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November 6, 2011

Orioles hire Dan Duquette as general manager

A former major league executive who had been out of the big leagues for nearly a decade found a match Sunday with a perennial losing franchise which been rejected by at least one of its top executive candidates.

Dan Duquette, who has been credited with building the foundation for the Boston Red Sox winning their first championship in 86 years -- and later their second -- has been hired to try his hand at ending a 14-year losing streak for the Orioles.

A high-ranking Orioles official with knowledge of the negotiations between Duquette and club owner Peter Angelos, confirmed Duquette's hiring.

An announcement is expected Tuesday, the source said.

Angelos declined to comment on Duquette. Duquette could not be reached for comment.

Duquette, 53, replaces Andy MacPhail, who resigned after a disappointing 2011 season. MacPhail had been the president of baseball operations for four-plus years.

After a promising finish in 2010 under newly hired manager Buck Showalter and a fast, if brief, positive start to last season, the Orioles plummeted in the standings for most of the summer before another late-season surge that culminated with their knocking the Red Sox out of playoff contention in the final game of the season.

MacPhail had appeared to get things turned in the right direction when he hired Showalter after the All-Star break in 2010 and the team finished with a 34-23 record in their last 57 games. But the corps of young pitching hopefuls, in particular Brian Matusz, took several steps backward last season.

The hiring of Duquette, who also was credited with rebuilding the Montreal Expos as the team's farm director in the early 1990s, came after the Orioles were turned down by at least one other candidate, Toronto Blue Jays assistant general manager Tony LaCava.

According to his cousin Jim Duquette, who was vice president of baseball operations with the Orioles in 2005 and 2006 and worked alongside the late Mike Flanagan, Dan Duquette was a candidate for the Los Angeles Angels' job and had tried to get back into a major league position with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the past couple of years.

Dan Duquette had been running a baseball academy in Massachusetts since he left baseball in 2002.

Posted by Don Markus at 4:02 PM | | Comments (37)


Great! *yawn*

Really? A guy thats been out of Baseball for 10 years? Really? They are not even trying anymore. Sad, Sad, Sad!

Duquette's first act will be to trade Adam Jones, who he believes is in the twilight of his career.

this guy made some good trades but he's also known for his terrible drafts and prickly demeanor. hoepfully this turns out good but with Angelos owning the team it's always going to be about profits not winning

First of all, let's stop with the jokes about him trading Clemens and then saying he was in the twilight. In all likelihood, Duquette was right! Clemens started taking roids in Toronto, so who knows if he would have been good had he stayed clean.

The O's could have done worse, that's for sure. He's as good of a candidate as we were going to get. I'm happy.

Now, he needs to surround himself with good, young, saber GMs to help him with the transition into the new way of talent evaluation. If he does that, I think he will be okay.

In a related story, Jimmy Carter says he wants to get back into politics.

Ive stopped devoting any energy to this team (I know why am I posting here?). I'm a 38 year old lifelong fan. I'm reading the book about the rays right now (the extra 2%). As long as they continue to be run poorly from the top, the os will be bad. It's a terrible fate for us Baltimoreans. And we can't control it. At least the ravens are well run. Sigh.

Just the kind of move the Orioles could be expected to make ... sign a "has been" GM, but like the free agent signings they make. The Orioles will never contend again until the owner is changed. Just like they say in the mafia, "the fish rots from the head".

Showalter is going to 100% make all the player decisions at the major league level. Duquette will handle the admin part of being GM, contracts, etc. Hopefully, he will also fire the entire scouting and player development staff, and build up a competent staff from scratch. One that pays some attention to Central America and the Pacific Rim, and does a better job on draft picks. No one better qualified was coming here, knowing he had two hard-headed bosses - Buck and Li'l Napolean.

Nice PR job by the Orioles. Finally announce a hire the night of a Ravens game. Wjho introduces him a the press conference? Peter? No Lou or John? No the manager? Maybe, The PR staff? probably. No leadership will show their face.

By the way, cudos for the Sun for showing a ten year old picture of him. Also tha video shown on the Orioles page is an interview with some Red Sox fans. Come'on Sun, do some work for the monet you want to charge.

