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October 5, 2011

MacPhail could return to same role in 2012; would you be OK with that?

One thing I have learned from covering baseball for a long time is you never know as much as you think you do – about the game or what really goes on behind the scenes.

A month ago, I was convinced that Andy MacPhail was stepping down from his post as president of baseball operations and was going to ride into the sunset, and away from the game he has breathed for five-plus decades (yes, I am counting when he was a boy and followed his dad around Memorial Stadium, Yankee Stadium, etc).

Two weeks ago, I would have said there was an outside shot he’d remain with the club in some capacity when his contract expires Oct. 31.

Now, well now, I am starting to think MacPhail could remain as the club’s president in 2012. And that would mean Buck Showalter will stay in the dugout next year.

Every day there is not an announcement that MacPhail is leaving makes me think that MacPhail may not be leaving after all. That things are staying the same.

It’s not a complete stretch, just stick with me.

We know that team owner Peter Angelos met with MacPhail last Thursday, the day after the Orioles’ 14th losing campaign ended.

We know that Angelos likes and respects MacPhail and thinks the Orioles have a pretty good brain trust in MacPhail and Showalter.

We know that MacPhail likes Angelos; he’s been given ample opportunity over the years to offer excuses for why his plan hasn’t worked – and the easy excuse, the one that is nearly universally embraced by fans, is that he has been hamstrung by ownership.

Not only has MacPhail never used that one, but he continually states that Angelos has been good to work for and has never stood in the way of him doing his job.

We also can’t forget that Angelos said in March that MacPhail “isn’t going anywhere,” and Angelos is a man who usually gets what he wants.

So if he’s staying, what’s the holdup? I’m not sure exactly, but my guess is specifics are still being worked out and, until they are, a potential agreement could fall through, which would again spur talk of MacPhail leaving and Showalter to president/GM.

There's always the possibility that I am completely wrong, too; I wasn't in the meeting last Thursday. So the best conclusion is no final decision has been made involving any of this.

But would I be surprised if we find out that Andy is sticking around in the same exact role next year?

Nope, not now I wouldn’t.

Now I want to know if you’d be fine with that.

Daily Think Special: Would you be OK if MacPhail remains as team president in 2012?

Posted by Dan Connolly at 6:00 AM | | Comments (115)
Categories: Connolly's Corner Sports Bar
        

Comments

It has been written that Angelos has a close relationship with Showalter. That would hurt team morale because it would disrupt the normal chain of command. It would discourage MacPhail and make him want to leave. But classy men like MacPhail (and Pat Gillick) do not bad mouth their employers, they just leave, and take their talents elsewhere.

YES!!! I do NOT want MacPhail gone. I may be in the minority, but there is no denying that we've been moving in the right direction since MacPhail has gotten to Baltimore. I do not (and cannot) blame MacPhail for the inexplicable regression of so many of our important young cogs.


Continuity is the name of the game. Sometimes players need a new manager or coaches to shake things up; this is not one of those times. The Orioles need continuity from the front office down (although a revamped scouting and development department would make all of Baltimore happy). I'm too lazy to research the number of pitching coaches we've had over the past 14 seasons, but it hasn't. been pretty. The same goes for managers.
The MacPhail "experiment" is not over, as the short-sighted commenters believe. MacPhail came to an organization which could not win at the major league level and had no minor league talent to boot! In 4 years, he restocked the minors and brought some young talent to the majors to hold the fort. I estimate that 2014 is the year we NEED to see results. That meaning we need a winning season, and we need to be playoff contenders. If that doesn't happen, then MacPhail will probably be deservedly gone. Until then, I think the Baltimore "faithful" need to realize how hard it is to rebuild an organization from the ground up.
I do not usually comment here, and I know that my comments will not be read by anyone of importance... but I felt the need to express my minority opinion that MacPhail deserves another contract, if only to detract from the masses crying for a "what-have-you-done-for-me-lately" change.

The distressing thing is that we're back to the 1960's, with professional warehouse-watchers like Mr. Connolly replacing the professional Soviet-watchers of my youth. Were Angelos and McPhail standing at a different angle to each other in this year's official portrait? Who is the man in sunglasses on the edge of the podium? How many different ways can that one word in the press release be translated? I'm not suggesting that the Orioles administration is a corrupt, evil, secretive dictatorship, just pointing out that it has adopted the public-relations policies of one.

I could accept that and still consider it a huge step forward if three things happened. 1. Bring CAL in in a high capacity able to base in baltimore such as being in charge of player developement. 2. A major change and commitment to international players and a big increase in scouting. 3. Buck getting assurance and backing they will target the players he wants and needs over the winter.

Yes, I would be OK with Andy staying. Fans will always have something to rant about regardless of who the GM or manager is. Earl Weaver could be back in the dugout and soon enough, folks would start griping about something he did. My point is, what this franchise needs more than anything is some stability. 10 managers in 20 years since Angelos began ownership and I can't even count the number of GM's.

You gotta be kidding, what kind of question is this? I think you already know the answer! The one thing that I would have liked to have done, but now looks impossible, just in case this exact situation were to arise. Was to obtain a "Battering Ram" an honest to goodness "Medieval Battering Ram” to crash into the "Warehouse" in protest, unfortunately, one does not exist in the state of Maryland. Plus, the level of trouble that you and your associates can get into is pretty steep if you go thru with such a "Plan". Just refer to the classic movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”; just as he (John Cleese) crosses the bridge, he gets himself arrested. That’s no good, so another good idea goes by the wayside. Very disappointing!

PS Brain Trust??? More like "Fool Trust" when Andy MacPhail is involved.

Dan; With out a doubt , I would be okay with that . I think he's been truthful in everything he has said . I think he knows what he's doing , and I think if the fans would shut up he will bring a winner to Baltimore . Does that answer your question ?
Curt S.S. Md
Dan , Please reply !!!

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I replied. And I agree, you can certainly criticize moves MacPhail has made, but his honesty has never been in question -- and that can't always be said for those in his position.

I have for a long time been saying I think Andy will remain. Too I have been advocating this as you say because he has done many positive things for the orgainzation. True he has made some mistakes. But what human, no matter their expertise and effort, does not. So let he PERFECT People that group together as Nay Sayers continue with deriding his efforts.
Hopefully he will correct what I have come to beleive to be the Achilles Heel of the Orgainzation- Development and Souting. Development is obviously in most need. Spending money on prospects without an effective system is wasting resourses. Scouting needs to be expanded to include international while funding an increae in this tallent base. Add more scouting that is Excellent.
I think Andy enjoys the intensity of Buck. Too I think he accepots the push from Buck to Hurry the process. Andy can be more Stoic and Pensive than Buck. Buck will take more risks than Andy. This is the Balance needed to run this organization.

So Horray for Peter and his push to keep Consistency and Contiuity. It is a Key to All Winners in management.

It makes no material difference whether McPhail stays or leaves. A new GM -- Showalter, John Hart, or some whiz kid -- would still have to deal with the same insurmountable problem named Peter Angelos.

