It's only early May, but it feels like a perfect 'Fall Day' in Birdland - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly

It’s only early May, but it feels like a perfect ‘Fall Day’ in Birdland

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

The next 36 hours in Birdland should be fascinating.

Because this snapshot of time should provide us a significant glimpse as to what direction this Orioles’ franchise is heading and who is steering it.

If most organizations were in this predicament, today would be the perfect time – an offday after a pathetic stretch — to fire someone.

The Orioles, as you know, though, are not most organizations.

They don’t do anything conventionally. Sometimes that’s admirable. Many times, it’s akin to pulling the fire alarm after most of the building is reduced to ashes.

This season is rubble – and it’s May 7.

The Orioles (8-26) have played 21 percent of their schedule and are already an unfathomable 17 games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox. Want some context? Last year, the Orioles finished in last place in the American League East and were only 18 games behind the division-winning Red Sox at season’s end.

These Orioles have lost six in a row, 12 of 14, and 19 of 23, and are tied with the Cincinnati Reds for the worst record in baseball.

The Orioles are winless in their last 12 road games, and return from a West Coast trip in which they were outscored 35-17 in six contests.

That kind of craptitude often gets the manager fired. It did in June 2010, when the Orioles were a majors’ worst 15-39 and were coming off an 0-6 road trip in which they were outscored 34-8 in six games.

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It won’t get the Orioles’ manager fired this year. I’d be floored if it did.

Buck Showalter doesn’t have a contract for 2019, and so, technically, he’s lame-duck and vulnerable. But the sense within the organization is Showalter’s contract status is a formality. He’ll be back in the dugout in 2019 if he wants to be back – and he has said publicly he does.

In June 2010, Dave Trembley didn’t have the same juice. That 0-6 road trip to Toronto and New York got Trembley canned, and replaced with interim Juan Samuel, who ultimately was removed that August for Showalter.

You know the rest of this story. Showalter changed the culture in the clubhouse, and the Orioles went 34-23 for the remainder of 2010. After a down season in 2011, Showalter helped break the club’s string of 14 losing seasons in 2012, the first of three playoff runs in five seasons.

Showalter, known as a tireless worker and adept tactician, is second all-time in Orioles history in length of managerial tenure and wins, behind only Hall-of-Famer Earl Weaver. He’s in his ninth season with the club, by far the longest stay with any of the four teams he has skippered. In a word, he’s been great for this franchise.

Still, you can make the argument that his message is stale and the shine is off. That the 61-year-old no longer holds the same respect or gets the same response out of his players as he did in, say, 2012 or 2014. You can also make the argument that those teams were hungrier, with players in their primes, and this group is older, stagnant, less-talented and basically unreachable by anyone.

No matter which side of the coin you are on, Showalter has cachet in the organization. That coin won’t be tossed away frivolously.

That brings us to executive vice president Dan Duquette, whose contract is also up at the end of the season. He joined the organization before the turnaround, 2012 season and he deserves plenty of credit for the club’s successes, too.

In his role as GM, though, he’s considered the roster architect. And this roster is a three-legged table. It lacks defense, speed, on-base capabilities, high-end pitchers and capable utility types. It’s littered with players who are in current roles that are more conducive to failure than achievement.

Because it is highly unlikely that Duquette will be retained for 2019 – almost assuredly not in his current role – making him the ceremonial lamb right now has to be a consideration. That’s particularly reasonable since what happens with the roster at the July nonwaiver trade deadline will shape the future of this organization, and having it shaped by someone who won’t be retained seems counterproductive.

All that considered, Duquette’s not the culprit, either. He is an architect of this roster – but not the architect. The Orioles’ plan is blueprint-by-committee, with Duquette, Showalter, vice president Brady Anderson, majority owner Peter Angelos, his sons, John and Lou, and, likely countless others, all weighing in.

Anderson and the Angelos Boys took the lead this winter. Peter Angelos was instrumental in the 2016 landmark contract for Chris Davis. There’s also an organizational philosophy in place not to spend much on international amateurs, which contradicts Duquette’s talent procurement style at other stops.

The point is Duquette’s fingerprints are on parts of this roster, but his hands are tied on others. And that surely is recognized by the powerbrokers.

