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September 29, 2011

Update on the GM front

We know Orioles owner Peter Angelos met for several hours Thursday with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail and field manager Buck Showalter.

We know they discussed MacPhail and his interest in stepping down from his post after four-plus years and an expiring contract at the end of October. We know they talked about Angelos' interest in having MacPhail stay around the organization in some capacity.

We know they discussed the best role for Showalter in 2012: staying in the dugout or moving into the front office.

But the resolution -- if it has been reached -- of those discussions has not been disclosed.

My guess is we'll get an announcement from MacPhail soon. And then we'll hear from Showalter early next week after he meets with his family in Texas this weekend.

Posted by Dan Connolly at 8:40 PM | | Comments (20)


In other words, absolutely nothing changed from what we were told yesterday. And the day before.

My guess, is that if I know McPhail, a.k.a. "secret squirrel", a.k.a. secret agent 000, a.k.a. not-so-cleverly clandestine, he keep his announcement as quiet as he can, for as long as can. As if the announcement will upset global peace. I've never seen someone so secretive about petty matters. McPhail has not made one major move during his time in Bmore, yet he has to have CIA operatives guarding his announcement, probably written on a 2x1 "post-it".

The organization has to be purged of Macphail, his memories and the fact that he was ever here. If any sports figure in Baltimore ever represented losing and resignation and acceptance to losing it was Macphail. His fixation on the payrolls of the Yankees and Red Sox as a barrier to winning leaned heavily on most of his personnel decisions. He will leave behind a second rate farm system, a poor player development team and the Orioles still have not begun an effort to scout the Caribbean. His departure would be addition by subtraction and Oriole fans can only hope that Peter Angelos is unable to retain him in any capacity. If the organization is to make a fresh start, the first step is parting ways with Andy Macphail. If you think small, you get same.

"We know they talked about Angelos' interest in having MacPhail stay around the organization in some capacity."

Why ? What for ? Just so PA can have his way. Just more PA control freakness.

Oh give the guy a break. All in all, Andy MacPhail did a pretty good job here. It's not his fault that the starting pitching fell apart this year.

Right on, Mark. It was the starting pitching that doomed the 2010 Orioles season.

Who brought in J.J. Hardy and Mark Reynolds, without whom 2010 would have been an absolute disaster instead of just a pitching disaster? A.M. did. Let's give credit where credit is due. Now let's go out there and buy some free agent starting pitchers.

Relying so heavily on Matusz, Tillman, and even Arrieta (imo), was not only short sighted, but absurd.

The contracts for Roberts and Markakis have proven to be horrible, but most people would have agreed with them at the time.

But acquiring Reynolds and Hardy was nothing short of brilliant. They finished 1 and 2 in OPS this year, well ahead of the supposed MVO Adam Jones.

We go through this same stand-off after every losing season. Buck said after the most gratifying win in a long time, that things were going to change beginning tomorrow. Tomorrow being yesterday. Other baseball organizations move swiftly, but the O's move at a snail's pace. Announcements will come when those at the top get ready to release them.The Oriole attendance this year proves that fans are way beyond tired of their celebration being keeping the Red Sox out of the playoffs. It's time for Baltimore fans to have a team that's in the chase. It's been way too long!

Awesome 'update' I can't wait to pay for epic journalism

Andy MacPhail did nothing to upgrade the starting pitching going into the 2011 season (Justin Duchscherer?!!!) and the results were disastrous.

The "grown" arms were not mature/talented/healthy enough to get the job done in 2011, and Jeremy Guthrie is nobody's idea of a # 1 starter.

The O's 2011 ERA of 4.89 was dead last in all of MLB. Even if you remove Matusz's historic ERA of 10.69, the reduced ERA of 4.68 would still be the worst in baseball. The O's pitching also finished last in Hits, runs, earned runs, home runs, and WHIP (they were 2nd worst in opposition batting average). Nestled near the O's in these categories were other luminaries like the Twins, Royals, and Astros.

Tampa Bay, on the other hand, finished 1st in the AL in WHIP, opposition batting average, hits, runs, and earned runs, and finished 2nd in ERA just behind the Angels.

Hitting-wise, the Orioles and the Rays were both in the middle of the AL pack in most offensive categories.

While the other playoff-bound teams in the AL are at the top end of the rankings in most offensive categories, the Royals aren't far behind them and the Red Sox at the top of many of these categories, so good offense may not be enough.