I would worry if Duquette were a PLAYER who'd been out for years. He's a front office guy. You know, like how Steve Jobs left Apple and came back- not a big deal. Dick Vermeil left coaching, Pat Gililck left for a couple years before winning with Phils in '08, Jack McKeon as manager. Not a big deal really.

Yet, further confirmation that Angelos is toxic to baseball. The Orioles are a team no one looking for success wants to touch. Sad indeed.

Now if only Angelos will sell the team

It all really doesn't matter does it? Angelos owns the team. No one will come here. No viable free agent signings because it's Angelos billions....not to be spent on the team. Will the bring in an available top flight Atlanta Braves pitcher? They probably don't even know one is available. This team really does need to be boycotted. NO ONE SHOULD SHOW UP ON OPENING DAY OR ANYTIME THEREAFTER. This is a disgraceful organization. If this guy changes that than he's a miracle worker.


Angelos has to sell the team. That is the bottom line. He is an awful owner. Until the Orioles get a new head honcho that is willing to invest in the team, the O's will be anchors.

Now that this is done, we need to see this team jet ahead of every ballclub in funding their farm system. The fact that that mantle belongs to the Jays should be an embarrassment. With a team that has the Orioles' market base (not the best, but not "small market" either), fanbase, relatively low and flexible payroll, resources, and recent run at top draft picks, there's absolutely no excuse why the Orioles shouldn't be at the top of franchises that invest in their farm. I personally can accept all this losing if it came as a tradeoff to pouring money into scouting and development.

Side note: It's a little absurd, that Angelos who has no track record of creating a good baseball system, insisted on keeping certain people, which may have contributed to LaCava to turn down the GM offer in a publicly embarrassing PR fiasco. If that were the case, it's obviously based on some kind of personal misguided sense of loyalty, and, the fact that a good baseball man may have refused on that basis, suggests that these may have been critical positions he needed to fill in order to be successful.

Now Buck has his assistant. Funny, Duquette doesn't look like a man willing to take orders from a manager. He must really be desperate to break back into the game. I'm sure he figures he'll get his feet back in the door in B-more and send his resume' to every exec in baseball during 2012 regular season.

Dan Duquette hahaha.

Ozzie Newsome always says "the right player for the right price"! Well, Duquette certainly fills the bill. He's been out of baseball for 10 years running a baseball academy and for the last 10 years has been trying to get back in. The guy's a puppet and front man for the Greek Nazi and cost minimally to hire!! Please , who's kidding who? Viable, quality candidates and players don't want to come here, so the situation remains status quo!

I like the move - Go O's.

another gm for the orioles who will do nothing and he will be gone in two years that's how it is with old peter

The kind of hiring made by a clueless organization. This is about as well as I would expect them to do.

First of all, the fact the O's got jilted by Tony LaCava is pretty sad and should be the wake up call that PA doesn't own the franchise he thinks he owns. I do think that a brash Dan Duquette could be an interesting mix with Buck. These guys both had their fingerprints on building top teams only to lose out on the glory to the next guys that came along.

I don't think Dan Duquette is a yes man or took the job because he wants back in, as the guy is like Buck in that he will do what he feels is right so maybe he feels this was his last shot so why not prove the critics wrong by turning around another sad organization?

Other than Pat and Davey, the team of Dan and Buck sounds formidable because they are baseball guys, but the team will only go as far as PA allows them to. If he's embarrassed by the fact that the O's are a joke to almost everyone in the game, look out, but if doesn't care, same story with a new cast.

Dan Duquette is a strong willed and bright baseball executive and I don't see him rolling over to either Buck or Angelos. I am a life long fan who lives in Boston and saw the many excellent deals Dan made while he was here. I think he will do a great job for the Orioles, and remember he did not have a huge payroll when he ran the Red Sox as the big money came when John Henry purchased the team. He was right about Clemens and brought in Manny, Damon, Pedro Martinez and had one of the great heists of all time when he got Derek Lowe and Jason Veritek from Seattle for a relief pitcher they did not want. In time he will make some good deals and help the Orioles.