So, if a head must be lopped today or tomorrow, it’d appear that two of Showalter’s lieutenants, hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh and pitching coach Roger McDowell, are most vulnerable. Given that the offense has been particularly putrid most of this season, including scoring five runs in 30 innings this weekend in Oakland, Coolbaugh finally could be voted off Birdland after being shielded by Showalter for the better part of three seasons.

The reasoning has always been that Coolbaugh can only do so much; the veteran hitters must be willing to change their approaches. That sentiment still has worlds of merit.

Plus, Showalter is exceptionally loyal and will fight for his guys. He hired Coolbaugh – after Anderson also met with Coolbaugh and gave his support — in 2014. But this situation may be bigger than Showalter’s influence.

Or maybe not.

If Showalter’s staff remains as assembled when the Orioles face the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday at Camden Yards, we’ll know who wears the sliding pants in this organization. The same can be said if Duquette gets punted.

Anderson, who clearly is one of the organizational leaders now and going forward regardless what title he possesses, is going nowhere. He probably is the only one who has the influence to get Showalter canned, but there’s no indication that’s his prerogative. Frankly, I expect a three-headed, decision-making monster to continue into 2019 with team president Anderson, manager Showalter and a GM liaison of their mutual choosing at the helm.

As for the next 24-36 hours, I’m not as confident about the outcome. Who knows what will happen.

I’m basically sticking with what I wrote last month when the Orioles were 5-14. Firing for firing sake without actually making this team better provides little purpose besides sprinkling some blood toward the blood-thirsty mob.

I don’t think dumping one or two people in this group is gonna suddenly make the players get on base or field or hold leads or pitch scoreless first innings.

But that’s not how it works in professional sports.

You pay millions and stink, someone takes the fall.

It’s early May, but it’s also a perfect “Fall Day.”

At least it would be in typical organizations.

64 Comments

64 Comments

  1. Mau

    May 7, 2018 at 7:17 am

    I’ve identified what ails the Orioles. It’s the Peter principle.

    I’ll stick with what I wrote previously also. Peter should fire himself.

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 8:24 am

      I think the way the organizational hierarchy is arranged is a problem. But Peter’s involvement these days is overblown.

      • 33rd Street

        May 7, 2018 at 11:48 am

        Really? So are you saying the fact that a possible trade involving Machado within the division was nixed and the refusal to allow a 2 week contract negotiation window for anyone trying to trade for Machado was NOT the whims of Peter Angelos? Becasue if it is, as was reported in many places, it sounds like some pretty hands on involvement to me.

        • 33rd Street

          May 7, 2018 at 12:08 pm

          I should have been more specific – a trade involving NY. Or trade to a team that would flip him to NY.

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 3:35 pm

      Send me links on trades that were nixed by Angelos involving Machado. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    May 7, 2018 at 7:36 am

    Wieters … J.J. Hardy … Flaherty … A very large part of the heart an soul of the team were let go. These were the selfless leaders of the team. The core of it. Outside of Jones, who’s leading this team anymore? Prima Donna Machado? Don’t make me laugh. Head case Davis? OK .. I laughed. Mancini & Sisco are relative babies. Schoop is Manny’s minion. Beckham? Puhleeeezzeeee…..

    Team chemistry. It’s all about chemistry. Tear it down? Fire someone? Didn’t they start that already beginning with Wieters, JJ & Flaherty.

    Mau is right … until Angelos fires himself, what does it matter?

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 8:25 am

      Honestly, I think the departures of Cruz and Markakis were the biggest team chemistry losses.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        May 7, 2018 at 10:40 am

        No argument here, but those losses were several years ago. I’m thinking of what more specifically has seemed to occur over the past 2. But I’d be more than happy to add those 2 to my list Mr. Connolly.

      • Mascolini

        May 7, 2018 at 12:42 pm

        Would somebody please explain “team chemistry” to me. The O’s need less chemistry as well as biology and physics and more base hits.

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          May 7, 2018 at 1:30 pm

          It’s really simple …

          ax^2+b+c/hrs=H (where H = more base hits)

          This is of course, assuming that x represents an unknown, and a, b, and c are constants and not equal to 0.

