Even in doing the ‘right thing’ O’s handle business poorly

February 09, 2008 |

Let me make this very clear….Erik Bedard had to be traded! He was the one piece they had that would bring them a true blue chip prpspect. In Adam Jones, that is what they got. The arms that they recieved around Jones are nice fits for a needy organization as well. No, I congratulate Andy McPhail for pulling off a strong if not perfect trade. The problem came with insanity that was the wait.

When Kevin Malone left his position as Assistant General Manager with the Orioles to take the lead spot with the Dodgers, he said of Peter Angelos that the only issue that he had with the owner was his lack of understanding of timing in baseball managemet. Through all of the bad decision making the Orioles have been plagued with, no statement has defined this losing era more exactly. Bringing Andy McPhail on board was supposed to fix that problem.

Armed with his knowledge and expertise, and the autonomy to do what he saw fit for the team, McPhail is supposed to be the salvation of the organization. The biggest question from the time of his hiring through the early off-season was if McPhail would truly have freedom to make the moves that needed to happen. Through his first two major moves (Tejada and Bedard) it would be hard for anyone to question that the new GM does in fact have the ability to do what he deems necessary to improve this franchise on the field. The Orioles timing however, is still an issue. 

It took nearly two weeks to complete a deal that everyone knew was going to go down. Two weeks to make something that all parties involved wanted happen. Two weeks where the deal could have fallen apart, or someone could have gotten hurt. There is no question that deals often take months to develop and finish. The problem is that this deal seemed to be all taken care of with the exception of the physical. It was then that Peter Angelos’ influence showed up.

Angelos, a highly successful lawyer, likes things done in the same fashion you might handle a legal case. Having been burned in the past, he seems obsessed with dotting all of the i’s and crossing all of the t’s. As a result, the physicals held up the deal for an unreasonable amount of time. How many times have you heard that a trade is completed, pending a physical. Everyone understands that! If your buy damaged goods, you have a window to return them. In Angelos’ realm that is not good enough. The Orioles once again became the butt of jokes around the baseball world. Even with a competent GM, they can’t just get things done. It used to be blamed on the two-headed GMs. There is no second person this time. Unless of course….you consider Angelos.

At a time when they need to be reinventing their reputations with other organizations, they continue the same poorly executed patterns. It is instances like these that make teams hesitant to deal with the Orioles.

At a time when McPhail needs to be able to execute moves with teams and have them trust that he has no restraints, it was clearly demonstrated in the last two weeks that the biggest restraint of all is still in place.

  Things have to be done at the right moment in baseball. Moves have to come when the opportunity is there. Wait too long sometimes…and poof….a better deal comes and you are left holding the bag. Just ask the new GM of the Minnesota Twins, Bill Smith, who waited too long to move Johan Santana and got less than he could have as a result.

After a decade of poor management, teams need to know that the Orioles are ready to change their practices.

Andy McPhail was the first step. Now the next step is to get Peter Angelos out of the day to day management of the team completely!

Big money contract…OK!

Other than that, you hired McPhail to be your organizational leader.

Trust him to be that, or this losing process will never get turned around.