Most of you people make me tired with your incessant negativity following whatever the Orioles do to try to improve themselves.
Here are just a few debunkings:

1. There is no "new way" of evaluating talent. An experienced scout, manager, or general manager spends some time watching the player in multiple situations and either has the instinctive ability to recognize potential, or doesn't.

2. Most of you would welcome Cal Ripken, Jr. as the top Oriole exec and HE'S been out of major league baseball for nearly ten years, has been running a baseball academy, and has absolutely NO ML executive experience.

3. If Tony LaCava (who has never been a GM, either) was so enamored with his Blue Jays job, then why did the wishy-washy son-of-a-bitch waste the Orioles' time not once, but TWICE ? That's exactly what happened, folks.... so stop blaming the Orioles.

4.So some of you still think the Orioles are a joke ? Really ? And do you still believe the Red Sox thought the Orioles were a joke as they sat at home and watched the playoffs and World Series on television ?

5. So the Orioles are the worst-run team in baseball ? Really ? Hmmm.... I wonder if Theo Epstein (who couldn't get away from Boston quickly enough) thinks so.
I wonder if Terry Francona, who, after TWO World Series Championships was tersely let go hours after failing to reach the playoffs, thinks so.

You know, the Sawks didn't give those games away to the Orioles.
The Orioles played them tough every pitch and BEAT THEIR BUTTS.

6. You people need to wake up and recognize what's going on with this team. Two guys with 30 or more homers. Two Gold Gloves (and deserving of a third, i.e., Hardy) and some very good players coming up through the system.
I don't hear anyone laughing, really.

And now that we have a bona-fide Major League GM to replace Andy, I see no reason he won't pick right up where Andy left off.


Seriously, If you had been listening to me all along, you would have saved yourselves allot of heartache.

AM was a disaster as a GM. Scouting remains a disaster, the minor league talent remains a disaster, international efforts remain a disaster..... and most of all......

... the Won/Loss record remains a disaster.

AND... I 'called' every aspect of it..... Every single one....

If you would have just listened....

As for Duquette.... you don't need me tell you all once again what will happen moving forward.

At least I don't think I do.... Do I?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA this organization is total garbage. I'm done with this mess.

Both of the guys that turned Peter down wanted to clean house and get rid of the dead weight in the warehouse.

The only goof who will take the job has been out of the game for 10 years.

Angelos, you are an embarrassment to this town and to major league baseball. And the sad fact is, you could care less.


At least nobody can point out Duquette's WS rings from 25 years ago for arguement sake. That's one in the bag.

Glad to see you back. You add flavor to the blog.

Am I dreaming or did Bear just try to prove that the Red Sox, who have made the playoffs like 83 times and won the World Series twice in the past eight years, are in worse shape than the Orioles?

Seriously guys. Can someone pinch me?

Come on, Bear...

1. There is a new way of evaluating talent. The A's revolutionized it, and everyone hated Billy Beane for it. Now, everyone does it.

2. No argument there. Though it is pretty ridiculous how many people are still clamoring for Cal as an exec when he's said he has no interest in the position. I, for one, would much rather see an ownership group led by Cal buy the team than see Cal in the front office.

3. There are 30 MLB GM jobs in the entire world. How many people turned down the O's job? LaCava, Dipoto AND Watson. And Friedman, Hahn and Baird didn't even think it was worth it to interview. If that doesn't prove to you that there's something wrong with the Orioles, I don't know what to tell you.

4. Um, yeah, I think the Red Sox thought the O's were a joke. The Orioles won 69 games this year. The Red Sox won 90. What the Red Sox were thinking as they watched the World Series from home is, "How in the world did that joke of a team end our season?"

5. See my first sentence.

6. Who are these "very good players coming up through the system"? How many of them found success above A-ball?

Final thought: Dan Duquette was fired by the Red Sox before the 2002 season. That means he hasn't been associated with a Major League Baseball team for 10 years. How many GM jobs have opened in those 10 years?