If Angeloser keeps MacFAIL as GM it will be a sure sign that he's committed to maintaining his firm grasp of the bottom position in the AL East. Following the non-moves he made in LAST year's off-season, MacFAIL said that he and the team should "now be judged on our wins and losses." The team went on to finish with a record of 66-96. He should have been fired THEN. Given yet another opportunity this season, MacFAIL's team finished only 3 games better. If I had this kind of track record with my clients, I would have been out of a job YEARS ago. Yet Angeloser seems to love rewarding failure by having a hapless, ignorant, clueless yes man around him like MacFAIL. If Angeloser won't sell this team — as he should, since he's an apathetic, cheap, idiot of an owner — the least he can do is replace the GM who has kept this team in the cellar for his entire tenure.

I am fine with the present regime, and the promise of the youth movement.

Who cares. Does it really matter.

Dan, I wouldn't have a problem with that, provided that serious steps are taken to resolve the player development issues. I really don't think, in Andy's defense, that talent acquisition has been the reason the team has failed to improve. The disaster that was Matusz's season, and Tillman's failure to progress, aren't Andy's failures. The blame lies in the player development department, and whichever of the Stockstill's is running that show. If that rather major area can be properly addressed, there is no reason that this team can't get better with MacPhail in his current role, and I'd have no problem with him staying.

If Andy isn't hamstrung by ownership, then he definitely needs to go. He's brought in prospects and has a good philosophy, but he's too timid, especially with FA, to ever have this team turn the corner. It's time to move on.

I'm OK with AM staying on.

The scouting dep't (who drafted poorly - Rowell, Hobgood and the rest who never panned out) should be let go.

Why are the RS, Tampa and Jays farm systems teeming with talent?

Also need to get the pitching coach situation straightened out. Kranitz was the answer (it seems). Find another Kranitz.

MacPhail “isn’t going anywhere.” I remember Angelos sitting next to MacPhail in Sarasota last spring, saying with authenticity and authority these words. Everytime, I have heard that this or that may happen, these words rise in my consciousness. Are the O's better off in 2011 than when MacPail took over in 2007? I would say a clear "yes," even though the wins and losses have not significantly changed for the better. Do we have a ways to go? "Yes." Does MacPhail have the wisdom and experience to keep the path of improvement going? "Yes." His good deals at the trade deadline reflect that he is still on the O's case. I think that he and Buck are the best partnership yet. We have had only one full year of them together. For the sake of stability and further progress, I think that MacPhail staying would be as good a moment for the organization much like the last game was for excitement.

I don't know what they're doing, but it makes me crazy that nothing is easy or smooth with this organization. They can make picking something off of McDonald's dollar menu an agonizing decision making process.

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Post of the day. Drink chip your way, sir.

There is a lot to be said for continuity. I think the less disruption to what is currently going on would be the best way to go.

I have a lot of respect for Andy and while he has failed mostly in the free agent signings, I see him as someone who will learn from his mistakes.

I also believe Peter has seen that the checkbook has to be opened a litle more than maybe he and Andy first thought.

Bring him back.

Well, at this point I have to think: who else? Isn't it almost more beneficial to keep the regime going for a few more years and see if consistency is the answer? I know MacPhail has been here for four years, but the revolving door at head coach seems to have come to an end.

Other than that, I'm almost happy to see him go just so we don't have to see anymore "McFAIL" postings online -- yes, we see what you did there, and no, it's not clever, not even when you capitalize all of it, as if we wouldn't understand what you did if it wasn't in caps.

Is it possible that MacPhail stays on as President of Baseball Operations, but we see a new general manager step in? It seems like those two jobs could easily be split and then each be done more effectively.

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I am sure that's been kicked around, but I don't see it.

I would be ok with it. I have been following the Orioles closely since I joined the Marines in 2003 and I have to say he has done a better job than anyone for them in recent years. I think they need to re-tool their player development coaches and scouts. That is where we suffer.

Who cares, we won't sign anybody who would make a difference anyway. No matter who has the job the orioles are a long ways off from winning. Their minor league players suck, Nick keeps getting worse every season, Adam Jones is going to ditch us the first chance he gets. Our player development sucks, first round draft picks like hobgood, rowell, synder instills confidence in the orioles.

*ahem* NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't think McPhail has been all that bad (though the team has, all too often). He has made a number of good trades, landing Jones, Reynolds, Hardy, perhaps even Hunter, Davis and Strop. He has not enjoyed much success from the free agents he has signed (Lee, Guerrero, dare-I-mention Atkins) haven't produced at a level much above replacement value. In fact, signing Guerrero ultimately forced Reimold from the roster, yet Reimold's production this year, adjusted to Guerrero's at bats, would have resulted in him leading the team in RBI ($8 million wasted?). But, if McPhail is going to stay, the Orioles really need to overhaul their player development program. They have not drafted well, not recruited well on the international scene and not developed players very well. Some of Showalter's comments in the last couple of months have alluded to the player development problem. So I have no problem with him staying on but upgrading that system has to be a priority if the Orioles are going to succeed.

Groundhog Day for 14, and apparently now 15, frickin' years!

Absolutely not. Him staying is just delaying the implementation of a new plan another year, as his plan clearly is not working anywhere near the way it was expected to.

If Angelos usually gets what he wants he must not want the Orioles to be winners. 0 for 14 (0%) doesn't come close to usually getting what you want. That means he must not want it and should just sell the team to someone who does.

Yes, I would with the following provision. The organization has to revamp its entire minor league system. I want to see the affiliates to become an almost single entity in terms of mindset and approach. This is for player selection, coaching styles, approach to pitching and accountability of player advancement. I would like to see a plan on approach to the next three drafts: are we at a point to really focus on college -more near ready- players or for top level picks are we really to wait on the high school picks to develop.

I like Andy and if it is a good team with Buck I like that too. But, we need to make some drastic changes, and ones that can be seen happening by the fan base.

I would not be ok with that at all. McPhail is conservative, deliberate and not at all creative with regards to improving the O's. He is clearly the 5th best GM in the AL East and it's really not close. Anthopoulos is working circles around him.

He has proven he is incapable of making the team a winner let alone a playoff contender.

He is a penny pincher for this crappy owner. That's a big reason why Angelos loves him.

Moot point if the changes are not made in player selection and development areas. The minor leagues are weak and the prospects are weak; draft picks have been suspect.a s long as the organization goal is to not lose 100 games a year/discussion is fruitless.

MacPhail isn't the problem.

Been thinking the same thing. Yes, there needs to be improvement, but they are on the right track. Not McPhail's fault, or Showalter's, that Roberts got hurt and the whiz kid pitchers fizzled. Still, this club was a vast improvement over 2010, despite the record, and a couple of smart moves for another bat and pitching would cure a lot of woes.

MacPhail has made far more good moves than bad ones. The problem is the owner who is not willing to spend the kind of money needed to build a contender.

The Orioles in 1988 finished with the worst record of its modern era (54-107, .335). It was their third straight losing season and only five years removed from winning it all.

As hard as it might be to imagine now, the farm system went from two decades of being the envy of baseball to a state actually worse than at any time during this current 14-year losing season streak.