  3. LenSakata

    May 7, 2018 at 7:41 am

    It is time for a fresh start. Unfortunately you can’t fire ownership so the O’s need to bring in someone with a whole new perspective that ownership will support and not interfere. Clean house and rebuild. I don’t think there were any long term contracts signed during the DD era that were any good so this is going to be difficult

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 8:27 am

      There really weren’t many long-term contracts signed. Four or more currently is Davis, Cobb and O’Day, which has one-plus remaining.

    • LenSakata

      May 7, 2018 at 9:54 am

      Jiminez, Hardy didn’t pan out either.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        May 7, 2018 at 10:42 am

        Hey, with the state of the current infield, I’d take Hardy back right now.

  4. karks

    May 7, 2018 at 7:52 am

    I’m pretty much at the point where, whatever changes they make, I’m going to support it. I don’t think Buck is going anywhere (and I really don’t want him to). But I have to think Coolbaugh is out. It’s not his fault but things need to be shaken up. You can’t keep everything the same and expect better results when you’re this far behind this early in the season.

    And, if I’m being honest, I’m sending Santander packing for Bowie or Norfolk the minute he is eligible (if he’s not already). I’m for bringing up Hays or Rickard because I know they’ll play better defense and perhaps be a spark on offense. Nothing against Santander (he’s far from the only problem here) but he’s an easy fix. He needs to play every day in the minors. I’d be all for sending Davis somewhere else to get his head straight as well, but no such flexibility with him.

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 8:28 am

      May 12 is the day for Santander I believe.

  5. deqalt

    May 7, 2018 at 8:05 am

    No one saw this complete disaster coming, but that being said. You have a GM, Manager, face of the team(Jones), Best player(Manny), best Closer(Britton) all with expiring contracts. Not a model of strength. Who are players suppose to buy into? No one knows who will be here in 2019 and beyond. Coolbaugh was brought over with a strong recommendation from Chris Davis. For the past 2 years we have heard how Scott and Chris are working on things. I do not put everything on a hitting coach, but if Davis is the pet project…..Orioles clearly need to shake things up. I think the move is to start moving forward as a team. If Buck is staying then sign him now. If Manny is leaving then trade him now. Let’s start creating a foundation rather than uncertainty. Start the the 2nd half of the season with stability and direction, not who’s leaving and who’s staying. Let’s start putting Harvey, Mullins, Hays, and Mountcastle in everyday for the 2nd half. If Jones is not gonna be resigned, then trade him. It’s time to move forward rather than waiting. I think fans can get excited about this team with “Why not 2.0”. No there not gonna compete, but watching a group of young players is better than watching the same guys striking out 12 times a game.

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 8:31 am

      I’m with you until “play the guys who aren’t ready” vibe. Mountcastle is still on the DL, Harvey is pitching 3 inning stints, Mullins and Hays are having some issues at Double-A. Foolish to move guys up who aren’t playing well, hurt or struggling.

  6. Schwarzstop

    May 7, 2018 at 8:38 am

    If I were King… let Duquette go. As you said, “since what happens with the roster at the July nonwaiver trade deadline will shape the future of this organization.” Either send Tillman to the Tides or the Baysox. He cannot pitch in the Majors again until he has 3/4/5 consistent quality starts. The bullpen is not an option! He’s that bad. If he won’t go to the minors, bye-bye. Chris Davis… send him to the minors or cut him loose! For 12 mil a year, he does not belong in a Major League lineup in his current offensive condition! Sign Manny and Schoopie to long term deals and rebuild around them! (As an aside, as King, I have to keep the fan base coming to the stadium during this rebuild and I have some thoughts on that, but this is about personnel and Manny/Schoopie keeps the fans engaged when the see that the Front Office has a plan!) Bring up Drew Dosch from Norfolk to play 3rd. Bring up Joey Rickard for Center, sign Jones to a 3/4 year deal with incentives and move him to right.

    • Schwarzstop

      May 7, 2018 at 8:42 am

      Cut our hitting and pitching coaches! There has to be some out there that can do better than these two guys…

      Again, if I were King!

      • Schwarzstop

        May 7, 2018 at 9:01 am

        OH… I think I’d re-sign Britton… 3/4 year with incentives. Brad Brach? He’s a mess right now, but I think he’s a salvagable mess.

