ERA and 1.993 WHIP and surrendered 22 home runs in 47 2/3 innings. The Phillies purchased his contract on July 31 and Lotte signed him to a one-year deal worth $800,000.

Straily was opposed by KT Wiz right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne, who made 16 relief appearances with the Orioles in 2016 and registered a 5.60 ERA and 1.720 WHIP in 27 1/3 innings. They acquired him from the Padres for minor league pitcher Jean Cosme and the Marlins selected him off waivers later in the year.

Other former Orioles pitchers in the KBO include Tyler Wilson (LG Twins), Aaron Brooks (Kia Tigers) and Mike Wright (NC Dinos).

Wilson is beginning his third season in Korea. Brooks signed on Nov. 14 and Wright on Nov. 22.

Outfielder Hyun Soo Kim also plays for the LG Twins, returning to the KBO in 2018 after signing a two-year, $7 million deal with the Orioles in December 2015.

The KBO season was supposed to begin last month. Fans won’t be allowed inside the ballparks.

ESPN announced yesterday that it will broadcast six KBO games per week, Tuesday through Sunday, though you’ll need to stay up late on the East Coast. Most games will be found on the deuce.

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