Do you like the Duquette hiring? Can he succeed here?
Dan Duquette is now officially the Orioles’ GM – or, should we say, executive vice president of baseball operations.
He signed his contract and had his introductory news conference.
By now, I assume you’ve had a chance to digest the concept of Duquette running things and have had a chance to read about his thoughts taking over the Orioles.
Now I want to know what you think about the move to hire him.
Here are my two cents: Among the candidates, he wouldn't have been my first choice. But I’ll give the guy some time to establish himself as a decision-maker and leader before I applaud or pan him. His track record really is excellent, that’s for sure.
That said, his time away from the game gives me pause. When you are that good, and you don’t get hired for nearly a decade, something is up. And I am not fully buying that it was because he had other interests and priorities. Maybe for a few years; not for nine.
Part of it is that he alienated a lot of people – other GMs, media types, team personnel – when he was in Boston. And when you get a certain reputation in baseball, it’s extremely hard to shake, even if it has been exaggerated.
But Duquette’s tenure in Boston was a long time ago. And he joked Tuesday that he now expects to be “kinder and friendlier” this time around.
The Duquette we saw at Tuesday’s press conference was one that was a bit vague in specifics and a bit awkward in the spotlight. He inadvertently mentioned bringing a championship back to “Boston,” and he initially and incorrectly challenged a question about the Orioles producing no homegrown players from Venezuela.
In short, he doesn’t have the same polish as the club’s past few executives, including his cousin, Jim.
The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter whether he is a good speaker or whether he sings, dances, jokes and juggles at press conferences. He can be as staid and unsure in the bright lights as he wants if he gets the job done. And he has the experience that shows he could be successful. But this is a unique challenge with its own set of obstacles. Whether he can work his magic here is certainly up for debate.
So start debating.
(I'm sure there will be plenty of the "no one can succeed here under current ownership" camp, and I understand your frustration. But try to get beyond that tired refrain if you can, because that aspect is not changing. And, really, there's no point of talking about anything Orioles in that case. Which makes things kind of boring here at the bar.)
Daily Think Special: Do you like the Dan Duquette hire? Can he succeed here?