        Sign those who I’ve said sign now! If they’re not willing to get on board now, we know who to get rid of when July comes around. and I’m with you, Dan… no need to trade anybody now unless there’s a deal we can’t refuse. Wait until July when teams know what they’re looking for!

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 9:11 am

      $12m per year for Davis? Try double that. You are telling them to eat $100 million on the biggest contract in club history and then sign three more guys to Long-term deals. That would be the toughest of sells.

      • Schwarzstop

        May 7, 2018 at 9:56 am

        Yeah, perhaps I became a Court Jester with that one, but what do you do with him?

        I guess because of HIPPA, we don’t know what drugs he’s on, but when he was good, he was on the drug that got him suspended. but he was only suspended because he didn’t get permission to be on it. Maybe he needs to get back on it or something that is similar and approved. As I recall, the drug allowed him to focus and sure as his paycheck is not $12m, he is not focusing.

        So keep Davis and alternate him and Trumbo at 1st Base.

        I stand by the rest of it… I believe the money is there! And when you hear my plans for putting fans in the stadium, the money will continue to be there!

        All Hail To The King!

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 4:55 pm

      He now has a TUE for an ADD drug. Which one, I don’t know now. None of my business. But he’s been approved for one

  7. ubetonit

    May 7, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Dan, could you please write an in-depth article on how Brady was able to worm his way into PA’s heart & gain so influence. Why Brady over other ex-O’s??

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 9:15 am

      Brady has always had a strong relationship with Angelos dating back to the days when Angelos gave Anderson an extension to keep him in Baltimore. But over time Anderson also became close friends with the Angelos boys, who are about the same ages as Anderson. He’s also a bright, energetic guy and it’s not hard to see why they’d trust his baseball experiences.

  8. Orial

    May 7, 2018 at 9:03 am

    Totally agree with your assessment. Duquette’s status is the most concerning to me as the O’s reach this very important deadline crossroad. As it stands now Coolbaugh would be the only possible sacrificial lamb. I’m heavily banking on previous reports I heard(Angelos Sons being more open minded). Assume Brady,Buck,the Sons will handle the overhaul with Duquette’s ignored input. One final item is of concern too–what to do with Jones. There is an outcry for him staying and do believe he wants to(regardless of how his comments are interpreted). But his talents are in decline,it would be another 3-4 year contract. Very detrimental when his hitting approach is something the organization secretly wishes would just go away. Tough call on Adam

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 9:17 am

      Only a tough call in my mind if the financial demands are extreme. Otherwise what he brings to the table is invaluable.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      May 7, 2018 at 10:46 am

      Jones should simply be an Oriole for life. There’s an argument to be made for his having a statue in left center.

  9. 5brooks5

    May 7, 2018 at 9:05 am

    They have fielded a minor league line-up, far to often this year. Rule 5, minor league signings, DFA’s, etc. Someone is responsible, someone needs to take the rap.

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 9:19 am

      To be fair, Part of that is injuries. You lose Schoop, Trumbo, Beckham and Rasmus (I know, but he was still a projected starter in RF) and the backups will be exposed.

  10. ubetonit

    May 7, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Btw, the use of words ‘pathetic’, ‘rubble’, & ‘craptitude’ is much appreciated. There is way too much mincing of words & pulling of punches in sports coverage.

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 9:20 am

      I’m not even sure craptitude is a word. But it gets my point across.

  11. Creatively09

    May 7, 2018 at 9:14 am

    I think the worst failings of this leadership has to be the utter lack of depth in the organization. To trade away so many valuable pieces to other teams for rentals and have nothing to show for it is one of the root causes of why we’re in this spot today.

    Something I noticed the other day that shocked me: As bad as the O’s were in the 2000s, the O’s never finished dead last in the league to earn the #1 overall pick. We might be headed there this year without even trying.

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 9:21 am

      Only once in their entire history (and that of the draft): 1988 yielded Ben McDonald in 1989.

