'On September 18 ...the Orioles had a "Thank Brooks Day." A crowd of 51,798 streamed into Memorial Stadium to honor him. It was, up to that time, the largest regular-season crowd in Baltimore history.
For the game on the following day, the Orioles drew 3,325.'
--Ira Berkow, It Happens Every Spring (Triumph Books, 2017)
(Berkow was one of that generation of New York Times baseball columnists who regularly wrote with respect, insight, and humor about the great Orioles teams.)
I was talking about the lease negotiations dragging on for years. The interest rates and the cost to the taxpayers would have been alot cheaper if he extended back then. They are not going anywhere. Might have probably been a different story if the legislation would not have passed a bill for 1.2 billion in stadium improvements. But probably would have given the team something.
I don’t think that’s a significant sample to impact decision making. He has also generally DH’d against LHP and, outside of last season, has been stronger against LHP in his professional and college career. It’s more likely driven by that then by any potential benefits from DHing.
In fact, IIRC research suggests that there’s a “penalty” to DHing and over sufficient samples players generally hit better when they play in the field.
The choice is basically McCann vs. Mullins against LHP. McCann may be a better hitter against LHP, but the difference in defense by playing Hicks in CF instead of Mullins is dramatic.
Starting McCann also creates a headache when you inevitably want to pinch hit for him later. You need to then put in Adley and lose the DH, and hope that Adley doesn’t suffer any injury that would require he leave the game.
Altogether I’d be surprised to see McCann starting in a playoff game, but it’s not out of the question.
I think it’s been overlooked how good and deep the Orioles’ left handed relievers are. Most teams with good bullpens generally will have one lefty out there on the level of Coulombe, Perez and Hall, and at most two. Even the great Orioles bullpens of past years didn’t have 3 quality lefty relievers like this. That’s a huge strength.
Pair that with the strength of the Orioles’ righty starters and the Orioles are really well situated for any matchup.