Off the top of my head, I know that ours opened three times. And here's a list of how many times every other team had a GM opening:

Atlanta: 1
Arizona: 2
Boston: 1
Chicago Cubs: 2
Chicago White Sox: 0
Cincinnati: 3
Cleveland: 1
Colorado: 0
Detroit: 1
Florida: 2
Kansas City: 1
Houston: 3
LA Angels: 2
LA Dodgers: 2
Milwaukee: 1
Minnesota: 1
New York Yankees: 0
New York Mets: 4
Oakland: 0
Philadelphia: 2
Pittsburgh: 2
San Diego: 4
San Francisco: 0
Seattle: 3
St. Louis: 1
Tampa Bay: 1
Texas: 1
Toronto: 1
Washington: 1

By my count, that's 46 openings for GM jobs over the past ten years. And how many times was Dan Duquette interviewed? By my count, twice. And both interviews were this year.

This is a desperation move for both sides, Bear. Having been turned down by at least six candidates, the Orioles were desperate for a GM. Having been out of MLB for 10 years, Duquette was desperate for a GM job. Put two and two together, and now Dan Duquette is our GM.

You're quite the skilled hyperbolist, nb.
You listed six candidates, claiming three turned the Orioles down. Watson was never offered the job. Nice effort trying to slip that one by.
And why on earth would Friedman be in the market for the job ? He's a GM for a very successful team already.
The fact that he had no interest in leaving the Rays, and that Hahn and Baird had no interest either proves absolutely nothing.

As for Billy Beane, I see no "revolution" having taken place anywhere as a result of his theories. How many playoff appearances have HIS teams made ? And teams still send scouts everywhere there's baseball to watch players first hand because they're the guys who have the instincs to recognize talent.
That's what they did 100 years ago and that's what they do now. Don't try to make some kind of mystique out of it.

The fact that there were so many GM openings during Duquette's hiatus proves nothing, either. The truth is, he did apply for two or three of those and was turned down. He simply wasn't interested in the rest.
Tell me..... how many major league MANAGERIAL positions opened up between when the Dodgers fired Davey Johnson and when he latched on with the Nationals last year...? But you and many many others here still think he's God Almighty in the dugout.
As for how many Oriole prospects have "found success above A ball", that's why they're still called "prospects".
I never claimed any were major league ready right now. But I'd bet on about a dozen or so of them for the future.
I just don't see where this organization is such a failure.

Oh... and one last note: You may be right about what the Red Sox were thinking...... they are about as arrogant a bunch of guys as has ever been assembled. About as arrogant as you are incurably cynical.

Bear -

Watson removed his name from consideration. Translation: "Thanks for the interview, but I don't want the job."

Point taken on Friedman, but you can't just dismiss the fact that Hahn and Baird declined. These guys were being offered the chance to run a Major League Baseball team, and probably a hefty raise as well. And they just said, "No thanks". Do you seriously believe that has nothing to do with the dysfunction of this organization?

As for Billy Beane... The A's made the playoffs in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2006. The fact that you didn't know that negates your entire argument against the A's and Moneyball.

On Davey Johnson... I don't remember saying a word about him over the past 14 years. If you can find something about that and prove me wrong, go ahead.

The reason I brought up all of those openings is because it raises a major red flag about our incoming GM. Why wasn't anyone else interested in interviewing him over the past ten years?

You say that Duquette "simply wasn't interested" in those jobs, but that doesn't stop teams from contacting him. As you pointed out, Andrew Friedman probably wasn't remotely interested in the O's job, but the O's still contacted him. It works both ways in baseball. Sure, guys can contact teams, but then there are guys who are just on everyone's list to interview. Why wasn't Dan Duquette on anyone's list for the past ten years?


I'll take your point about our minor leaguers. You're right. They're called prospects for a reason, and you didn't call them anything more than that.


I'll have to quote you on this one, because it just blows my mind:

"I just don't see where this organization is such a failure."

Seriously, Bear? Seriously?

This organization hasn't posted a winning record since 1997.

The number of quality players drafted and developed by this organization in the past 15 years is downright embarrassing. Like, I could count them on one hand embarrassing. I'll do it right now: Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters. Erik Bedard. And I'm stuck.

This organization does absolutely NOTHING in the international free agent market.

This organization hired a former pitcher/pitching coach with zero front office experience as a General Manager. And then kept him in that role for three years.

This organization hasn't posted a winning record since 1997.

This organization, regardless of GM, continues to waste money giving multi-year contracts to relief pitchers.

