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Andy MacPhail

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Not such a MacFail

Posted on 29 August 2012 by WNST Staff

The Orioles officially have surpassed their win total from 2011, winning their 70th game on Monday night versus the White Sox. The organization has finally started to turn things around, as they are in a well-publicized playoff hunt and on pace for their first winning season since Davey Johnson was manager north of the BWI.  A year full of “Orioles Magic” has been a long time coming in Baltimore, but has been a long work in progress as well.

Andy MacPhailThough his tenure here was not only brief, but extremely disappointing, Andy MacPhail actually laid the ground work for the team that is winning games at what seems to be a rapid rate this season.  Though the Orioles have witnessed momentous failures (Brian Matusz, Mark Reynolds and Felix Pie), the core of this group can be credited to MacPhail’s tenure in Baltimore.  Now this does not mean that current GM, Dan Duquette, does not deserve his own fair share of the credit.  The moves he made throughout the season have been unspectacular, yet crucial in their own right.  Nobody thought the Wei-Yin Chen experiment would amount to anything, but he has exceeded probably his own expectations as the Orioles best and most reliable pitcher.

The Jason Hammel deal sent fan favorite, Jeremy Guthrie, out of town but in turn brought back two quality starters.  Obviously Hammel has spent a good portion of the season on the DL, but pitched well enough to be considered a building block for the rotation.  The Orioles also received Matt Lindstrom in return for Guthrie, who now has been moved for Joe Saunders.  Doing the math, any major league roster would take two quality starters for one.  Add in moves to bring in Nate McLouth, Omar Quintanilla and Luis Ayala, while bringing up top positional prospect, Manny Machado; Duquette’s 2012 can be nothing more than remarkable.

But that does not take it account what he has inherited here in Baltimore; which is a lot more than anyone would have given him credit for in the offseason.  MacPhail made the moves to acquire Adam Jones, Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy; who are the best hitters in this lineup not named Markakis.  He drafted Gold Glove (and fan favorite) catcher Matt Wieters, rising star Manny Machado and the top prospect in the minors, Dylan Bundy; none of which with the first pick in the draft.

So five of six most productive starters in the lineup came from the daunted MacPhail era, along with the future Ace of the rotation.  But most importantly, he is the one get Buck Showalter off MLB tonight and back into the dugout.  MacPhail is the one to recognize Buck as the fit to lead this roster past a decade and a half ineptitude.  So even though he never was able to make the small moves, which sets rosters apart from winners to losers, he made the big picture for the Orioles much better for present day and the future.

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I hope contract helps Jones keep Birds accountable

Posted on 27 May 2012 by Glenn Clark

I’ve already used both space on Twitter (@WNST, @GlennClarkWNST) and on AM1570 WNST.net to opine about the significance of the Baltimore Orioles giving CF Adam Jones the richest contract in franchise history.

We now finally know all of the details and Jones is set to discuss those details Sunday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

I won’t be attending Sunday’s press conference. I would, but our WNST.net Ballpark reporter Luke Jones has been denied the right to ask questions at previous press conferences and I don’t want to run the risk of causing a scene at what should almost certainly be a day of celebration.

Adam Jones’ contract extension is as much an event to celebrate as almost anything we’ve seen in the last 15 years of baseball in Charm City. The Birds have perhaps addressed both their present and their future and made a major statement about their willingness to do things differently than they have for more than decade while losing many more games than they won.

I’m aware Jones perhaps took a hometown discount in signing the contract a season and a half shy of free agency. I’m aware the team still appears to need more pitching than they currently have to be an annual contender. I’m aware that the team now needs to shift attention to catcher Matt Wieters when it comes to contracts.

There was something bigger than jumped out at me though.

As I was given more time to dissect what Jones’ deal really means, I thought back to December 1997. For O’s fans around my age, Brady Anderson was about the coolest thing to ever happen to the Orange & Black. He had young female fans worship him and young male fans…well…basically worship him. He had it all. Sideburns, muscles, personality, charm, speed, defense and an amazing 50 home run season.

(I didn’t mention anything about performance enhancing drugs. You do what you want there.)

