Firing someone may send a message, but it won't make these 2018 Orioles any better - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly

Firing someone may send a message, but it won’t make these 2018 Orioles any better

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

After starting 3-15 this season with a minus-46 run differential and 5.42 team ERA, the Cincinnati Reds decided to fire manager Bryan Price and pitching coach Mack Jenkins on Thursday morning.

I bring this to your attention because the Orioles, after an embarrassing 13-8 loss in Detroit on Thursday, head back to Camden Yards with a 5-14 record, a minus-43 run differential and a 5.05 team ERA.

Those are the kinds of numbers that cause baseball heads to roll. They did in Cincinnati.

And they probably should in Baltimore – at least to show that someone higher-up is exceptionally disgruntled with the lackluster play that produced an 0-6 road trip in which the Orioles were outscored 43-22 and were swept by the hot Boston Red Sox and a mediocre-at-best Tigers club.

The dilemma, though, is who gets the axe?

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Plenty of candidates.

Can’t see the firing of any, however, making this team significantly better in 2018. There are a lot of players up and down this club that need to – and should — play better. Period.

The old adage, of course, is that you can’t fire the players.

Frankly, in Baltimore, you can’t fire the manager, either.

Buck Showalter is in the final year of his contract. But no one around the club believes this is Showalter’s last year, assuming he wants to be back, which he publicly says he does. The feeling is Showalter, who helped bring some pride back to this once-proud franchise, has the wink and the nod from ownership that 2019 and beyond is a mere formality.

The sense is that executive vice president Dan Duquette doesn’t enjoy the same tacit job security, that the Orioles better be really good in 2018 or Duquette will not be back in the same capacity, or maybe any capacity, in 2019.

The third member of the Orioles’ three-headed executive monster, vice president Brady Anderson, probably has the most job security of all. He’s an especially close confidant of the Angelos’ family, particularly sons John and Lou, who are becoming increasingly more active in the business that has been run by their dad, Peter, since 1993.

Anderson took a major role in acquiring talent for this season, and he was at the forefront of negotiations this winter that successfully added pitchers Andrew Cashner, Chris Tillman and Alex Cobb (who, incidentally was torched Thursday for seven runs, five earned, in 3 1/3 innings and now has a 15.43 ERA in his two starts as an Oriole. Better days surely are ahead for him).

Add in that Peter Angelos has historically preferred to let contracts run out than fire his executives, I’d be surprised if the three-headed monster gets lopped to two heads any time soon.

So, who do you make a scapegoat for this nightmare?

Again, this is muddied. It’s Baltimore.

Showalter is exceptionally loyal to his staff – he basically walked away from the New York Yankees right before their World Series run in the 1990s because he wouldn’t fire his hitting coach.

He hasn’t had to deal with a similar ultimatum here, but he has had to defend both hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh and pitching coach Roger McDowell in the last year to dissatisfied ownership and management.

You would think that one of those two – it’s never both – is on the hottest of seats.

But which one is more to blame?

You could easily make the argument that the offense is so moribund that Coolbaugh should be the fall guy, but the Orioles scored 13 runs in their past two games and lost both because the opposition scored 19.

So, you could easily point the finger at McDowell, who supervised the worst starting rotation in franchise history last year and the staff ERA, as a whole, is still above 5.00.

But it’s not like McDowell is pitching for Cobb, Mike Wright, Chris Tillman and Nestor Cortes. Or Coolbaugh is hitting for Chris Davis, Caleb Joseph and Tim Beckham.

Frankly, I’ve never been a fan of firing a positional coach because a particular unit isn’t doing well. Not in baseball, anyway. These guys aren’t calling plays; they tweak and counsel, but little more.

Yes, a fresh voice can be helpful on occasion. But if the problem is inherent to the personnel, I don’t see how that is a coach’s fault.

Take for instance infield instructor Bobby Dickerson. He’s been lauded for his work with Davis, Jonathan Schoop, Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy.

Now that Hardy’s not on the team, Schoop is hurt, Machado has switched from third base to shortstop and Beckham has gone from shortstop to third base, the infield defense has looked porous for much of this early season.