Nevertheless, the Orioles produced an 87-75 record in 1989 with smart trades and clever signings. And despite the ill-fated -- and in my opinion, then and now, ill-conceived -- Glenn Davis trade, the Orioles rebounded to have winning records five times from 1992 to 1997.

After four years on the job, MacPhail's Orioles have yet to have a 70-win season. The grow-the-arms portion of the team's mantra has resulted dead last results in every category that has the "run" in it. Dead last in ERA, runs, earned runs, and home runs. Dead last in hits, too.

Norfolk -- a nice city in a nice area that also deserves better -- was even further below .500 than the parent team.

MacPhail has had time. And while he may not parade Angelos out as being the problem with him getting more results (perhaps reason enough for him perhaps being wanted back), it has been mentioned more than once in different capacities that the woeful Orioles should be pitied for being in the division they're in.

Nice theory. Except, once again, the facts say something else. The Orioles are 24 games under .500 over the last three years in games outside their own division (123-147, .456).

But, you know what? I'm not totally against MacPhail returning. If that sounds ironic, wait to you see my reasoning ...

The Orioles are (still) so inept at looking to the future and, therefore, preparing for the future, they might be better off having MacPhail give it one more go than the sure-to-be ugly process of hiring someone and having them get used to their surroundings. If Showalter's future is strictly front office as has been speculated (don't you just love how fans and sports writers are left to only speculate), that would mean two more people to be hired -- an executive type with procedural experience and a field manager.

The "nuggets" the Orioles do have would be in disarray after the newest regime gives the other 29 teams a two-month head start in the off-season.

And that's not all.

Whether Angelos still clings onto the notion of telling us so after all these years or not becomes irrelevant. He may just authorize the resources for MacPhail to be able to exit in glory that he might otherwise be leary of doing with someone else.

If MacPhail is given -- and accepts -- one more year, maybe the Orioles can also put in place a smooth transition to whatever 2013 brings. If the Orioles perform the transition now, it is more likely they will experience all kinds problems than it is the Rams move back to L.A. and win the Super Bowl this year.

If it does happen, that's me in the corner losing my religion.

Dan,

Are you kidding me? If Macphail stays the Orioles can look forward to 20 losing seasons in a row. He is a dithering incrementalist in a situation that has called for a fireman. Anybody who is in favor of Macphail staying is suffering from Stockholm syndrome

If he Macphail stays it is a clear signal from Peter G. Angelos that he does not intend to inject the serious capital investments necessary to bring the team to a competitive level in the AL East.

Twenty losing seaons in a row. With Angelos still alive and the owner, and with Macphail as GM...that won't be very hard to do. And I'm sure there will still be a few complicit idiots waving Oriole pennants and chanting "O" at the National anthem.

Several posters made the comment that the team's biggest problem is player development. Maybe he failed in adding starting pitching to the roster, but wasn't the roster already full of proising starting pitching. AMP has done a good job of adding talent to the roster. IT's the minor leagues which are failing. It don't even think it has much to do with the drafting department either. Jordan has done a pretty good job of drafting and signing his picks. He can be blamed for a couple selections, but for the most part he took guys right where they should go, and he shouldn't be faulted for farm system not being able to maximize talent.

My opinion is that Buck shoud go where he'd be the most help. He'd be the most help in the player development field. Give him complete atonomy to develop players the way he see's fit. Give him input to every coaching hire through the system. Make AMP the GM, not VP of BO. Give AMP control of the major league club's roster, player movement, and let Buck handle the rest. Let Buck oversee the scouting department, let him decide if Jordan Stockstill's etc. are the right people for their jobs.

However my opinion is that AMP isn't staying. I think the delay is coming from the organization wanting to have people lined up or in place for jobs once they announce AMP is leaving, and they are probably trying to negociate with him for a consultant role.

McPhail can stay, everybody else under him in Player development has to go. All the people from strength and conditioning to scouts has to go, this is an unprofessional group that got and keep there jobs because of there relationship with the Owner.

It has to change Now!

What we really need is a pitching coach who can connect with these young pitchers. They ALL took a couple of steps backward last year.

The fact that you have 36 replies within a few hours shows the passion that many of us still have for the Orioles, which is nothing short of remarkable at this point.

Unfortunatelty, I have to echo the "what does it matter?" sentiments of some others. No reasonable person could think a change in anything other than ownership would make a difference to this organization.

It's unbelievable that we still speculate on the next G.M., manager, clean-up hitter, etc...like it matters in a disfunctional organization that can't (or doesn't want to) use their MASN money to improve Latin player development, advanced scouting, etc.

In the words of Bill Murray in Meatballs, It just doesn't matter.

I would have mixed feelings about this, but would be okay with it on one condition.

Overall, changing GMs would leave me less than satisfied because 1) it would mean MacPhail quitting on his commitments, 2) from fans' perspective it would mean a window-dressing change without any real improvements to the organization (we would be pitched the whole "we have a good plan, fans just need to be patient, etc..." BS all over again), and 3) fans have zero confidence that Angelos can make a good GM hiring decision (either he'll pick someone he trusts who is a terrible GM- like Thrift- or he'll pick someone capable that he isn't close with and undermine him at every opportunity).

So here's my argument if that is the path Angelos/MacPhail want to take, and we need the Sun's help on this. I would allow it only IF Angelos/MacPhail make SPECIFIC commitments about what they are going to do to improve this team. How much are they willing to spend on team salary? How hard are they going to work to land GOOD free agents (rather than the scrap heap acquisitions MacPhail prefers)? What are they going to do to establish a real international presence? All too often MacPhail has simply thrown up his hands and feigned powerlessness to face any of these issues, and this team will never be a success if that continues.

In addition, what specific things are they going to do organizationally to improve the system's ability to find and develop great baseball players (an inarguable failure, and things definitely need to change here)? What goodwill gestures are they going to make to fans who have endured 14 straight miserable seasons, bought into countless rebuilding plans and a whole lot of broken promises, and truly suffered (all while Angelos has been lining his pockets with record profits)? Are they going to reduce the price of ticket plans and eliminate the obscene "walk-up tax"? What else will they do to take the initiative in rebuilding fractured relationships with the fanbase?

Angelos and MacPhail will probably balk at making specific commitments, but at this point they have both lost all credibility and goodwill with fans. If they want fan support (which I'm not sure) this is what they would need to do to win mine.

ps- and the litmus test on these promises will be quick. No "three year plan" this time around- fans need to see REAL improvements by spring training, or else I for one am going to find a different team.

No more Andy. The game has passed him by. Cliches like "grow the arms" are no substitute for a real overall strategy and sound judgment at the talent-evaluation level.

As for Buck, he seems to be more interested in erasing his old image as a micro-manager and tough guy than actually winning games. Okay, Buck, we see you're a "player's manager." Now how about winning some games?

Not only don't we get players in their primes (with few exceptions). We don't get management-level guys in their primes either.

He can stay as long as Angelos/Orioles don't care if I cancel my season tickets and will not re-up until they have a winning team.