  12. Paul Folkemer

    May 7, 2018 at 9:23 am

    I do think Coolbaugh is, or should be, in danger. Buck raves about how hard Coolbaugh works, and I’m sure that’s true. But where’s the payoff? Basically every hitter on the roster except Machado is performing below expectations (and some were just bad to begin with). Obviously Coolbaugh isn’t the one going up there and swinging the bat. But there’s no apparent evidence that he’s helping the guys who are.

    Coolbaugh might not be the problem, but he doesn’t seem to be the solution, either.

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 9:36 am

      I’ve always thought the role of hitting coaches and pitching coaches is overrated. They aren’t calling plays. They aren’t teaching new concepts. They are dealing with people who have been doing this sport all their lives. The best recognize small tweaks needed and help make those adjustments. But these coaches are more sounding boards than anything. They aren’t working with Little Leaguers. They are working with people who have gotten to the highest level of their profession by doing things a certain way. But, in the end, the coaches are often the fall guys. It’s the way it works.

  13. Djowen

    May 7, 2018 at 9:24 am

    It doesn’t matter who the GM is as long as he is hamstrung by ownership. If limits are put on what he can do then we shouldn’t expect better results from a new name. The only hope for the future of this team is new ownership philosophy. Maybe the sons will provide it but probably not until their father is gone. You can’t have a GM that has to keep looking over his shoulder at Brady. I am not one of the Brady haters but he either needs to be GM or nothing. He can’t have veto power over a GM unless he is made team President over the GM. I think that either they need to blow up this team and start with an all new cast or fire Buck.
    I also don’t understand those that want to bring up the kids because “they can’t be any worse” and want to send down Santander and return Araujo. They are the kids too. Araujo is overwhelmed at times. Who didn’t know he would give up a homer to Davis? But he also has talent. I remember when Sale made his debut in relief against the O’s, I think the same year he was drafted. It wasn’t pretty but he turned out to be pretty good. Yes I would send him down if we could but we can’t so why not keep him and hope he matures into a good piece in the bullpen?

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 9:36 am

      Not much to add here.

  14. bickel57

    May 7, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Lets see we have a team that can’t hit so you could say fire the hitting coach. The pitchers are erratic so you could say for the pitching coach. You have what it seems like the players have tuned out the manager or are playing with one foot out the door so fire the manager. Then you have the voice for the construction of this roster which is putting it mildly is terrible. So fire the GM. So many choices for a Monday. Since it is a foregone conclusion that at some point this season this team will be blown up so lets start with the GM. Bring in the person who be in charge of the rebuild. Then fire the hitting coach if Davis is his prize pupil we have a major problem. The pitching coach is safe for now they have been getting better. Ask Buck if he would move to the front office if he would say yes . Then name an interim manager. The biggest problem very little talent outside of who you are going to trade.

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 10:34 am

      Why do people want Showalter in the front office?

  15. Bancells Moustache

    May 7, 2018 at 10:17 am

    I know I’ve been satirizing the Orioles strikeout habits on this site, but I can’t even do that anymore. 20 K’s in a SINGLE GAME!, Not against Roger Clemens or Max Sherzer either, against a bunch of bartenders and landscapers wearing Oakland uniforms! When you are failing this horrendously, it’s time for ‘The Godfather’ baptism scene. Everybody got to go. Starting with…

    Buck Showalter.

    This team has talent. It’s not a 100 win team, but it’s sure as hell not a 100 loss team. This breakdown is on the field. Buck Showalter is a steroid-era manager running the Orioles like a steroid-era team. Hope a few guys walk then get Godzilla to the plate and hack away. It does not work. If this was Boston, New York or Los Angeles he would have been fired in 2015. But since it’s Baltimore, he is hailed as the savior of the franchise for delivering one first place finish in 8 years, people even saying he should be promoted (?!) after blowing the 2016 Wild-Card game and delivering two basement finishes. For what? Giving a good press conference sprinkled with folksy witticisms?

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 10:36 am

      To be fair, this team was atrocious before him. He made a big difference.

      • Bancells Moustache

        May 7, 2018 at 10:52 am

        Dan, respectfully, that shouldn’t be good enough. And let us not forget, Frank Robinson oversaw the “Why Not” miracle turnaround and is, well, Frank freaking Robinson. He was only given 3 years before getting canned.