While the need for another big bat like Prince Fielder should be a priority, the next GM should not ignore the lack of depth among the starting pitching. Somehow a smaller-market team like Tampa Bay got to the playoffs in 2011 with a far better pitching staff than the O's but with a comparable quality of offense.

"He will leave behind a second rate farm system, a poor player development team and the Orioles still have not begun an effort to scout the Caribbean."

Meanwhile, our Dominican summer league team finished first in their league, and our top org. prospect this year was from Curacao........

I'm not a huge McPhail fan, but his tenure did bring about some good things.

First and foremost, the O's finally have a major league caliber spring training facility. That in and of itself is a big deal to players and free agents. Hard to even begin to take an organization seriously if their spring training weight room is under a canopy in the parking lot..

There have been some nice trades/signings made under his regime. Our young pitchers still need some work (stating the obvious), but that's more on the coaches than Andy. Coming into the season, our pitching staff had a lot of upside.

I'm ready for someone else's plan as Andy's didn't work the way it was supposed to. However, I do believe the organization as a whole is better than it was 4 years ago.

Geee....thanks for the update, but what has changed since three days ago?


Any word on the conspiracy theory that the Yanks intentially threw the game so the Sox would lose out? Surely, the Yanks had something to do with that sudden late inning collapse.



Dave Sept 30th 8:54 AM Do you know anything about baseball . All you people was so happy when we were going to get Macphail and Showalter.Now you want his head. If you all remember what he said when he first came to the Orioles . He told the people of Baltimore that if you had five or six kids , you would be lucky if one or two made it. Also look at some of the numbers of some Hall of famers , how bad they were when first came to the majors. You people make me sick . MacPhail didn't put us in this situation , and nither did Angelo's. It was the G.M.'s before him . None of them wanted to start at the bottom and build from there .I would like to know how many of you would have spent the money Mr. Angelo's have spent . It doesn't mater who they bring in . You won't be happy a year or two from now . Just shut up and let the people do their jobs.
Curt S.S. Md

@curt (and a few others),

You want us to "... just shut up and let people do their jobs ..."

What people? Angelos is universally viewed as the worst owner in all of professional sports. He has managed to run Hall-of-Fame GM Pat Gillick out of town alongside of well-respected manager Davey Johnson (days after being named Manager of the Year).

He is the only person I know of who's death will be deliriously celebrated for days on end. He has managed to somehow surpass the late "great" Robert Irsay as most despised public figure in Baltimore history.

I hate to be so coarse, but somebody needs to state reality.


Were you a lookout at Pearl Harbor? The EXACT reason the Orioles have had 14 losing seasons in a row is because of the 82 year old owner, Peter G. Angelos. Until he hired an over the hill GM in Andy Macphail, the Orioles had not even had a GM since Angelos fired Frank Wren in 1998. For ten years Angelos meddled and ran the team. He admitted it. He hired Andy Macphail as the perfect foil to lend some legitimacy to the fact that Angelos doesn't want to make the several hundred million dollar capital investment necessary to make the organization competitive in the American League East. Macphail was speaking for Angelos when he said that it wasn't fair how much money the Yankees and the Red Sox spend on their payroll.

Baseball experts such as Ken Rosenthal have lamented the fact that the Orioles don't seem to want to invest in scouting the Caribbean. In order to compete, the franchise will have to hire many more scouts, bring in top flight player development people, spend money on marquee talent and stop acting like a small market team, which they are not..

How about a Paul Richards deja vu? Buck as both GM and field Mgr, with an ass't GM to handle admin and negotiations. Perhaps also elevate a farm/scouting director to ass't GM as well. This latest rebuilding should be streamlined. Buck knows the personnel, here and elsewhere, and he should now know how he wants to mold the new Os (please, minus the zero 0's caps). But of course he'd have to be distanced from contract stuff etc. I have puzzled over several Buck moves, especially with the pitching staff, but he's the only choice now to get this organization back on track (and we know a good pitching coach who should be recalled to the job).
McPhail must exit.

Agree with Gil, the emphasis in new additions should be on quality pitchers. Pay up for at least two starting pitchers--not Prince Fielder.

Lefty nailed it on priority of pitching needs over Fielder.

For everyone above . Some of you have very good idea's . The rest of you are so dumb about baseball .
Curt S.S. Md

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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