Well, Andy is officially out as the Orioles General Manager. And by most accounts, he hasn’t left the team in any better shape than he found it. There’s plenty of talk now about the possibility of Buck Showalter being promoted to the front office, but we’ll see. I don’t expect anything will happen fast.
I, for one, suspected for some time that MacPhail would be bowing out as soon as he had the chance. Most of us know that he’s gunning for Bud Selig’s job. And, it became rather apparent to me that he reached the same conclusion so many of us have: Peter Angelos has absolutely no interest in fielding a winning team, and there is a 99.9% chance that the Orioles will not see the playoffs again or possibly even a .500 season as long as he still owns them.
Andy’s ‘grow the arms and buy the bats’ plan may have looked good on paper, but turned out to be a total bust. His “cavalry” of young pitchers (Matusz, Britton, Arietta, Tillman, Patton) fared about as well this season as General Custer’s cavalry did at the Battle of Little Bighorn. I will concede that sometimes prospects simply don’t pan out, and that is not entirely Andy’s fault.
But as far as buying the bats goes, he deserves every vile criticism we can throw at him and more. In 4 years time, what legitimate bats were bought? As far as free agents went, Andy’s tenure was marked by making joke offers to the likes of Adam Dunn and Mark Teixeira, and then settling for past-their-prime B-listers like Derrick Lee and Vlad Guerrero (and don’t hold your breath about Prince Fielder coming to Baltimore either). Of course, there’s only so much you can do when you have Peter Angelos keeping you on such a tight leash, but Andy doesn’t get a pass here. The Orioles haven’t been serious about signing free agents in over a decade, and MacPhail did nothing to reverse that trend.
For awhile now, I’ve been thinking about how best to summarize the time Andy MacPhail spent in Baltimore, and I happened to stumble across the perfect illustration on Youtube. This will be a first for me, using visual aids in my columns. Now, when you go to the link below and watch the clip from the old classic Muppet Show, I want you to do something. Imagine that Milton Berle is Andy MacPhail, and that Statler and Waldorf (the two old men in the balcony) represent we, the disgruntled Orioles fans. And instead of talking about being funny, suppose the discussion centers around the ability to build a winning baseball team (you’ll have to copy and paste the address below into your browser, because for some reason WordPress won’t let me put a real link in here). Enjoy!