Fire Dickerson?

Of course not.

So, fire Coolbaugh or McDowell?

No.

But, yes, I suppose, if a statement has to be made.

So, which one?

I’m not sure it matters, because I don’t think either’s removal will make this team better.

The bottom line for me is that the real problem here is abysmal roster construction. And that would put Duquette on the firing line.

Yet not all of these moves are Duquette’s handiwork. Some are Anderson’s. Some are Showalter’s. Heck, the one that looks to be the worst at this juncture, $161 million over seven years for Davis, was nearly exclusively ownership’s.

I know, you want to fire Angelos. That can’t happen. So, deal with it.

My take is this: If you want a stooge for this mess, take your pick and punt someone.

The Orioles are, after all, 5-14, have lost six straight and eight of nine and are laughable in just about every aspect of the game.

But if the purpose of an administrative personnel change is to make this team better right now, I don’t believe firing anyone at this point achieves that goal.

This club was built the way it was built: With a good chunk of money, several architects and no concrete plan.

It’s either going to bounce back because the roster is still pretty damn talented or it’ll continue to implode ingloriously because it is pretty damn flawed.

I’m fairly certain a firing here or there won’t change those prospects in 2018.

53 Comments

53 Comments

  1. boss61

    April 19, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    No one gets fired before mid-season.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 19, 2018 at 9:22 pm

      I would imagine that would be fair. But bad starts have a way of snowballing, and emotions can run high.

  2. KyleGrantham

    April 19, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    First and foremost, fire Duquette. Forget the fact he’s been a C- GM at best, the writing is very much on the wall that Brady is their guy for the future given how heavily involved he was this offseason and how progressively more involved he’s been the last three years. You want to send a message without actually doing anything, Duquette is the first step.

    McDowell and Coolbaugh need to go, and it’s not because the team ERA is bad, or because the team AVG is bad. It’s because when players struggle, they appear to be on a raft in the ocean alone. Maybe they’re all stubborn and refuse to listen to advice – or maybe the position coaches just aren’t good coaches and can’t correct their problems effectively. We saw how Adair screwed up Arrieta. I don’t doubt McDowell doesn’t know how to help Tillman.

    The defensive problems are on Duquette. They don’t have any positional depth in the infield. At all. They’ve got 43 outfielders of the future but can anyone tell me the answer at first base, short stop, second or third? Ryan Mountcastle is maybe a major leaguer one day, otherwise it’s been a parade of AAAA players or retreads. If Duquette’s MO is finding positional depth at a bargain, he’s failed colossally while apparently ignoring it altogether in the draft.

    Let Duq go now, find an answer at third base – it’s a MASSIVE hole on this team – and maybe when the pitchers don’t feel like they’re walking a tight rope things will get better. I don’t fault Cobb for today’s outing, he had 20 ground balls hit against him and how many were fielded? You can’t ask the guy to strike out everyone.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 19, 2018 at 9:25 pm

      Yeah, I’m not sure I agree with the C-. Results-wise , Duquette has had more effectiveness during his tenure than anyone I’ve covered (18 seasons). And I’m not sure everything you are blaming him for is his doing. But he was the primary architect of this roster. So, I understand the criticism.

      • Mau

        April 21, 2018 at 2:41 pm

        I would argue that his “results” in the last few years resulted from Bucks masterful use of his bullpen. This helped to mask the feast or famine batting order and moreso the SP staff which has been mediocre at best until its crescendo as an abomination last year. He is the roster constructor. While I understands he reps a dysfunctional Oriole organization, he is the guy who will be remembered fondly by all the descendants of Ubaldo, crush (now spelled with a small C) and a plethora of other similar one and no-trick ponies that have ridden up to the Angelos tie-rail.

        Fire Duquette or just let him ride out his contract. He wanted out of his contract a few years ago anyway, correct?