Yes, I would be ok if Andy MacPhail returns next season. People always just want something new and somehow believe that will resolve the O's issues. It's simply not true. As a former scout who knows many people in the business, I know MacPhail is well-respected and for good reason.

MacPhail is a solid GM who has made many more good moves than bad ones. We have guys like Adam Jones, Chris Tillman, and Troy Patton as a result of trades. Does anybody really miss Erik Bedard or Miguel Tejada? If you really do, quite frankly, you're not worth listening to anyway! What about getting J.J. Hardy for basically a bag of baseballs from the Twins? The Twins are now looking for an everyday SS. I'd say MacPhail did a great job there.

So, let's move forward with the off-season. Hopefully, we'll have an answer on the GM/Manager front soon so we can do so. Ideally, we get Prince Fielder. Hear me out. Yes, I understand his price-tag will be extremely high and his weight issues are well-documented. However, he was drafted in 2002 and his weight issues were well-documented then yet he continues to play at an MVP level. With him in it, the O's lineup can finally legitimately compete with the beasts in the AL East. The O's can rotate Fielder, Reynolds, and Chris Davis between 1B/3B/DH.

There are really no free agent pitchers that will present a solution, so unfortunately, we'll have to rest our fortunes on the young pitchers bouncing back.

Trading Guthrie makes sense, but only if the return is worth it. Our biggest holes are in LF (sorry, not sold on Reimold) and at 2B (no way to depend on Roberts and Andino is a utility guy). I can't see Guthrie netting us an upgrade at either spot.

Bottom line is I hope MacPhail chooses to stay which would keep Buck in the dugout where he is best at this point in his career. He, along with Buck and Joe Jordan (Scouting Director), has the O's headed in the right direction. The results weren't there as everybody hoped this season, but a knee-jerk fan reaction saying he must go will not improve the team. I'm confident MacPhail is a better GM than anybody else the O's could obtain.

Sure, he can stay.

I just love to see FA signings like Garrett Atkins, Justin Duchscherer, Mike Gonzalez and Mark Hendrickson.

If the deal is he can make trades but must have no involvement with FA signings I could live with another year of slow motion.

But if he comes back in the same capacity we need to be prepared for another few years of losing.

yeah I would. honestly now. who's going to be better that would actually come here?

He is a average run producer, slow on the bases and a so so glove. Besides who elese would be willing to take the job.

I would prefer Andy M. stay on for a few more years - the stability of him being there has been refreshing and while his silence can be maddening at times in regards to signings and such - it appears he is always doing his best and what he believes is best for the O's - a change would not be good at this time

Until this organization makes a big splash on a stud free agent (why, hello Prince!) AND revamps the player development system (see ya later Jordan and the Stockstills!) AND dives into the international free agent market, there's no way they're going to compete with the other chumps of the AL, let alone the big boys.

Is Andy MacPhail going to be the GM to do all of those things? If the answer to that question is "NO" (and given his history, I don't see why it wouldn't be), then there's no way he should stick around for another year.

Of course, that's the logical decision. But we have to remember that we're talking about an organization headed by Peter Angelos. Logic doesn't here, folks.

McPhail has been a great trader-Jones, Hardy etc. The Os will win/lose next year based on pitching, particularly starters. I trust Andy's trading ability to land a pitcher. What is amazing is how bad the free agent signings have been. It may be time to unload a prospect before their star dims too much to get a proven pitcher. Or else you have to overpay for a free agent pitcher to make Os a place to play. Andy can do that. Continuity counts. If he fails we could make Andy the starting pitcher on Labor Day.

I have a mixed opinion on this. From the outside it appears Andy deliberates so long he limits his choices when he finally makes a decision (see Kevin M. above). However, we are better off now than 4 1/2 years ago. We have a good Spring Training site and an experienced manager in place and the minors seem to have more talent in the lower levels. We need to remember that Justin Verlander LOST 17 games before he won 17. I think our pitching may still come around in a year or so we are all just out of patience now.
I think the delay is either to have his replacement named or they are looking at other changes such as player development or maybe adding someone under Andy to take over when he does leave. I am guessing that whatever the delay it is probably from something Buck wants in staff or control which may be a good sign for the future.

MacPhail is a solid baseball man with tons of experience. One thing we should remember is that the fans who comment here are NOT professional and experienced baseball people. They are FANS. Period. And despite their loud and sometimes obnoxious proclamations, they do NOT know better than experienced, professional baseball people.

This year, MacPhail brought in at least 4 important new components to the O's future - Mark Reynolds, J.J. Hardy, chris Davis, and Pedro Strop. The Dereek Lee and Vlady moves were mostly to placate fans; they certainly weren't moves for the future. Now maybe MacPhail can bring us 3 new and established starting pitchers to go along with Guthrie and Britton. Then the "kiddy corps" can stay down on the farm where they belong until they FORCE the O's to bring them up. The kids all need to learn to command their pitches (especially throw strikes), get ahead in the count, change speeds, and pitch to contact instead of trying strike everybody out by nibbling at (and missing) the corners. Then maybe they can go 7 innings or more, even, God forbid, throw complete games.

If A.M. has as much success bringing in starting pitching as he had bringing in Reynolds, Hardy, Davis and Strop, the O's might actually break above .500 for the first time since the Cretaceous Period.

I'm fine with Andy another year. I just want Showalter evaluating the talent.

I'm not so sure much of what has happened is MacPhail's fault. I think much more blame goes to Joe Jordan and an incredibly inept scouting system. They draft very poorly and after all these years of losing and having high draft picks you'd think the O's would at least have a powerful minor league system. They do not....one of the worst. That's Jordan's fault. And at the top it's all about Angelos. It's been said a thousand times (and probably by me) he is a horrid owner that really doesn't care much about winning. If he can win the world series and make $10 less than finishing with the worst record in all of baseball he'd rather finish last. That's his god.....money! As long as Angelos is the owner you won't have top names in Baltimore. All this talk about Prince Fielder.....FORGET IT....NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. You are going to end up with what is in place or someone like Carlos Pena. I'm surprised MacPhail would even want the job because as long as Angelos is the owner this team will always be in 5th place.

I think MacPhail and Showalter make a good team for running the major league team, but SOMEONE needs to step up or be appointed to oversee the Os scouting and player development systems. Once upon a time, the O's had one of the best farm systems in baseball, and while it has become almost a cliche, from Rookie ball to the big league, you learned to do things the Oriole Way. There was continuity throughout the Orioles system from the way scouts went out to evaluate talent to the way that talent was developed. Once we get back to drafting and developing good players, MacPhail and Showalter will have some talent to both add to the O's roster and to offer as trade material.

MacPhail's contract doesn't end until the end of the month. Why would there be any sort of announcement before then?

I guess the fact that I bother to read these blogs is proof that there still exists some spark of empathy, but I have to think that I'm emblematic of Peter's bigger problem. I used to be a 29 game plan owner. Gave those up about 8 years ago. I did not go to a single game this year. First time in 20 years. I don't think I even watched a complete game on TV. He's finally got me to the point that I just don't care. I won't bore you with references to deck chairs and the Titanic.......