After Anderson’s 50 home run campaign in 1996 and the Orioles’ run to the ALCS in ’97, young fans like myself lived in fear of waking up one morning to be informed that Anderson had signed a major deal with the New York Yankees or Atlanta Braves or Cleveland Indians.

Anderson was certainly not the commodity at 34 that Jones would have been had he reached free agency at 28, but he still had market interest. He ultimately passed on shorter deals with more per season to accept five years and $31 million from Peter Angelos and the Orioles. Anderson’s best seasons were clearly behind him, but it still meant quite a bit for the franchise to make the move.

I also thought back to January of 2009, when Andy MacPhail locked up OF Nick Markakis for six years and $66 million, the richest contract extension the franchise had given to a player until Jones’ deal. (SS Miguel Tejada had received the overall most lucrative contract in team history until Jones.) While certainly not reaching superstar status, Markakis has given the Birds stellar defense and a mostly consistent bat.

But beyond the significant contracts, there is a more important similarity between the two players whose time has spanned much of the team’s “Rock Bottom Era.” The issue is that neither player was able to use his major contract to help keep the team accountable.

A baseball player with a rich contract is in a unique situation with the franchise paying the deal. Because the money is guaranteed, the player has the right to get away with certain things a player in another league might not be able to. In the case of the Orioles, they’ve really needed a player who has been willing to stand up and say “we need better” as the team suffered through losing seasons after losing season.

Allow me to be fair to the two players involved. Anderson was only part of the club at the very beginning of their lean years, and the team was still making at least some attempts to improve by bringing in the likes of Albert Belle and others. (Anderson however has become a well known defender of the Angelos regime in recent years, which has helped him find his way back into the organization.) Markakis has never been much of a vocal type, but he did publicly question the direction of the organization. His participated in a dinner with Angelos that season to discuss those very issues.

Perhaps there is an argument to be made that Markakis’ 2010 outburst DID lead to accountability, as two years later the Orioles have shown themselves (at least for two months) to be one of the better teams in baseball.

But moving forward, I hope it’s a role that suits Jones well. I hope the fire, drive, passion and determination to win that have made Jones an emotional figure in recent years will translate both on field and off. I hope that if the Birds make questionable decisions, he’ll call them out for them. It doesn’t need to be something he does publicly, just a statement made privately from the player slated to receive more money during his tenure than any Oriole before.

I hope Jones embraces not only the responsibilities of an on field leader and star, but as a bit of a caretaker for an organization that has so desperately lacked the right man for the role. I hope he puts pressure on the organization to make the moves necessary to stay in contention every season. I hope he never takes the easy way out and thinks “Mr. Angelos (or insert future owner’s name here) has made me a rich man. It’s not my place to stand up to him.”

I feel as though Jones can be a significant part of the solution for the Orioles. I hope he’s up for everything that comes along with the task.


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Locking up Adam Jones is monumental for Orioles organization

Posted on 25 May 2012 by Peter Dilutis

These first two months of 2012 have been really, really fun here in Baltimore. As I’ve said numerous times before, I was seven years old the last time the Orioles had a winning season in 1997. Since then, we’ve all been teased by hot starts and promising prospects, only for the losses to mount during the summer and the players to depart over the winter.

For a few weeks now, I’ve wanted to believe that this organization has finally turned the corner. I’ve wanted to believe that Buck Showalter was finally the right manager to lead this team back to contention, and that Dan Duquette was finally the right general manager to make the aggressive, smart moves needed to contend in the toughest division in all of sports. The notion that this young, talented core assembled by Andy MacPhail and supplemented by Dan Duquette was finally good enough to take on the beasts in the American League has certainly crossed my mind. Some days, I believe it to be true. Other days, I remain skeptical.

After all, even if all of this does come together and 2012 turns out to be a magical year here in Birdland, will it continue?

Will the increased revenue generated from the added attendance that the coming months will undoubtedly bring barring a complete meltdown be put back into the team? Will it allow Dan Duquette to go out and not only add pieces, but keep his own? Would this version of the organization that is finally getting a taste of what it feels like to win in Baltimore have the drive to keep building, rather than constantly crossing their collective fingers hoping that 90 percent of the puzzle falls into the correct places in order to contend?