  3. c Soprano

    April 19, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    Fire someone? Pointless. There isn’t a plan. Proved that when they blew their wad on the strikeout machine instead of locking up their true star. Now we’ll all get watch him beat our brains in playing for either pig franchise in the northeast.
    1. New owner
    2. Budget from new owner
    3. New owner doesn’t play GM or doctor
    4. New GM employs modern analytics
    5. New GM hires a manager who is content being just a manager and not recommending one bad contract after another.
    6. New manager who doesn’t play favoritism
    7. Members of media not intimidated by new manager and can comfortably ask questions the average fan is screaming at their tv asking

    • Dan Connolly

      April 19, 2018 at 9:39 pm

      I probably should just ignore this one. Or focus on another point. But I try to be respectful, so I’ll make an attempt to address your No. 7. First, I would say I don’t think there is anyone I’ve worked with or have covered that would ever use the word “intimidated” to describe me. Trust me, there may be plenty of words used, but I can’t imagine that has been one. I’ve never been afraid to ask a question to anyone, though I try to do it skillfully and/or respectfully. Secondly, I assume you are alluding to post-game conferences with Showalter. And you have to understand those are after the game, on deadline and emotions are often high. Those are times to ask questions specific to that game. They are not for big picture. They are not for analyzing a lineup or a guy’s continued crappy play. What you may not realize is that we have about 20 minutes with the manager before every game that is not televised (not live anyway). THOSE are the times when the big-picture questions — or what you might call tough questions — are asked. The emotions aren’t charged, the answers aren’t clipped, etc. I think if you were to watch those, you’d scream at your television a whole lot less. I’m glad you can’t though. I think we can get more direct answers that way. By the way, as a longtime national baseball reporter, I’ve been in post-game scrums with many managers. The routine and questioning is often the same, no matter the city or manager.

  4. ATCguy

    April 19, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    I agree that, at this point, it doesn’t really matter. But if I gotta pick someone, it’s Coolbaugh. McDowell gets the pass only because of the majority of the talent he’s had to work with. 3rd, 4th, and 5th starters at best on other contending teams… and a few bullpen arms that wouldn’t even be in the majors on other squads. But Coolbaugh HAS had good talent, and (for whatever reason) the correct message isn’t getting through. It’s either bad info or a bad game plan (which I find hard to believe), not good enough info, or a failure to get the hitters to follow the above. If we go with the premise that the info & game plans are good, then the players are ignoring him. Either way, it’s a failure to communicate. It happens… sometimes good people just don’t click in a productive manner. But when that happens, the general has to relieve & replace the battalion commander with someone who can in order for the army to be successful.

    On a 2nd point… and slightly off-topic… unless they’re already going to throw away the season, I think management needs to make the decision right now whether they’re gonna even try to resign Manny. If so, I can see why they’ll continue to humor him playing short. But if not, then that experiment either needs to end, or they need to find a good 3rd-baseman. It’s become painfully obvious (especially after the past few games) that Beckham ain’t cutting it over there (no real fault of his, as he’s doing what he was asked). And, as good as he is, no one is saying “superstar shortstop Manny Machado”, though they did say “superstar 3rd-baseman Manny Machado”. I know he’ll be upset if Buck pencils him back at 3rd… but if they have no interest in even trying to keep him, then who cares?

    • Dan Connolly

      April 19, 2018 at 9:43 pm

      I think management already is convinced it won’t re-sign Machado, not for what he is expected to get, anyway. And, to your point, I don’t think anyone is gonna stop saying superstar third baseman. They’ve seen it. They don’t need more. However, if he ends up transferring that stellar defense to shortstop that can only help his trade value, if they move him.

  5. whiterose

    April 19, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Cincy has been bad much longer.
    There is a reason that Buck has not lasted elsewhere more than four years.
    Where is Duquette anyway. Seems media would have tons of questions for him.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 19, 2018 at 9:44 pm

      He’s around. We ask him questions. Not as if the answers are particularly enlightening.

  6. Teejay

    April 19, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    I see a team with no chemistry, no clubhouse leader! Cobb, Cashner, Jones, Davis, Schoop, Machado, Britton, O’Day, Givens, these all have been good ballplayers, are good ballplayers or can be good ballplayers. I look at their body language now and I look at it a few years ago and it’s totally different.