Haven't gone through the 52 comments to this point, but the second poster "Michael K" is dead on right.

A new GM whom the owner trusts less than Andy MacPhail and is, therefore, given less authority to make signings, trades, etc. would most likely NOT be an improvement. Is there anyone available out there that Peter Angelos would give even the same amount of free reign as MacPhail?

If the answer is Buck Showalter, then would Angelos be comfortable enough to allow him to fly solo as a first time GM?

What I see happening is that MacPhail and Showalter will both remain in their current positions, but with Buck taking on increasing amounts of the GM responsibilities until Angelos feels that he is up to speed on the business side of the job. Angelos will persuade MacPhail to stick around next season to serve as a mentor while slowly easing out of the job.

I believe that was what Angelos was trying to do with Mike Flanagan. He probably thinks that Flanny's two co-GMs were to blame for the situation not working out.

What do we need 20 years of losing in a row???Losers hold on to losers because they think they can win. 5 years is plenty of time to turn around any franchise. We've improved at manager yet still stink. We've improved at SS, catcher, center field right field, 3B, DH and left field yet we are as bad to day as we were under Trembly and before him. We have better younger arms that failed to mature and produce. Like I said, losers continue holding on to losers because they think they will win. Definition, in some circles anyway, of insane thinking...The new Oriole way I'm sorry to say. Hire 20 really good scouts PA, and a new GM.

Doesn't matter if he stays or not as long as P.A. is signing the checks. Cue "The Who": "Meet the new Boss... same as the old Boss".

If McPhail maintains that Angelos has not prevented him from doing his job the past 4 years, then that means that McPhail has no excuses. He has done a terrible job all by himself.
*Farm system is an absolute mess
*Starting pitching is just good enough to finish 5th in 2012
*No .300 hitters
*No 100 RBI bats
*No closer (please use Johnson)
*No LF,3B, or 1B (Reynolds is a DH)
*straight yrs of losing. less than 70 wins all four seasons

If the current management stays, then there has to be some change in the scouting dept and pitching coaches, from the major league level all through the minors. I dont think Mcphail has done a bad job overall aquiring what he can to fill holes with what he has to work with. As has been said many times, it all goes back to pitching, and if you have that many young pitchers that ultimately fail to progress and perform at the AAA and major league level, then it has to be the evaluation of talent, and the coaching they are getting, both in the minor leagues on up to the majors. Obviously the O's would love to have a staff like the Phillies and the corners like the stinkin yankees, but i doubt if that is going to happen. So offset it by developing young pitchers that you can both get to the majors, and maybe use to trade for big bats when needed. And that would be when, and maybe if, the O's ever become a relevent contender again.

KEEP McPhail... until his young assistant is ready... Buck belongs on the field... the minor league cycle is longer then McPhail has been here, and he needs to stay and keep building.

If MacPhail stayed and did his job, you know, like fielding a competitive team, then I'd support it.

But if Year Five will be like years 1-4, then please leave.

Dan, thanks for your coverage. I think it is time for McPhail to go. I believe that the franchise is in a better state than it was four years ago. He stocked the team with young pitching talent, and with Jones, Wieters, and even though he is by no means a certainty, Machado, has put together the skeleton of a talented young team. However, the lack of player development is the problem. It seems the Orioles have, for years, lagged behind in terms of scouting and player development. International scouting seems to be an especially weak spot within the organization. These are all structural changes that I doubt will be resolved without a new pair of hands.

Andy has done a lot for the organization, but ultimately not enough. It's time for somebody whose able to alter the organization as a whole and someone who will is able to take more risks with free agents and development projects. A slow mechanical approach was necessary to bring some stability and talent to the organization. But now, major changes are still needed.

Why the passion for Showalter & why would we want him evaluating the talent?? It was Buck that took 140 games to realize Gregg is NOT a closer when fans knew it back in May. It was Buck that could NOT see Lee was not a 3-hole hitter even though he had the WORST MLB avg with runners on. It was Buck that opened the season with THREE SS's & NO backup Catcher. It was Buck that could NOT see that Vlad did NOT belong in cleanup spot. It was Buck that kept running Matuz out there when everyone could see that he need be shut down. NO I do NOT want to see Buck in front office - while he's a mediocre Mgr, he's doing less damage there then he would in front office.

Daily Think Special: Would you be OK if MacPhail remains as team president in 2012?

Thanks for asking, Dan, but the opinions of us lowly fans hardly count in this matter. Also unlike an election is the fact that we have no idea who else - if anyone - is being considered for the job, so the "incumbent" has the advantage in this regard.

I'll put it this way: I have no faith that Angelos and co. would try and/or succeed in replacing MacPhail with anyone as good or better.

I think MacPhail is pretty good when it comes to trades, but he has come up woefully short in FA signings. His "there's no such thing as a bad one-year deal" motto is garbage; his one-year deals have resulted in consecutive one-year losing seasons. Guerrero, Duchscherer, Atkins, et al. eat up too much payroll and take up space on the roster that could be better used to evaluate younger players.

Also, his day-late-dollar-short approach to signing A-list FAs has netted no player of significance. His penchant for "letting the market settle" has resulted in overpaying for "(c)losers" Mike Gonzalez and Kevin Gregg just to fill a roster need.

While it's not his fault that the young starting pitchers struggled in 2011, it's his fault that he didn't sign any veteran starters to provide badly needed depth and leadership (and who thinks that Jeremy Guthrie should be a # 1 starter?).

Our international scouting is still inadequate and our farm system is nothing to envy. Our pitching staff finished last in many major categories.

So after being beaten down from 14 straight losing seasons, I'd be "OK" with MacPhail staying on another year, as he could be worse, but you know what they say about faint praise.

I really thought I was gonna be in the minority here, but so far there are 52 comments and most of the posters are in agreement with the way that I look at it. i mean Andy didn't hit the ball that struck Bergy, he didn't cause the oblique on Brian M., he didn't give Brob the freakin' concussions. He made some pretty nice trades, albeit most of them involving the Cubs, Yeah, I think with Buck bringing in the Texas connection, that keeping Andy would be OK. I mean, anybody who has a dog named Brooks can't be all bad. We can't, however, have business as usual. We HAVETO, get busy in the dominican and Venezuela etc. Also, we have to implement the old "oriole way" in every stage of our minor league affiliates. We need to have guys who know what a bunt is, how to advance runners, how to hit the cut-off guys everything like that. We need them to have those abilities all through the minors so when they get to the Yard it won't be a surprise when the 3rd base coach flashes the suicide squeeze sign and the guy looks like the deer in the headlights. It's called "player development" for a reason.

