Fans don’t want to hear it, but Dan Duquette is right about lots of things

November 17, 2011 | Peter Dilutis

Let’s rewind to June 2007. Andy MacPhail had just taken over the Orioles, and all signs pointed to a major rebuild. He was going to focus on scouting and development, build up through the system, and when the time was right, he was going to dip into the free agent market if that player or players would set the O’s over the top.

In August 2010, Buck Showalter took over the Orioles. He referenced Mel Gibson and the movie Braveheart when he talked about how the O’s would have to hold, hold, hold onto their resources (aka money) and then when they were on the verge of competing, that “hold” would turn into “now.”

All of these philosophies were true when Andy and Buck took over the O’s at their respective times. At neither point were the Orioles anywhere close to contending. It would have been foolish for Andy MacPhail to heavily dip into the free agent market when he got to Baltimore in 2007, just as it would have been for Buck to get greedy and demand instant free agent players prior to 2011.

Just as those philosophies were true at those respective times, they are still true today as Dan Duquette has taken the keys to the dented ’99 Ford Taurus in Birdland.

Of course, fans don’t want to hear that. Most people are like, “Are you kidding me? We’ve lost for 14 straight seasons, I can’t take anymore building. We’ve been building for a decade.”

No, no they haven’t.

The Orioles haven’t REALLY undertaken a major rebuild yet during their streak of losing seasons. Andy MacPhail had a nice start prior to 2008 when he made some key trades, but then he took a break for a while and watched teams like Tampa Bay and Toronto execute a greater rebuild even though they were already closer to competing than the O’s were at the time.

Still to this day, the O’s are in desperate need of a total organizational rebuild.

Their drafting system and strategy needs to be completely overhauled. The O’s need to re-invest heavily overseas in the Dominican, Venezuela, etc. Koji Uehara was nice in 2009, but the Orioles’ presence in the Japanese market needs to be a bit better than that. And finally, the Orioles need to develop their minor leagues the same way they did back in their glory years. Implement a system that is executed throughout each level of the minors. Establish an “Orioles Way” that is actually a model rather than a punchline.

4 Comments For This Post

  1. unitastoberry Says:

    Just think of all the All Stars this team could have drafted since 97 but passed over. Enough said. Foreign scouts are a joke. They must be sitting on a beach with a Corona instead of watching kids play ball!

  2. Tim Says:

    Peter, here’s the problem – this organization won’t do either. There will be no splashy free agent signings, nor will there be the complete overhaul / starting-over that’s so desperately needed. Same middle of the road strategy, some decent younger guys, a few aging free agents, the annual flirting with .500, and continued profitibility for the owners. Same old O’s.

  3. Joe D. Says:

    Hey Peter,
    Who cares about the O’s?

  4. Mark Says:

    Peter- The reason that the Orioles will stink for the next decade has nothing to do with strategy. It has to do with MONEY!! Free agents cost money that King Peter will not give up. But guess what??? Developing a good minor league system takes……MONEY!!! When will everyone understand that this horror show has NOTHING to do with the people King Peter hires, it have EVERYTHING to do with his greed and putting the fans money in his pocket instead of into the organization. He could hire the greatest GM of all time but unless he decides that, over the last 15 years, that he has enough money, NOTHING WILL CHANGE!! Mark my words.

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