    Is Buck’s message getting kind of stale? Did Duquette not supply Buck with the right horses? Well we seem to have a somewhat talented team however we all know it’s the team with the best chemistry that usually wins instead of the most talented team. This team reminds me a bit of the ‘04 team that had Tejada, Javy Lopez and Ponson and Palmeiro. Lots of talent but not a lot of chemistry!

    • Dan Connolly

      April 19, 2018 at 9:46 pm

      I’ll tell you I was in each of those clubhouses daily. This one was a whole lot better than that one. That said, it’s not as good as, say, 2014. But winning has something to do with that too.

  7. Eldersburg Enigma

    April 19, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    Glad to see you’re coming around to my point from the past two weeks, Dan. The roster is a jumbled mess. It seems to me that the O’s decided to go all-in too late. But I’m still a MUCH more optimistic for the next few seasons than I was in January. That’s because the team has four decent starting pitchers under team control for a few years.

    As far as the saying you can’t fire the players? Time to DFA Tillman, Wright, and Arajeo.

    Since we’re stuck with Trumbo, let’s see if his bat is stronger when he plays RF or 1B compared to being the DH.

    Still a lot of movable pieces on this roster!

    • Dan Connolly

      April 19, 2018 at 9:50 pm

      I’m not sure I came around. I’ve been harping on the roster construction, specifically the offense, for a couple years now. You can DFA who you suggested, but you also need players that are significantly better to replace them. And you also need some of your key contributors — who you aren’t gonna DFA — to step up.

  8. Bancells Moustache

    April 19, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    14 hits, 8 runs…11 more strikeouts.

    The organization is playing a guy at shortstop to the
    obvious detriment of the team all so they can sell him at a higher price. If you played for this team, would you really be buying the notion you are there to win?

    I disagree that you can’t fire the players. They’re the ones who suck and nothing makes people move faster than a body on the floor. Firing Coolbaugh or McDowell is a token gesture and everyone knows it. Get rid of a player. DFA, demotion to Norfolk, or trade someone’s ass for a bag of balls. This level of incompetence, particularly when you can’t get more that 10000 people in the door, cannot be tolerated.

    Oh well, tomorrow evening I’ll make my inaugural appearance at the Yard. Club seats too, right in front of one of those bars in the club section, where I will undoubtedly be after about 3 innings of watching this bunch of stiffs hit against Trevor Bauer in 40 degree weather.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 19, 2018 at 9:52 pm

      I don’t how you can spit vitriol and still make me smile at the end. I gotta try that.

  9. Ben1

    April 19, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    I look forward to 2019 when Buck is GM and DDDD is gone. Yes, Buck shares some blame too, and since I cant afford to buy the team then Duquette falls first.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 19, 2018 at 9:52 pm

      I truly don’t see Buck as GM. Certainly not with the title.

  10. Baltimos687

    April 19, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    Nice write up Dan. You’re a little more realistic on the O’s current situation than the MASN duo. By the looks of it the O’s will most certainly be sellers at the deadline. I can’t imagine they let Duquette make all the moves when he’s basically out the door 2 months later. It’s a very strange situation all around. I feel like this trade deadline is very important for the coming years and I just don’t think you can have DD orchestrating that.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 19, 2018 at 10:50 pm

      That is a solid point and others have made it as well. I get that. I’d really buy in if I thought these types of decisions — the big ones — were unilaterally Duq’s. But that is never the case with this organization. So it’s not like he’ll make all the calls and leave.

  11. Rock Island

    April 19, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    Dan…nice job. Think you are the first to clearly illustrate it is a dysfunctional method of running any organization not just baseball. To me it is a microcosm of the decision making and the ensuing results over two decades. A father, two sons, a guy behind the curtain, a guy brought in out of the Israeli desert and the field manager, all involved in a process void of a vision and real success. Just found this site and promise to make it a regular read. Very interesting point of view concerning the machinations of your job.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 19, 2018 at 10:51 pm

      Thanks for joining us RI. Although I will say I’m not the first to mention dysfunction in this organization. It pre-dates me. And I’ve been doing this a long time.