My opinion doesn't matter. Andy will stay or he will go, and I'll still be rooting for the O's.
What I don't want to see is a new field manager. I think the constantly revolving door there has helped nobody and some stability, especially with the coaches is important.
McPhail has made some good moves and some god-awful ones, but in the end the reason the O's did so poorly this year was because the starters just plain stunk for the first two thirds of the season. The team improved offensively, though not as much as they should have, but the pitching was abominable, and is what sunk them ultimately. Last year they finished up looking great, so what happened? Buck got rid of Krannitz, Connor started messing with everyone's delivery, and then he abandoned them a couple months into the season so they had still another new guy to get used to. I really do wonder if the O's might have been a decent team this year if Buck had simply kept Kranny on board and let him finish what he'd started.
The way the O's played down the final stretch against tough teams shows that they are really not all that far away from being competitive. The pitchers seem to finally be responding well to the latest PC, so leave him and the rest of the coaching staff alone and see if they can right the ship.
If that means keeping Andy another year as well (most GM's will want to install their own FM), then so be it.

This is a response to Jim above. WAKE UP. Do you really think MacFAIL is "a solid baseball man with tons of experience"? Really? Take a look at his track record and think again. The championship teams that he "oversaw" in Minnesota were in place before he ever got there. All he did was wreck that franchise before coming to Chicago and doing the same to the Cubs. MacFAIL has been getting by solely on his family name since he started in this business. And of the four "important new components" you listed that he brought on board, only Hardy has really proven himself. Reynolds is a K machine who strikes out more than 5 times for every homer he hits. He also can't play the field, logging 31 errors this year. The jury is still out on Davis and Strop. Think we fans don't know more than "experienced, professional baseball people"? Read "Moneyball," or if you're incapable of reading, as I suspect you are, go see the movie. It just may open your eyes. Then again, probably not. Sometimes there's nothing dumber than a Snore-ioles fan who delights in giving proven losers extra opportunities to fail.

it would be fine with me if andy macphail stayed.the orioles certainly could or would not get anyone of signicance to replace him. i just wish an announcement had been made last friday. it is total nonsence to make everyone wait,andy knows what he wants to do

Having Andy back would be great, along with the Stockstills and Jordan, its awesome drafting bad, developing nobody and giving players like Vlady and Atkins one last hope of putting on a major league uniform. In all seriousness Pete in the owners box trivializes all the moves we should or shouldn't make.

I am also totally fine with keeping Andy. In fact, I hope we do. As long as everyone in management is in good communication. let's have some continuity (for a change!)It's not his fault that Nick, Vlad, Luke, and others didn't hit in April and May when the pitching was good and that the young pitchers didn't pitch as expected from mid-June to August. I think our worst move has been the revolving door of pitching coaches. (Should have kept Kranitz.)

McPhail is so-so, I think. He has definitely identified the right way that the Orioles have to compete: through the draft and player development. Just that is important enough. The low minors are looking pretty solid in terms of talent. He has also done some fine trades when it has involved unloading veterans.

But I think he's too conservative with stockpiling young talent, allowing prospects to turn into suspects and not taking chances in the trade market. The Orioles' low presence in Latin America, which one Orioles reporter responding to a question on this blog attributed to him and not Angelos, is distressing. And his signing of stopgap players, although not really that important in the grand scheme of things, has been dismal. But at least he hasn't saddled the team with albatross contracts (Gregg being the potential exception) in the process, recognizing these guys as stopgaps and nothing more.

So it's mixed feelings from me. I would like to see some more boldness: trading Jones, who's sure to go in 2 years, or re-signing him to a mid-range deal; willing to peddle prospects/young players for more prospects as needs arise (if he had dealt some excess prospect arms for position prospects a few years ago that would have been a good move); not willing to settle for small development victories (so-called nuggets like Andino).

Remember what happen to the young pitchers after changing the pitching coach? Keep everyone in place and make one addition: sign Texas Ranger pitcher Wilson to lead the staff.

I think that Andy stays as GM and Buck remains Manager in the dugout but with an equal say on evaluating talent, FA acquisitions and trades plus who stays and who goes.

Then my guess would be that Cal is brought into the Front Office Organisation to train under Andy as his probable successor. When Commissioner of Baseball opens up, Andy moves into that job and Cal and Buck become the new Front Office/Dugout Team.

I do not understand why so many fans come down on the owner, who has show a willingness to over spend on players and does not appear to be a micro manager.

The major problems appear to be scouting and development. Every team in our division out ranks the Orioles in finding prospects and getting them to the majors according to Baseball America.

Lets bring in a new management faces to fix this!

I very much hope AM stays- at least in some capacity. I think Buck is best in the dugout and- contrary to a lot of critics- overall I think AM has does a good job here, especially considering the mess he inherited. Still, if he does stay- whether it be as President or a different role- he needs help. Something that has become crystal clear to me this year more than ever is how weak we are in the scouting and player development. MacPhail can't possibly have his hands in all these things. He is at the mercy of trusting his advisors who are more directly involved, especially in regards to who to draft. I'm not sure if the onus is more on Jordan or not, but we need some serious help in all these behind the scenes categories. One of the intriguing things in all of this is where things are ultimately/hopefully setting up for Cal to transition into the picture as a part of the front office in some kind of capacity. My preference (apart from primary desire of Cal to one day own the franchise) is for Cal to assist AM at first, then hopefully take over in a larger role once AM eventually does transition out.

The penny pinching moves of McFail have done this once-proud franchise a great disservice.

Remember when we passed on signing a much more productive Vlad when he was still in his prime, because of what? a few million dollars?

Remember when we passed on signing Texiera?

This team will continue to struggle with McFail. That said, in his defense, the next GM, whoever that will be, will need several years, more than the standard 4 or 5 years given to O's GM's over the past few years, to eliminate the dysfunctional nature of this once-proud franchise's farm system.

But the new GM, whoever and whenever he arrives, whether it be now or one or two years from now, must invest much more in the international arena and player development as has been suggested by others.

Why is it that free-wheeling spending teams like the Yankees and Red Sox have better farm systems than the O's?

Doesn't seem right, does it?

I am okay with him remaining as president, but a new GM is needed just to mix things up a bit and i new scouting staff. I dont blame mcphail so much as i blame the scouting staff. I also blame angelos for not allowing them to open the checkbook on multi-year deals. If they decide to try to add pitchers with big multi-year deals, the problem can be fixed. We have the bats, just need some arms and i know it takes more than one big name pitcher but it certainly cant hurt.

Another example of inept this organization this….year after year

Jones, Uehara, and Hardy are big pluses
Gregg, Reynolds, Gonzalez are hug minuses. (Look at the tremendous success Hernandez has had with the Diamondbacks and think of what it would mean to have him as the setup man for Johson).
Bottom line is that AM is an above average GM constrained by the arrogance and ignorance of the worst owner in professional sports. If he wants to stay, I'd be surprised--and happy.

I no longer care. I think it's obvious now that, considering MacPhail's and Showalter's tenure here the O's are still losers, that the Scouting Dept in particular have more of the blame.

The big question for me is, Why does the young farm talent come up with the O's and continue to regress?

I want whomever can fix that problem to be in the Front Office...

I agree with Jerry posted at 11:40 a.m. We are not going to get any big name players in Baltimore until we show a winning season. Winners draw big names. We will most likely have to continue a couple of more losing seasons before showing a winning one.