The Orioles are winning, and quite honestly, they aren’t showing many signs of slowing down. But how would this organization, led by an owner who has shown absolutely no commitment to winning consistently in this market and a general manager who was both highly successful and out of baseball for nearly a decade, handle success? How would they handle, well, not sucking?

I wasn’t sure. I was, and still am, more skeptical about the long-term relevance of the Baltimore Orioles than 2012. Once a team starts to win and gets that taste in their collective mouths, it’s often very tough to slow them down. Whether or not this team contends for a World Championship in 2012 is certainly up in the air, but I have a hard time envisioning this team not being at least in the top half of the baseball world come October. Even that would have to be considered a successful season given the bleak outlook of both the present and future just two months ago.

However, with an Adam Jones extension seemingly inevitable at this point, I have to say I am extremely surprised, impressed, and excited about where this organization is headed.

Peter Angelos is still the owner, and all that comes from that is not going to change. But the fact that the decision makers in the organization recognized the necessity of doing SOMETHING with Adam Jones prior to the trade deadline is a very good sign.

The fact that the decision was to extend Jones rather than trade him is an even better sign.

This organization has claimed to be rebuilding ever since Syd Thrift traded the likes of B.J. Surhoff, Mike Bordick, Charles Johnson, and the rest of the mediocre crew back in 2000. They’ve claimed that they have been building for the future each and every year of this decade and a half losing streak. We’ve heard the same tune from Jim Beattie, Mike Flanagan, Jim Duquette, and Andy MacPhail. Unfortunately for Orioles fans, the “building” never got past the ground level and they were using some pretty inferior hammers in the process.

When Buck Showalter was hired, he referenced the movie Braveheart and talked about how there would come a point in time when the organization would decide to release the spears and “go for it.” At this time, it would be determined that the core in place at the time was ready to contend, and at that point, it would be time to open the checkbook and make the moves necessary to contend for a championship, not just for one year but each and every year.

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Duquette speaks out about the Orioles — on a Boston station

Posted on 19 November 2011 by Drew Forrester

Another day, another bizarre story from the wizards who make the public relations decisions with the Orioles.

The story isn’t all that unfamiliar, actually.

You’ll read it and say to yourself, “So, what’s new?”

Answer:  Nothing’s new.  And that’s the problem.

You’ll recall that Tuesday a week ago, Dan Duquette was introduced as the Orioles new General Manager at a press conference at The Warehouse.  If you listened to the Morning Reaction last week or read yesterday’s Friday Mud at WNST.net, you’re aware of the fact that during that press conference, WNST’s Luke Jones was intentionally ignored by the press conference moderator despite the fact that he sat in his chair and kept his hand raised for the better part of 15 minutes during the open Q & A session.

That’s bad enough.  It’s not only completely bush-league, it once again shows that nothing has changed with the ballclub, who continue to operate on the concept of “we decide what questions get asked of us” while the rest of the sports world simply says, “Does ANYONE have any questions?”

But the Luke Jones hand-in-the-air snub wasn’t the worst mistake the Orioles made recently.  Not even close .

This past Tuesday, Dan Duquette made an appearance on a Boston sports talk radio station, WEEI, and spent that time answering questions from the show’s hosts about the Orioles and his time as the Red Sox GM.

On the surface, the interview appearance looks rather benign.  After all, it’s Duquette talking to people in his old stomping grounds.  What’s so wrong with that, right?

Nothing, really.  Except for the fact that Duquette is not allowed to have that same conversation with the media in Baltimore.  He can, of course, have that talk with the two stations in town that pay the club, WBAL and 105.7.  But he’s not allowed to talk about his new job or the Orioles with WNST, WCBM, WPOC, 92-Q or anyone else in town.

Please understand this:  I’m not blaming Dan Duquette for any of this mess.  I’m about 99% sure he has no idea that his new employer is going to restrict him from talking to the Baltimore media.  He’ll find out at some point, I’m sure, but for now, 3 weeks into his job, he doesn’t really know how shameful his appearance was on WEEI.

I have no idea which member of the Orioles organization makes those decisions – you know, like the one two Tuesdays ago concerning Luke Jones.  I wish I knew…but you never, ever get any kind of straight answer from The Warehouse.  And I don’t really know which dinosaur over there who doesn’t have a clue about public relations would make a decision to NOT allow Dan Duquette to be interviewed by any Baltimore radio station that wants him…but yet an appearance on a Boston radio station is permitted.

