not to praise him.
Alas, poor Andy! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow
of infinite vest, of most excellent trades: he hath
borne me on his plan a thousand times; and now, how
abhorred in my imagination he is! my gut churns at
it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know
not how oft. Where be your cavalry now? your
pitchers? your Garrett Atkins? your flashes of brilliance,
that were wont to set the internet on a roar? Not one
now, to mock your own demise? quite chap-fallen?
Andy MacPhail is out. Showalter will stay in the dugout. However, it looks at though Buck will have a lot of influence in who the Orioles hire and I honestly don’t know how I feel about that. At first blush you have to like the idea, but should Showalter (the on-the-field-manager) have that much influence? If you believe the Baltimore Sun’s Peter Schmuck no matter what warm mass of flesh sits in Andy’s old office Buck will be the guy that is primarily calling the shots. But would you not rather have a normal structure just once? Just have one guy other teams have to deal with? why do we have to be different, why can’t we just get a solid baseball mind in the front office and go forward with that? Apparently not and, of course, that comes directly back to the big man in charge – Peter Angelos.
I have never been a guy to jump on the owner much. Organizations are complex things and even a terrible owner makes the right decision by accident once and while. But no longer. Whoever Angelos or Showarter or Angelwalter picks he need to have FULL AUTHORITY. But I know that is not going to happen.
Peter Angelos is most likely not going to be the controlling owner much longer. He is getting older and the team continues to lose. Frankly I think he will go one of two possible ways: Angelos will either finally get the hint and back off like he never has before, or he will double down and me even more meddling than ever. After all it is HIS team and he will continue to do it HIS way until a combination of math and biology will no longer allow him.
I don’t mean to come off as some barking Angelos-o-phobe. The guy deserves respect for his life. Dirt-poor growing up, self-made man. I don’t care about asbestos lawsuits or that stuff, I do care that he is largely responsible for dozens of schools, charities and museums in the city. He has done some very good things for a lot of people in this community and that has to be commended. Angelos really wanted to be the white knight riding in to save the Orioles and take them into a new era of glory. Then the game evolved; he did not.
When he brought in Andy MacPhail, a guy with an unassailable pedigree in the area as well as baseball, it finally looked as if Peter had learned his lesson. Andy did some great things, he made some great trades. But his work in free-agency was simply awful. Garrett Atkins, Vlad, Michael Gonzalez, Kevin Gregg, etc. His oft-repeated plan of “Grow the arms; by the bats” makes perfect sense, and should have worked – except it hasn’t. Does that mean his plan was wrong? I don’t think so. Where he went wrong was not correctly identifying and correcting problems in the player development and scouting systems. But the question will always remain: How much control did he really have over those areas?
MacPhail is gone, Showalter remains and the Orioles are charging into the offseason once again with more questions than answers.