        • JCO

          May 7, 2018 at 12:12 pm

          If this follows the Frank Robinson model, then Buck will get the ax soon, because he got fired one year and 37 games after a decent season. We’re at one season and 34 games after a decent season with Buck.

          As far as strikeouts go, the Orioles have 9.7 Ks per game. Terrible but guess what…the Yankees K at a 9.5 per game pace. Arizona is at a 9.6 per game pace. Welcome to Major League Baseball in 2018, where strikeouts are at an all-time high and don’t really have much to do with how good a team is. Look at the top 10 in team strikeouts, there’s a mixture of good teams, bad teams, and average teams.

          The problem is, despite those walk wishes, the Orioles have the lowest OBP in baseball at .288. That ain’t gonna cut it.

    • LenSakata

      May 7, 2018 at 11:57 am

      Well said Bancells. Buck has to go too. He is the one that keeps putting in the automatic outs (David, Joseph, Peterson) in the line up. And his bullpen Management has become terrible

      • JCO

        May 7, 2018 at 12:19 pm

        This team is one big pile of automatic outs. And no, a guy currently batting .243 in AA is not the answer. There are no options for this year. And sure, fire Buck…I agree. But this team has much bigger issues than him.

  16. Dblack2508

    May 7, 2018 at 10:18 am

    Dan will be the first to be let go IMO, who ever they bring in or keep, the front office needs to change the way they operate from the minor leagues all the way to the top. The fan base would’ve supported a minor sell off in 2017 to get younger. I believe moving Schoop would bring a nice return of prospects.

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 10:37 am

      I’ll tell ya this much: what the fans will support shouldn’t be a consideration. Find a way to win and the fans will pay attention. Ask Houston.

  17. JParsley

    May 7, 2018 at 10:31 am

    it’s been time for a while now to get rid of McDowell Coolbaugh should go too. I have been saying this since last season ended. But I don’t think it will help much, maybe some different perspective will change some of the players a bit. But the bottom line is this is a BAD team

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 10:38 am

      I think the bottom line is the bottom line.

    • JParsley

      May 7, 2018 at 10:59 am

      Then what is the bottom line?

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      That it isn’t a good team.

    • JParsley

      May 7, 2018 at 2:34 pm

      Exactly

  18. TxBirdFan

    May 7, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Bring in a new GM now, and give him 1 month to find a new manager, then fire Buck. He’s run his course as a manager. Then let the new manager hire a new hitting and pitching coach if needed. The player contract status and salaries are what they are, so what we need is better long term vision and better on-field management to get the most out of what we have. That clearly isn’t happening and the season is becoming disgustingly long.

    Two weeks ago on this blog I predicted the O’s would turn it around. Well I sure wrong! (Not the first time). The “easy” part of the schedule has arrived and we’ve yet to win a game.

    Time’s awastin!

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      Don’t take it personally. This kind of ineptitude is difficult to predict.

  19. jimcarter

    May 7, 2018 at 11:27 am

    “The Orioles, as you know, though, are not most organizations.”

    That one line sums up the problem. They’re different for the sake of being different and not because they’re doing anything better than the other guys. This organization even LOOKS different than other teams. The writers who cover the Orioles don’t have the guts to go there, but the aversion to players born outside the 50 states speaks volumes to me. It’s usually phrased in a kind, gentle way. They don’t embrace the international market, or some such nonsense. I can’t see that changing GMs or managers is going to make a hill of beans worth of difference. Until this team is operated like the ones they’re competing against, then nothing will change.

    • Dan Connolly

      May 7, 2018 at 1:08 pm

      Ok I’ll bite. Since myself and others don’t have the guts. What are you getting at? Racism? I mean, they take in plenty of players who aren’t from this country; they just don’t sign those players out of their original countries because they don’t want to deal with aspects of it whether it’s the risk of investment, the liaisons in those countries, whatever. It’s not a good philosophy but It has nothing to do with not wanting foreign-born players. It’s not wanting to pay them or their handlers as amateurs.

