It was fair to question the hire by Baltimore, where Duquette has been since leaving Boston, and if his knowledge of the intricacies of the game were compromised, but his motive remains clear: The guy is in it to win.
That — more than almost anything a GM can say to the fans — is refreshing. Was Andy Macphail in Baltimore win? Probably not. That isn’t meant as a disparaging remark. The Orioles simply weren’t anywhere close to contending when he arrived. He had to prioritize building a farm system, changing the culture, and ridding the financial statements of dead weight. He simply had other priorities that trumped winning baseball games in the short term.
Despite the presence of Peter Angelos hovering over the team, ballpark, and fan base, the new GM doesn’t seem to care. He made moves over the winter to ensure competition in Spring Training. That philosophy showed trust in Buck Showalter to take the best 25-man roster to Baltimore and compete in the AL East.
So far, so good.
Now comes the harder part: Knowing the limits. Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy should be untouchable. The farm system can’t be raided for a run that could turn out to be futile in a tremendous AL East. That doesn’t mean the Orioles can’t win in 2012 and beyond, though.
Duquette certainly believes they can. The reports about interest in a veteran, borderline Hall of Famer like Roy Oswalt proves that. A lucrative, long-term deal with Adam Jones proves that. The fact that Jones, still over a year away from free agency and in the midst of a great season, on the verge of signing a deal proves that.
Time will tell how the Orioles fair under this management regime, but it’s becoming quite clear a lack of gumption isn’t going to hold them back.
Dan Duquette is trying to win, Orioles fans.
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