  12. Mr Will

    April 19, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    Fire…SHMIRE! The front office has been the ruin of this team for too long as I have frequently stated. But here is what should be done now.
    1. Os miss Schoop badly so sign him to long term deal this year.
    2. Manny is unfortunately gone…put him back on third and Beckham back to shortstop. No need to kiss Manny’s (you know what) So make most of him while he is here and TRADE HIM WELL BEFORE July 31.
    3. For so long our Bullpen was pride of the Os but no more…starting 4 is good (Cobb will be fine) If no decent offer for Britton, keep him until the best offer is available. We don’t need to concern ourselves about a closer this year or next. Some decent looking pitching 1-2 years away in our system. Two guys we sent to the Brewers are mound stars (Hader and Davies)
    4. Mancini and Sisco are doing fine and I think Santander with a month or three in Norfolk can be a star in Os outfield. Bring up some younger guys and let them mature here…cannot go much lower than last place.
    5. Not a Davis fan but he looks better and showing power to left. We need speed at top of order and hopefully we can go from a home run or whiff mentality and play more small ball.
    6. Mistake made when it happened… I said Castillo could have been returned for not much as long as he got two year contract. Caleb looks like he is back in 2016. Really sad when they looked at 4 infielders to bring up to replace Schoop and none of them appear to be any good.
    7. Os should do Jones a favor and trade him to a contender in NL.
    8. Around Oct 1, fire Duquette and give Brady his job. Or if Buck prefers, let him be GM and Brady manage or since they know many of the players promote Norfolk or Bowie manager to big club.
    We’ve had a good run and came close…but reality says we have two years to rebuild this team. GO Os!
    Mr Will

    • Dan Connolly

      April 19, 2018 at 11:04 pm

      Will, always appreciate your comments. Too much to address individually. But I would say this again would be a good time to seriously talk to Schoop about an extension. And the idea of trading Machado well before July 31 defeats the purpose of trying to summon the most competition for his services. It’s around midJuly when teams really decide who they are. That’s when trade talks pick up.

  13. Gears

    April 19, 2018 at 11:38 pm

    Nothing done this year will matter. Fire Dan Duquette at the end of the season. If Buck wants to move to the front office make that happen and fire Brady to make it clear Buck’s in charge. If Buck wants to keep managing or retire, give Brady two years as General Manager to see what he can do.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 20, 2018 at 9:14 am

      I don’t see Brady being canned. And I don’t see Buck leaving managing. At least not yet. Maybe this season changes that.

  14. Tiss

    April 20, 2018 at 12:06 am

    You guys are nuts. Let Buck or Brady Anderson. GM this team for 5 years and you’ll be begging for the days of Duquette again.

    Dan Duquette is a fine, analytically minded GM. Buck is a Hall of Fame manager. Brady was a fine player for years. Let them in the their roles.

    Does that mean they didn’t make mistakes? Of course not. I think of the starting five of pitchers we traded or just let go: Hader, ERod, Miggy, Davies, Bridwell. I think of the wild card game where Britton didn’t pitch and the Rangers were ripe for the picking in that next series and then you’re in the ALCS and who knows.

    But folks…the sad truth, and Dan comes close to saying it outright, is this: The Orioles will never be a truly top run team under the ownership of Peter Angelos. The most grievous errors are his and his alone. I’ll still root for them, of course, but I know this truth.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 20, 2018 at 9:16 am

      I don’t say it outright because I don’t believe this mess is all on ownership, either. But there certainly is a part played. And blame should start at the top. But there is plenty to go around. And, frankly, a chunk is on many of the players who have not matched their talent level yet this year.

  15. Boog Robinson Robinson

    April 20, 2018 at 7:26 am

    I feel a 20+ game win streak coming on ….