  20. bv22

    May 7, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    There really isn’t anything that can be done to make an impact change. The best option is to start putting out trade feelers for all the major chips and maybe a trade of a Trumbo or Jones would get everyone a little more fired up and play better. If not, at least throwing up the white flag now and declaring rebuild mode would provide some PR cover while they figure out where to go from here (who stays, who goes, who gets traded, etc.). Yes, all the players are talented and have track records of success, but the whole is not greater than the sum of the parts anymore; this team doesn’t play like a team anymore. The fact of the matter is the HR or nothing approach isn’t working anymore. Yes, the whole league has that approach now, but the O’s have had that identity for 5 years running, so everyone knows by now to try not to throw a meatball down the plate to them. We need to trade a masher or two for a couple of players who can just pure hit and get on base. Our defense has slipped too, as was evident in yesterday’s game. Defense needs to be a consideration for whatever we get back in a trade.

    For the future, the front office has to be smarter. They need to get involved in the international market or they’re never going to win by excluding themselves from a world of talent pools that everyone else is fishing in. They also need to not be so frivolous with their draft picks- who knows what player the team missed out on in the 2014 draft by trading away our first round pick for Ubaldo, and the second round pick for Cruz. And, if you do give up a trade pick for a free agent, they should be here for longer than a year- especially if they contribute on an impact level the way Cruz did. Also, they need to learn to make smart free agent acquisitions- what was the logic behind Ubaldo? He had one half season where he performed well, the rest of the time he was an erratic pitcher. It’s like he was acquired just for the sake of acquiring somebody. Why was Trumbo brought back? We already had plenty of players with his skill set. Why do we constantly go the Rule 5 route? It seems like that is the only player acquisition route open to Duquette without any issues from ownership. It means the team is playing at a disadvantage from Game 1 compared to their competition. Why are we chasing our own free agents? Machado should’ve been locked up years ago; that’s how Cleveland was dominant in the 90s- they locked up their core young and rode them to multiple winning seasons. So far, the only current one we followed this path with was Jones. It’s like the league and/or sport passed the O’s front office by years ago and they never caught up until MacPhail came to town and when he left, they rode his work until they no longer could and they’re back to being left behind yet again.

  21. 54orioles

    May 7, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Find out who had the final say in the decision to bow to Manny’s demands and fire him / her. The team is totally lost for a leader. When one team member has the power to tell his superiors where he will and will not play it is over. I made a similar statement before the fatal decision and was mocked. The orioles are now just a bunch of guys cashing their checks and going through the motion.

    Do you think Weaver, Richards, or any other, manager would have wilted under the pressure; I think not

  22. trevise-en

    May 7, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    I believe the Orioles are in definite need of a cultural change. To me, this would mean going outside of the franchise for a executive VP/ GM to replace Dan Duquette, which should be done as soon as possible. Then the Angelos sons should delegate autonomous authority over club operations to this person. Then that person could begin making short, intermediate and long term decisions regarding the future direction of the team. There are probably several candidates available now, yet my personal preference would be Kim Ng, (pronounced ‘Ang’) who is presently the Senior Vice-President for Baseball Operations with Major League Baseball. She is uniquely qualified for this position and after a few near misses, definitely deserves an opportunity to operate a ball club, along with changing its culture for the better.

    1) She was Brian Cashman’s assistant during the late nineties when the Yankees won all those World Series. He praises her highly and believes she will be the first female GM in MLB.
    2) She was Ned Colletti’s assistant during the McCourt years. He praises her highly and believes she will be the first female GM in MLB.
    3) In both of these jobs, among all the duties she handled, was the major tasks relating to arbitration. Mostly she was able to settle before actual hearings, yet when a case went to hearing, she won. Including besting Scott Boras in a case.
    4) In her current position for MLB Baseball Operations, she is involved in all aspects of the International draft.
    Lastly, she is among the most respected people in MLB. She is well qualified to perform baseball operations for a ML team.

  23. Big Mike

    May 9, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    Organizations reflect their leadership. We really don’t know what goes on in the Warehouse unless someone steps forward. You occasionally get a glimpse, as when our previous pitching coach talked about Brady subverting his authority. Who would want to take on the GM role if Anderson can undermine field staff with impunity? We’re not talking about him complaining to Angelos, he interfered directly with the players themselves. Frankly, I don’t see anything changing without new ownership and that won’t happen in my lifetime. Anyway, that’s all I’ve got.

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