Who makes that decision?  Is it Greg Bader?  Is it Bob Ames?  Is it Lou Kousouris?  I don’t know.  Bader is the guy that’s always quoted in the newspaper anytime something GOOD happens with the club, like new uniforms, a charitable donation or some other element of the organization that needs to be professionally polished for the public’s consumption.  He’s also the guy you NEVER hear from in matters like this, which clearly falls under his umbrella as “Director of Communications”.  Is it Bob Ames making the call to ignore Luke Jones and then, in the very next week, say “It’s OK” to have Duquette do an interview in Boston while ignoring the ticket holders of Baltimore?  Or was Kousouris the person who made that decision?  By the way, my Warehouse source tells me Peter Angelos is in no way involved in petty matters such as these…for those of you thinking this was all rubber stamped by the owner.

But no one over there will own up to the big question:  “Which one of you people thinks it’s good for your business to not allow your new General Manager to be interviewed in Baltimore…but yet you see the wisdom of allowing him to talk to the folks in the Boston media?”

Baseball fans in Baltimore deserve better than this.

They’ve deserved better for a long time.

Andy MacPhail had zero interest in getting involved in the whole fuster-cluck.  He told Nestor and I at the Nick Markakis (see next page please)

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

Posted on 17 November 2011 by 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.

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Dear Dan

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An open letter to Dan Duquette of the Orioles

Posted on 08 November 2011 by Drew Forrester

To: Dan Duquette, Baltimore Orioles
Fr: Drew Forrester, WNST Radio/WNST.net

Welcome to Baltimore and congratulations on your new position.

I know I speak for a lot of people in town when I say “Good Luck” over the next three years.

This is also where I’d throw in the the snarky “you’re gonna need it” line after saying “Good Luck”, but you already know that, I’m sure.

You might eventually find out – if you listen to me or read this or if I’m allowed in the press box again next season – that I say what’s on my mind. Here’s what’s on my mind right now. If I had to bet ON you or AGAINST you in this new endeavor, I’d bet AGAINST you. Nothing personal. I don’t know you at all. But I know you’re now employed by the Orioles. And I know what that means. You’re more than likely going to fail. Why? Because you’re set up to fail from the start. Trades you want to make are always a candidate to be squashed if others in the company don’t approve of them (just ask Jim Beattie about the Erik Bedard for Mark Teixeira deal that was nixed). Free agents you’ll want to sign will run out of patience because it takes too long to get the financial approval from the owner. You can ask Paul Konerko’s agent about that one.

You’re going to find out what everyone else has found out. Your visions and fancy answers at press conferences and promises to “work hard and build a contending team” all sound heartfelt and I believe that you believe them. But a chef never made a great bowl of chicken salad out of chicken manure. And that’s why I’ll bet against you.

Just so you know, I wrote the same thing about Buck Showalter when he took over in August of 2010. I bet against HIM too. So far, I’m right on that one. He hasn’t succeeded here.

No one before you – or least since 1997 when Pat Gillick was in control – has been able to take this team from the dumper to the promised land. I can’t imagine you didn’t consult with some of the guys who occupied your office in the past — Jim Beattie, Andy MacPhail and even your cousin, Jim — and I’d be shocked if all three didn’t give you the honest truth about the situation.

You’re entering a hornet’s nest.

As you know from the interview process you just endured, your hands are already somewhat tied given the fact that you’re not allowed to terminate guys like David and John Stockstill, both of whom have been here a long time and have a less-than-productive track record over that span.

Tony LaCava walked away from the job because he couldn’t make changes in the departments currently occupied by the two Stockstills and Lee MacPhail IV.

You – and perhaps this is to your credit – decided you’d take the job under those conditions. Let’s hope the performance of the Stockstills and MacPhail IV improves under your management or you’ll eventually face the same fate as MacPhail, Beattie, Jim Duquette and the late Mike Flanagan.

I completely understand that you didn’t answer most of the questions during your introductory press conference. The questions thrown at you were fair, but one day (see next page for more)

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So what happened with Tony LaCava and the Orioles? I know…

Posted on 02 November 2011 by Drew Forrester

The news that Tony LaCava had turned down the Orioles couldn’t possibly have surprised you, right?

