According to Orioles, it was MacPhail’s decision to part ways

October 08, 2011 | Peter Dilutis

It has been speculated that the hold-up surrounding Andy MacPhail’s departure was due to Orioles owner Peter Angelos wanting to keep him on board.

We all figured Angelos was giving a last minute pitch to Andy in an effort to convince him to stay.

According to the Baltimore Orioles, MacPhail could not be convinced to continue on as general manager of the team he grew up rooting for.

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I just received the O’s press release titled “Andy MacPhail elects not to return as Orioles President of Baseball Operations.”

It seems as though Peter Angelos is still fond of Andy even after leading the team to four last place finishes in MacPhail’s four full seasons in Baltimore.

“On behalf of the Orioles organization, I thank Andy for his service to the club over the last four and a half seasons,” Angelos said. “Andy’s knowledge and experience has helped lay the groundwork for our future success. I hold Andy in the highest regard and thank him for his commitment and dedication to the Orioles.”

“And on a personal level, Andy is a dear friend. He will be greatly missed, and I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”

Under Andy MacPhail, the Orioles really cut back on their spending, going from $95 million in 2007 (the last offseason prior to MacPhail’s arrival) to $67 million in 2008, $67 million in 2009, $73 million in 2010, and $86 million in 2011.

That can be looked as both a positive and negative. On the positive front, MacPhail stripped the Orioles of poor, long-term contracts to mediocre, aging players.

If you want to look at it with the glass half empty, the O’s didn’t go out and spend money on any really good players either.

If we are going to look back on MacPhail’s tenure in Baltimore five years from now and agree with Angelos that Andy did in fact lay the groundwork for future success, it will be because A) the young pitching that he grew actually reached its collective potential, and B) the money that the O’s pocketed over the past four seasons is reinvested into the team through a variety of avenues.

Here’s my biggest question at this point: Why would a man who grew up rooting for the Orioles and wanted so badly to return this team to glory decide to walk away after four years even though his owner wanted him back?