    • Dan Connolly

      April 20, 2018 at 9:16 am

      Only 20? This has gotten bad.

  16. Orial

    April 20, 2018 at 8:34 am

    At this point Coolbaugh Looks to be the scapegoat. Why fire Duquette when he’ll be gone anyway? Hearing rumors(Rosenthal) that Peter is ready to hand fulltime reign to his Sons and that they’ll be more open minded,aggressive,modern thinking in their approach. Encouraging. Any truth?

    • Dan Connolly

      April 20, 2018 at 9:19 am

      Frankly, the role of the sons has been increasing for a while now. I wrote at the time of the Cobb signing that John and Lou were heavily involved. What their philosophy will be, None of us know. Premature to state otherwise on their management philosophies.

  17. jimcarter

    April 20, 2018 at 8:44 am

    “Frankly, in Baltimore, you can’t fire the manager, either.” A new baseball fan might find this confusing, so let me clarify. There’s a difference between can’t and won’t. The Orioles won’t. It’s just like their role with international signings versus other clubs. The Orioles CHOOSE not to participate, most other teams DO. As far as heads are concerned, the monster in the front office has 5: 3 Angelos noggins, an Anderson and a Duquette. No one really knows which head gets reared on any certain decision. Maybe the heads vote and the majority wins!

    • Dan Connolly

      April 20, 2018 at 9:20 am

      Throw Buck in there. And won’t works too.

  18. PA Bird Lover

    April 20, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Dan, I could not agree any more, with you. Placing blame on this team is like no other team. To many people wanting the same sort of talent. PA & Sons, Brady, DD and Buck; to many chiefs. Angelos will never change and he likes lots of advice and that’s exactly where this once proud franchise sits. I claim firing anyone other than players is a poor decision, and we can’t do that, can we.
    PS- I’m betting DD won’t be back after his contract ends, but not before.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 20, 2018 at 9:20 am

      Yeah. My sense too.

  19. garyintheloo

    April 20, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Never a fan of firing people just to collect scalps though hitting coaches tend to turn over quickly in MLB. Not sure what the plan has been to develop the roster or even who is steering the ship. Player development, international signings, timely contract extensions, etc. have not been this team’s forte plus the recent positional draft picks have real flaws. Geez this season is just three weeks old but no real changes can happen before July so keep shouting out the window but don’t jump. When July comes clean house, get real prospects — DD has hired some real head scratchers — and make pitching and defense the priority. It will be something to watch while you close the window. Keep Araujo and park the Norfolk Shuttle as it is like calling a bucket brigade after the house already burned down. Nice effort but no help.

  20. The Wedge

    April 20, 2018 at 9:59 am

    If I HAD to pick someone, I’d go with one of the main coaches. And even then, I don’t think it would necessarily be a firing; more like a reassignment elsewhere within the organization. As DC pointed out, Mr. A doesn’t like to fire people, and I imagine his sons are of similar mindset.

    But if we’re truly going for it this year, then why not aim for continuity and dig in with the guys we have? The pitching, especially starters, has been really solid (and I’m stubborn, but I still think Tilly will come around as well). And suffice to say hitters aren’t quite used to batting in what’s usually mid-January type temperatures. Once the weather warms up, so will they, I bet anything on that. So let RM and SC be and continue to do their jobs as best they can.

    Same for management/FO. I saw somewhere that Buck was the new odds-on favorite to get fired. I literally LOLed. The “oddsmakers” obviously don’t understand how we do business here. Buck can write his own contract as far as I’m concerned….he means that much to this franchise and town. Brady, of course, is going nowhere. So that leaves Duke, but what’s the point? It does seem that the writing is on the wall for him, but why not allow him to go out with his dignity and pride intact? I mean, it can easily be argued that he kind of set the table for this great run of the last 5, 6 years. Dumping him now or at any point in-season accomplishes nothing.

    So I guess all that is to say that I agree (as often is the case) with DC….what’s the end result by axing any of these guys? This team is not going to continue to play at a .263 clip. Better to keep them all and see this era through to the very end, as has been the plan, for better or worse.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 20, 2018 at 1:31 pm

      Good post. And not just because I agree. Well reasoned.