My opinion is that we need a new player development system to teach these kids how to pitch at the major league level. This is where the team absolutely needs help. The organization hasn't been able to develop a strong position player from the bottom up for many years.

Jerry made some great points about pitching and development. I feel AM needs another couple of years because I don't know of anyone better with the same experience.

He's had enough time, and a 93 loss team this year proves 4 years of his rebuilding is not cutting it. He has made some good trades, but that's it. New blood.

Stick with Andy & Buck. Our best chance to turn things around!

The scouting and player development departments need to be overhauled.

Add me to the list of folks who hope Andy stays. Best GM we've had in years by far. Despite the poor on-field performance this year our organization is much improved bottom-up and we are steadily headed in the right direction (finally).

Impatience and expectations for a quick turnaround are what have been short-circuiting this organization for a decade. Please let's not start over again.

There is a classic line from 30 Rock regarding pilots...

"If you tell people we are 30 minutes away from taking off they don't get angry. Its long enough so they know they have to wait, but not too long so they get angry."

We have constantly been told by our pilots that we're 30 minutes away. I am sick of it. MacPhail is not to blame. We lost our way when we stopped caring about the development of our young pitching. Organizations NEED consistency. You need good, proven coaches, who are going to stick around. ESPECIALLY PITCHING COACHES. It is amazing how bad the mechanics are of the pitchers. That is ALL ABOUT coaching and development. We have the talent to be a winning team. Talent must be realized. You KNOW it is coaching because it would be a statistical ANOMALY for all of our prospects to not pan out. And yet... it does... year after year. He has brought us the talent IN SPITE of the terrible job our development has done to produce consistent home grown talent. I hope to God Andy stays and Jim Palmer comes on as a pitching coach or pitching development consultant.

So what. It won't matter either way.

If McFail is OK with Buck running to Pete behind his back, fine. Who else would put up with it?

On the other hand imagine someone like Fanconia having Buck looking over his shoulder from the front office.

Danno;
It wouldn't hurt my feelings one iota to maintain the status-quo to hang on to Buck and Andy despite my prior suggestion of bringing Cal into the fold (though I still think it's a good idea in some capacity). What say you?

MacPhail as GM = losing and a commitment to lose. If he's back it means Peter Angelos does not care about this franchise and does not want to see it win.

You don't invite back one of the worst GM's in franchise history in terms of the record he's accumulated as GM. Bringing him back would show there is no consequence for failure in the organization, and that would be a message that would be sent throughout the organization. That's not the type of message we need to be sending.

MacPhail was willing to fall on his sword, so Angelos needs to let him.

So what are we saying? That we may be retaining the GM who has always been in the cellar? Who gets jobs based on nepotism? Who brought us players like Garrett Atkins, old Vlad, old D-Lee, Felix Pie, Cesar Izturis? Who says "buy the bats," but misses out on every free agent in his prime? Who has taken little interest to the minor leagues? Who basically has the spinal column of a sea sponge? Who has always increased losses instead of cutting them? Who still thinks baseball is an honest business enterprise?

If you ask me, this is the one clown that Angelos DESERVED to fire. But what does he care? He steals enough money from your cable bill (and not putting it on the field), and will live like a hog in a fathouse for the rest of his natural life.

Want my opinion: McPhail must go, and take Angelos with you.

Yes - Andy stays, but the entire team and farm system has to go........

The Ravens are in town
Who cares about the sorry excuse for a ball club

THrash

I think it is wise for him to stay He has sent us a few good players hardy, jones, reynolds, etc I know its about pitching and I believe in matusz can work it out and britton will be fine and so will arietta Have him stay until cal is ready to make a move or showalter Love showalter and andy after the final game we know we have a future in the mix some where just watching redsox walking off the field in shock and sadness and tampa and us celebrating was just priceless cant wait till next yr

I agree with so many fans here that I'm fine with McPhail and Showalter remaining in their respective capacities for another year or so. The scouting and player development areas must be improved though as well as continuity throughout the O's minor league system.
To those complaining about 14 seasons without winning a division, the Milwaukee Brewers just won their first division title since 1982. Also, the Detroit Tigers just won their first division title since 1987. Neither team has to deal with the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays within their division!
Maryland has not won an ACC baseball title since 1971 yet there is more optimism now about their program than I can recall in my 40 years as a Terp fan. Why? Because they are building it the right way from the ground up through recruiting and player development. They've upgraded the facilities and reconnected with Terp baseball alumni such as Eric Milton, now a Terp coach.
As the Hall of Fame DeMatha coach, Morgan Wooten, says, "inch by inch, life's a cinch". Go O's and Terps!!!

Does it make any difference who is the
GM when they have to deal with the
Angelos Group??? You are closer to the
action...so do you think changing the
GM would have a significent difference??
Give us your views weather a change in
the GM slot would materially change the
Orioles on the field.

If McPhail were to stay, what could he possibly do to make the Os better in 2012? He's not allowed to spend on FAs...
He's not allowed to buy SPs (only trade for them)......
He's not allowed to sign position players for more than $3 million unless he receives special permission from his boss.
He's not allowed to draft the best player available b/c the player will want to be compensated for his talent level (high school players only)
McPhail only has trade connections w/ ex-Cub wash-outs

I would not be okay with that at all. I've heard some people write that MacPhail has done a good job and the "experiment' is not over. Well the reality is that if the job's not getting done the top gets blamed. In this case...rightfully so. I can't believe that some Orioles fans fall for the same story year after year. This organization needs a change...and signing mid 30's players every year is not the change we need. It has to be something huge and shocking. Something that makes me want to have hope that somebody upstairs actually cares. I have not been shown that anybody from the top really cares in years. Orioles fans are settling for a below average product every year. Not good enough. I'm not a fan of guys like Mark Cuban, but at least he does what it takes to win. When's the last time you saw Angelos or Macphail sitting in the first row above the dugout?

I'm for anything that keeps Buck out the front office. What a disaster that would be, he'd set us back another 5 years.

They just need to do something about player development and international scouting. If MacPhail is into that sort of thing I don't mind if he stays.


If theowner is making the decision, it does not matter if the GM changes.The only commonality in the Orioles' organization during each of the 14 losing seasons is the owner. He clearly does not know how to select effective personnel at the highest level of the Orioles' organization. If won-loss percentage is the gauge to determine success, the owner is a failure. If past is proglogue, it does not matter if the owner changes GMs because he will only select another ineffective person. I have been an Orioles' fan for 50 years. From 1954-1994 the team had the highest winning percentage in professional sports. That changed with the current owner. Other owners with similar resources have figured it out. He has not. The organization simply makes bad decsions with personnel from GM to players. It is hard to believe the Orioles, once a proud franchise, has reached such a pitiful state. I keep hoping aginst hope for improvement.

In MacPhail the Os have an experienced and respected GM. The Bedard and Tejada trades were successful. He tried to sign good free agents, but was hamstrung by the old "confederate money" problem. I'm not sure anyone could have done much better, given what he has to work with. We could do worse than AM for another year.

I think Andy's done a good job. I'd like to see him stay and finish what he started.