This organization, regardless of GM, continues to sign and trade for past-their-prime stop-gap players in their mid-30's.

This organization hasn't posted a winning record since 1997. (Has that one sunk in yet?)

This organization knew that its previous General Manager (or whatever they call it) was leaving as early as late August. Then, when it came time to interview outside GM candidates, they interviewed three of them. Three. And all three of them said "No, thanks".

This organization drags its feet for as long as possible when making decisions, so that when crunch time comes, there only options left to make are mediocre at best.

This organization hasn't posted a winning record since 1997.

This organization hasn't posted a winning record since 1997.

This organization hasn't posted a winning record since 1997.

This organization hasn't posted a winning record since 1997.

And you don't see where this organization is such a failure?

Wow, Bear. Just... Wow...

Right on the money Bear (right on cue)

YES, Duq will pick up right where Andy left off....... last place is last place is last place is last place.

And keep loving the dramatic, exciting, invigorating final series Bear..... It was your post season, your world series..... The ORIOLES were on Sportscenter.... YAAAAAAAAAY!

Last I checked though, the Cardinals (the team I ALWAYS have pointed to as a well run medium market team, a team with a smaller cable deal than the O's) won the world series.......

.....while O's players had hung up weeks prior.

But if that's a W for you Bear...... then Go for it my friend.


just to name a few teams who adopted the Moneyball way of player evaluation:

New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Texas Rangers
LAA Angels
Seattle Mariners
Atlanta Braves
Florida Marlins
Philidelphia Phillies
Milwalkee Brewers
Cincinnati Reds
St Louis Cardinals
Arizona Diamondbacks
LA Dodgers
Colorado Rockies
**I guess I can count in the Chicago Cubs now that Theo Espein is the new GM.

You don't need to be a small market team to use Billy Beane's "theories". Large, Medium, and Small-market teams are have adopted his ways one way or another. So, yes, that counts as a revolution in philosophy and player evaluation because successful teams no longer operate the same way they did 20 years ago. Those teams who still do, name out the short list and tell me how sucessfull they've been.

Also, if you read the long list of teams I listed, you'll notice that almost all of them have seen the playoffs or at least several winning seasons within the past decade. The idea that "all you need are scouts" is obsolete and waaaay outdated.

You're a relic, Bear. So are the Orioles so far. Problem is, unless they change with the times, the losing ways will continue.

Of course now we learn that Mike Maddux has withdrawn his name from consideration for the Boston manager job.
Now you KNOW that's exactly the same thing as his having been offered the job and turned it down. It's EXACTLY THE SAME THING as his having said "Thanks for the opportunity, but no thanks."
And it just PROVES that the Red Sox are in total disarray. I mean first, they FIRE the only manager who's taken them to the World Series Championship in the last 90+ years. Then, their GM, rumored over the past three years to be leaving, finally does walk away to become GM in another league. All this just hours after the Red Sox got systematically knocked out of playoff eligibility by the worst team in the history of baseball...... a team with absolutely no decent players, no desire to win, and no esprit de corps.
I'd say Maddux declining the manager's job places the Boston team at an all-time low. I mean sure, they'll interview other candidates, but how many other candidates will be from teams which have been to the World Series for each of the past two years ? It's clear that Maddux is used to WINNING, isn't it ?
And say..... why is Boston DRAGGING THEIR FEET choosing a new GM and manager ? I think it's time for a shake-up on Yawkey Street, don't you ?
I mean let's face it...... baseball is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately proposition.
Yep..... it's definitely NOT a good time to be a Red Sox fan.

I see what you're doing here, Bear, but, honestly, it's pretty dumb.

Two things that blow your little diatribe out of the water:

1. The Red Sox have posted a winning record every year since 1998. The Orioles have posted a losing record every year since 1998.

2. After their epic collapse, the Red Sox needed a scapegoat. The manager is always the first to go. And Theo was probably upset that ownership made Francona the scapegoat, so he decided to take his talents elsewhere before ownership decided to make him scapegoat #2.


You need to get your facts straight before you post. The Red Sox named Ben Cherington GM over two weeks ago. How do you miss this stuff?

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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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