• Oct

    MacPhail was the Perfect GM for Angelos

    So let me see if I understand things correctly. The defacto General Manager of the Baltimore Orioles was wanted back despite never finishing out of the cellar in four seasons and then decided to walk away? How bad do thing have to be with the Orioles for that to happen?  

    I guess I can see why Angelos would want MacPhail back though. From everything I've heard, MacPhail's philosophy of not overspending fit VERY WELL with Angelos. Why else would an owner want a GM back that never won 70 games in a season for his organization? At one point in his life, Angelos was a very competitive man that wanted to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox. Unfortunately, he felt the way to do that was to go totally to free agency and not worry about scouting and development. Most of former scouting Director Tony DeMacio's high round picks were sign-ability picks. DeMacio not only did not have a budget to plan from, but had marching orders that any selection, whether it was the 1st or 35th round, that went over slot had to be approved by Angelos. Sometimes it took weeks to get a response back.

    The constant meddling and overall culture of backstabbing by the "Angelos guys" cost the organization some good baseball men back then and led them to be run by Angelos confidant Syd Thrift, who was about ten years past his prime and most likely in the early stages of dementia. Thrift basically destroyed the rest of the organization and set it on course for many, many more years of losing.

    Beattie and Flanagan were hired, but the rules had not really changed. Flanagan and Duquette had their hands tied as well and that's when I think Angelos decided that under the current finances in MLB, he couldn't compete, so the best thing was to make some money. So he hires a guy who has a track record of doing things on the cheap, and a history or not giving into players. For his part, MacPhail was given more control than the others before him, especially on the ability to trade players without having to wait weeks for a response from Angelos. MacPhail is methodical and slow, and is not going to charm anyone anytime soon, but at the same time, he showed an ability to make some good trades that netted him some players that could be part of a core to build around.

    Unfortunately, some believe the only reason Angelos doesn't meddle into every single thing anymore is because he's basically given up. With the money he gets for the Nationals being down the road, MASN money (the money isn't in the horrible commercials but the subscriber fees), ticket sales, concessions, radio, and national TV rights, he knows he can turn a profit as long a the Orioles don't get the payroll too high. In my opinion, it's no longer about wining for Angelos, since I don't believe he thinks he can anymore. I think the way he's “winning” is by proving he can turn a profit with a last place baseball team.

    So now the Orioles will go off on a GM search. Apparently Buck Showalter doesn’t want the title, but some believe he does want the power. With a powerful manager who has the ear of the owner, it will be interesting to see who will take the GM job. There are only 30 of them in baseball so someone will take the job, but it’s pretty clear when a guy who never gotten this team out of last place leaves the team despite being wanted back that the more things change, the more they will remain the same.

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Tony Pente

Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.