@Big E
I don't deny your football acumen, but being an apologist for MacPhail, get serious! Come on Man!
We could do worse than AM for another year.

@Bear
I think Andy's done a good job.
How so? His free agent acquisitions have been unmitigated disasters! I liked the Vlad signing and the O's only got him because no one else wanted him. We had to sign him , because we really had no one else. Please don't tell, well Luke Scott could have done it!

In other news yesterday, Steve Jobs, a co-founder of Apple, succumbed at the age of 56 years. While his career was not without failure, Jobs discovered lasting success at about the same time the Baltimore Orioles mysteriously lost theirs.

Jobs' success was unaffected by his seven year battle with cancer. In fact, he became MORE successful despite the effects of cancer wearing him down to the point he could no longer continue as CEO of Apple.

There are lessons in his management that are certainly foreign concepts to those who trod the halls of the Warehouse like faceless IBM'ers.

Carry on.

Thanks to andy we finally have some kind of plan. Where as before he was here he had abosulutly nothing. He has gotten us a center fielder, right fielder, catcher, and short stop. On the pitching side of things. Things didnt shape up like we wanted them to this year but at least he has drafted better talent and better prospects than years past. I think because we havent had a winning season people are ready for Macphail to be fired but i think you have to keep him.

Kevin Cowherd got it right today. Kevin is "The Suns" crash dummy when it comes to writing the unpleasant but brutally honest opinion pieces.

Andy Macphail should depart in the middle of the night and leave a letter for the next GM in the top desk drawer. The envelope should say, "Open if it gets to 20 consecutive losing seasons." When the next GM gets to open it will say, "Leave another letter and get out of town." The Soviets proved that history can be rewritten to erase any mention of people. That would work for me in Andy's case. If I can ever get in to one of his press conferences I am going to hit him with a pie.

Funny how this team has gone since the ownership of Peter Angelos.

At the end of strike-shortened 1994, Johnny Oates finished his third full season as skipper with a .563 winning percentage and in second place. That wasn't good enough, and Oates was sent packing.

Phil Regan was brought in for the late-starting '95 season and gussed his way to a 71-73 record.

Roalnd Hemond was nothing but a winner on Angelos's watch until the Regan hire. Hemond and Regan were replaced by Pat Gillick and Davey Johnson, respectively.

We all know what happened next. The Orioles went to two post-seasons -- the first since the World Champioship of '83 -- and both were gone after those two years. Although technically neither was fired, the actual events and circumstances proved there was a much bigger problem.

Not only have the Orioles not been in a post-season since, they haven't won more than they have lost since.

Meanwhile, Hemond as GM of the Diamondbacks along with Buck Showalter as manager brought that expansion franchise of 1998 (65-97) to the post-season the very next year. The D-backs were "only" a .525 team in 2000, and both were gone. Yet the seeds they sown helped the D-backs become champs the following year.

The D-backs made the post-season again in 2002 but their purging of players quickly resulted in a 51-111 season by 2004. (So much for the stupid argument that it's hard to lose 100 games.) By 2007, Arizona won 90 games and was once again in the post-season.

The D-backs slipped back again, and by 2010 had fallen to a 97-loss season. That didn't stop Arizona from bouncing back to winning 94 games this past year and yet another invite for October baseball.

Hemond was hired by Arizona in November 2010 as Executive Vice President, and the D-backs traded Mark Reynolds to the Orioles. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

Meanwhile, Andy MacPhail as GM with a fancy title of the Orioles has taken a 69-win team to 68, 64, 66 and 69 wins. Compare that to the above.

And, yet, there are those who think MacPhail has done a good job. Technically, Baltimore has improved the last two years. Of course, that might be because of the 34-23 finish under Showalter in 2010 and a full year under him in 2011.

Who knows what Showalter would do with a pitching staff that wasn't dead last in many important categories or given a "closer" (Kevin Gregg) who pitches less than an inning per game, walks 40 in less than 60 innings, and has a 4.39 ERA that doesn't even take inherited runners into account.

The Orioles were 7-20 in July (ironically, the same record as for the Red Sox in September). The team was so much in trouble with pitching, Showalter couldn't move the one-inning blunder. Even Jim Johnson saw his ERA blow up to 3.06 on August 8 from 2.28 on June 30.

(To his credit, Johnson's ERA dropped 39 points over his last 20 appearances, and only once pitched less than one inning.)

I still stand by my previous post that the Orioles should let MacPhail have one more year (if he'll take it). But make no mistake, it should be supported with the fans holding their breathe, and probably their nose, too -- not because he's done a good job.

There are a lot of comments I have to read through. I'll get to that in a bit - I am sure there are some very good points pro and con that have already been made.

For me, it would be kind of like the anticipation building up to your dad getting a new car. You don't have any real say in what happens, but you do have to live with the results of the decision your dad makes. There was some excitement when you got the current car four years ago, but the luster is off, you know the performance issues, and you've gotten yourself psyched up that you are getting a new model. In the end, you don't know what that new one is going to be like or how it is going to perform, but at least it will be different. So if you find out that you have to keep the old car for a couple more years, you are naturally a bit disappointed. (After all, your dad never said he was getting a new car, but everyone who knew your dad said it was going to happen so you believed them.)

So even if there are reasons to keep the old car, even if with a little bit of adjustment you can get better performance out of it and you wouldn't have to deal with learning all new controls and features of something different, even if the "new" model might not in the end be any better than what you currently have, there is still that letdown from not making a change after having been disappointed with how the last one turned out after the new car smell was gone.

What the heck, it's not like I am going to stop rooting for the Orioles regardless of who the PBO/GM is. And I think MacPhail's general approach is sound, even if the execution faltered a little bit. But all the people who have much closer access than I will ever have convinced me that it was a fait accompli that Andy was not coming back so if he remains in the same role it will feel a little bit strange. But I'll get over it.

As long as Luke Scott, Brain Roberts, and Felix Pie are not in his plans as players he wants to keep. I think his stability in that position is fine.

Kevin Cowherd nails it... in 2011 we've gone backwards--the "plan" (young arms and
hole-plugging cheapskate opportunism) has failed. The players are severely judged by management and fans for their performance on the field--how does the GM get a pass based on this multiyear performance? If the baseball part of the organization had grown much stronger during McPhail's term, it would be another thing... but that's grown weaker.
So do the just and right thing for the team... declare victory and GO.

No, I would not be OK with MacPhail coming back. He hasn't invested enough in the international market and it's pretty clear the organization doesn't value accountability in terms of drafting and developing talent. The organizaiton is still sick to the core and isn't getting better, which is the sin of the GM and the owner.

Dan I' am so surprised the with fans in Baltimore . I thought they new the game of baseball , but they don't . Some of them do , but seems a lot of them don't .
How can you build a baseball team without continuity ? Changing managers and generial mansgers every couple of years . Answer is !!! YOU CAN'T You need continuity . Keep what we have and be greatful you have good baseball people in place .
Thank you ! For letting me post .
Curt S.S. Md
Please reply !!!!!

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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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