  21. Bancells Moustache

    April 20, 2018 at 10:04 am

    Quick bit of Duquette apologism: everyone is shrieking he needs to be fired while proclaiming Showalter and Brady to be above reproach. As Dan’s article lays out, all three appear to tugging in their respective directions. Sounds like it’s tough for DD to even do his job? So if all three are the cause, why is canning Duquette the solution . As for some 2 headed “we like our guys” regime of Buck and Brady, Arizona tried the former player/famous manager model of front office a few years ago. Dave Stewart and Tony LaRussa promptly ran that organization into the ground.

    • JCO

      April 20, 2018 at 11:22 am

      You always make some strong points, and I’ll just add to what you just said…

      So they fire DD and start fishing for a replacement: If you’re a hot-shot assistant GM with a ton of talent, why would you want to go into that kind of work environment? My point is, this greatly limits the odds of getting a strong replacement. Maybe they just move Anderson to GM, make it official. Not the preferred outcome.

      • Bancells Moustache

        April 20, 2018 at 11:49 am

        Exactly. Who would want this job? You’ve got a meddling owner who doesn’t have a whole lot of money. A strong-willed manager who has that owners ear. A former player who has some unspecified role that may or may not outrank your own. A half empty stadium, no involvement with international talent, and most of your core players on their way out the door. If it came down to Baltimore and somewhere else, why would you pick here? Plus, the current breed of Front office wants the Manager walking in lockstep with them. Cora, Boone, Hinch, Roberts, Kapler, they are all basically following the Excel spreadsheet produced by the Yale guys upstairs. The traditional Earl Weaver style celebrity manager, which Showalter embodies to a T, is a dying breed. GM’s want yes men, and that isn’t Buck.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 20, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      Let me say this. And it comes up every time there is an opening in Baltimore. There are 30 jobs like this in the majors. There is no guarantee you’ll ever get one. So if you have a chance — no matter the organization — you go for it. Unless your current Big is deemed better. But there are a ton of people out there that would jump at a GM job with a team that has a payroll. Despite the other problems.

  22. trevise-en

    April 20, 2018 at 10:49 am

    “I’m fairly certain a firing here or there won’t change those prospects in 2018.”

    You’re right! But the banshees howling indignation will want one anyway. The blood must flow for the ghouls.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 20, 2018 at 1:37 pm

      Banshees howling indignation would be a great album name.

  23. willmiranda

    April 20, 2018 at 11:53 am

    In a bad situation any change brings short-term improvement. Change creates stress, stress creates adrenalin, and adrenalin sharpens performance, but it doesn’t last. Classic example: adding Beckham last year. That’s why teams make changes, even if there’s no direct logical connection between the problem and the change. The shot of adrenalin quiets the critics and elates the fans, especially those who have been screaming for a particular change. But a fundamentally flawed structure will remain fundamentally flawed unless the fundamentals are changed.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 20, 2018 at 1:38 pm

      How about in 88 when Senior was canned after 6 opening losses? And the team lost 15 more and went on to their worst record ever.

  24. willmiranda

    April 21, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Touche. Firing your best player’s father is not advisable, even in Little League. 🙂
    Seriously, Dan, do you think the present situation is comparable to ’88?

    • Dan Connolly

      April 21, 2018 at 12:06 pm

      No. This is a much better team. People don’t realize how hard it is to lose 100+. You have to be really, really bad. Think about how bad those teams were from 98-2010. And those never once lost 100. And in 1988 they dropped 107.

  25. Mr Will

    April 22, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    I was fine this Sunday morning until I picked up the Sun Sports section and perused the leaders of individual stats in baseball…I almost dumped my coffee on my lap when I saw leading batter in NL was R. Flaherty ATL.
    Shocking that PHL let him go since he and Arietta could have been teamates.

    If you ever look for a piece to do , how about an ex-Oriole team from 2012 to the present? Then I can drop the whole pot on myself.
    Mr Will

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