I know, it was all but a done deal when LaCava arrived back in Baltimore on Monday to meet Peter Angelos and have Buck Showalter’s personal choice gift-wrapped to the owner for a quick sandwich and a handshake.

But *something happened* once LaCava settled in and realized he was about to make a life-changing decision and join the Orioles after a successful run as the #2 man in Toronto.

In fact, that was the question gobs of people asked me last night via email, text message and Twitter.  “Drew, what happened with LaCava?”

I know the answer.

Forget all these crazy conspiracies about Angelos meeting with him and giving LaCava a bird’s eye view of how meddlesome he can be.  It wasn’t about Showalter having too much control.  It wasn’t about any of that stuff.

I know what happened.

The Orioles happened.

That’s it.

The Orioles happened.

LaCava arrived in town ready to cement the deal.  Ten hours later, he got on a plane, went home to Toronto, and realized it’s just not worth leaving a solid-foundation-of-a-franchise in Toronto to join a cellar-dweller in Baltimore that has little chance of moving up the ladder anytime soon.

And please, save your “he met Peter Angelos and that was the end of the deal” comments.  Tony LaCava isn’t dumb or naive. He knows the history of the Orioles and the ownership of Angelos.  He’s sat in league meetings with Angelos.  He knew full good and well he would be coming into a hornet’s nest in Baltimore.

LaCava did what we all would do if, in fact, we were actually interested in the job.  He came down to Baltimore, got the offer, sniffed out the landscape and took 12 hours to think about it.  He processed all of that information – like we all would if we received a new job offer – and when it all shook down, he decided it wasn’t the right move for him.

In the end, LaCava settled the whole thing with this self-examination:  “Why leave Toronto, where you have a secure job, a nice salary and a team that’s on the rise?”

Just to make more money?

Look, if you’re making $75,000 in Baltimore and someone offers you $150,000 to work for them in Washington DC, you’d probably figure out a way to tolerate that hellhole-of-a-traffic-calamity and battle 495 for 3 hours a day while driving the 12 miles from the 95/495 split into DC proper.

But if you’re making $250,000 in Baltimore and someone offers you $400,000 to go to DC, my guess is you make that drive once in rush hour and say, “Uh, no-freakin’-thanks.”

At one point in 1998, I had the chance to go to Buffalo and make a six-figure salary (guaranteed for 3-years) to run their indoor soccer team.  I flew up there, had a great steak, spent a day-and-a-half with their people and took the offer back home to Baltimore.  They thought I was taking the job.  Once I got home, I made a call or two to folks

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The End of the Andy MacPhail Era- The View from the Balcony

Posted on 16 October 2011 by Erich Hawbaker

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!



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

Posted on 08 October 2011 by 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?

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With MacPhail out, what’s next for Showalter, O’s?

Posted on 07 October 2011 by Peter Dilutis

Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Andy MacPhail is out as Orioles president of baseball operations and will not return to the organization in any capacity in 2012.

Buck Showalter, once expected by many to assume the role of general manager upon MacPhail’s departure, remains as manager for the time being.

My first impression is simple: What took so long? This is a move that has been expected for at least a few months, and while the obvious ultimately occurred, the Orioles stayed true to form in making the entire situation much more complicated and painful than it needed to be.

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Andy MacPhail called the shots in Baltimore for four full seasons, each resulting in a last place finish. While I think he is a solid baseball man who made some good decisions with the O’s, it became apparent over time that he was not the right man to turn this team into a contender in the American League East.

It was time for him to move on.

While Buck Showalter as general manager intrigues me, I believe he is a good baseball man and manager, and the Orioles will benefit from him staying in the dugout.

Buck is a known quantity. He is, at worst, an above average manager. It can be logically argued that moving Buck from manager to general manager, assuming the Orioles wouldn’t go out and hire a slam dunk manager, would then create two unknowns as Showalter has no experience as the main decision maker in an organization.

What this situation does create is a potentially delicate situation for whoever does replace MacPhail as the general manager, president of baseball operations, or whatever fancy title Peter Angelos decides to give the new head man.

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