Ten things I love about Andy MacPhail (President of baseball operations for the Orioles)…
- Troy Patton
- Luke Scott
- Mike Costanzo
- Dennis Sarfate
- Matt Albers
Bah-bye Miggy…(Miguel Tejada- Houston Astros)
- Adam Jones
- Chris Tillman
- George Sherrill
- Anthony Butler
- Kameron Mickolio
Bedard-Gone…(Erik, you hurt me- but I am so over it…now a Seattle Mariner)
At first glance, it might appear that MacPhail is inflicting destruction within an already fragile Orioles lineup, what with getting rid of a 4-time All Star in Tejada and the ace of the pitching staff in Bedard. But make no mistake, MacPhail has come to play. And win.
Andy’s the man with the plan and he’s doing what’s needed to be done after 10 straight losing seasons. Gutting it! And taking charge –no interference from Petey. (The two go back- not way back, but back enough to know each other)
Consider that he dealt Tejada, whose name has been mentioned frequently (and in the Mitchell Report) about steroid allegations before being investigated for whether or not he was truthful in speaking to the House Committee in 2005. Just what the O’s didn’t need yet again. Consider that he dealt Bedard, someone who has said that he doesn’t want to be here, and scratched and clawed his way to getting two, possibly three players that can impact the game we watch in 2008. Nice.
MacPhail had me at “Hello.” Well, sort of. I knew the name, we all know it. In Bel Air- MacPhail Road anyone? Baseball is in this man’s soul. His DNA’s nucleotides are filled with fastballs. He’s got Hall of Fame written all over him and he’s ours. He is an Oriole- the orange and black bird was the first major league ball club that he fell in love with…
Let’s start with his grandfather: Leland Stanford MacPhail Sr., “Larry”. Larry’s resume is chock-full of baseball hits (He was affiliated with the great Brooklyn Dodgers team of the 1940’s):
- Introduced night games (for this alone, I salute him)
- Introduced the baseball helmet (damn)
- Introduced television broadcasting into Ebbet’s field
- the last man to give Babe Ruth a paycheck (Ruth was a Dodgers coach)
- “started the process that integrated baseball and broke the notorious ‘color line’” (from Harford Historical Bulletin, Number 59, winter-1994, article entitled Larry MacPhail: Harford County’s Laird of Glenangus and “The Shrewdest Executive in the History of Baseball”)
- the first to fly his baseball club on an airline (Chicago), thus making travel faster and easier for the players and coaches.
- Can you say Wheaties-Breakfast of Champions? Uh-huh! He secured General Mills as the Dodgers’ first on air sponsor- his hand was in it, alright.
- Prior to him volunteering to serve our country in the war against the Nazis, he’d use Ebbets Field for blood drives for the Allies. He received a desk job in WWII but also served in WWI. He and Luke Lea set up their own volunteer “regiment of backwoodsmen” which eventually was taken over by the regular army and shipped to France. MacPhail later declared that his regiment “spent more time at the front than any other United States…outfit.” (Harford Historical Society). “Larry got badly gassed at the Battle of the Argonne Woods.”
- He bought property in Harford County, purchasing 404 acres in August, 1941. Eventually his laird grew to 1,000 acres stretching from Wheel Road to Emmorton Road to Patterson Mill Road. (auctioned off in pieces in June 1975)
- Hence, MacPhail Road
- He dabbled in horse breeding, quite successfully once he retired
- Sold off portions of Glenangus that would later become Glenwood subdivision
- Founding Father of Maryland Golf and Country Club
- Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1978
Moving on to Andy’s father: Leland Stanford MacPhail, Jr., “Lee” had some big shoes to fill. But he made his mark. Also a Hall-of-Famer from the class of 1998, Lee was a baseball front office executive for 45 years.
- Working for the Yankees, he is credited for bolstering the beleaguered farm system and also helping orchestrate a staggering seven world championships in a ten-year period.
- Lee also served as an Orioles GM, during the 1966 World Series year.
- President of the American League
- President of the player relations committee.
See what I’m saying? It is in their blood! Our boy Andy, at the young age of 54 has already earned himself two World Series while he was GM of the Minnesota Twins in 1987 and 1991. One when he was 34, the youngest to ever do so at this level. He’s proving his winning ways. This family is insane for the white stitched ball?
Today at FanFest, during a forum with Buck Martinez by his side, MacPhail addressed the crowd regarding the big trades of Bedard and Tejada. Seven of the 10 players acquired are pitchers while three have made the roster as key components (Jones, Scott and Sherrill).
“I think that the course we took, while painful was the only course we could have taken. I think if we are serious about winning, and I mean winning, not floating around trying to get to .500 or whatever…this was the best thing to do.”
Okay, so it’s more like 20-something things that I love about MacPhail. His vision is breathing new life into this Orioles franchise, and isn’t that exactly what we have been pleading for all these years?
For a look at the 2008 Orioles active roster, dagger style, check out this link: Orioles Baseball 2008 – Who are these #$*^(% guys?.
How about the best move of all…
JAY GIBBONS RELEASED!!!!!
WOOO HOOOO!!! GO O’s!!!!
You can count me as one who is surprised they had the guts to do it. I wonder if Angelos has something up his sleeve and will try to void some of the money owed to Gibbons based on his HGH admission.
Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah,nah….hey, hey, hey….
ANDY IS NOW A BALTIMORE FAVORITE
Memo to MacPhail: time for a sit down with Melvin Mora because he doesn’t feel the need to hustle.
I want to become a fan just reading about the history behind the man, and I don’t like baseball that much…
With the background he has I sure the Orioles will have a winning season, and their heads on the big one…
MCFAIL? I don’t like the way you spelled that…
well Molly, that was his nickname from the fans in Chicago 😉
Hmmm. Interesting. Did not know that.
Good first week for the O’s-two come from behind wins and a four game winning streak. Did we have any of those last season?
The newbies are fitting right in.
It’s a long baseball season though, and hopefully it will continue to be fun to watch and listen to.
Really enjoyed watching the last few games. Is this bullpen play indicative of things to come, or are they just toying with me like they do every year? One thing is for sure. If the starting pitching doesn’t “start” logging some innings, the pen is going to tire before Memorial Day. Albers has impressed.
The O’s put together two 6-game winning streaks last year according to the press pass on the Orioles official site.
It was such an ugly season last year I couldn’t remember.
As I bask in the afterglow of another stellar showing by the ‘pen (watching Sarfate absolutely WRECK PH Matt Morse with a 99MPH fastball with runners on 1st and 3rd sticks out as the play of the game), I am reminded that the Birds started the 1999 season 7-1. Then went on to a 78-84 record.
This team is starting to win me over. I took down my effigy of Aubrey Huff yesterday. Could the Angelos effigy be far behind?????
I would take 78-84 from this group, as I’m sure not all of the current players will be here after the all-star break, especially certain valuable bullpen members.
Let’s dream a little…what if the O’s are above the illustrious .500 mark at the all-star break? Do we still trade B-Rob? And what of our bullpen?
If B-Rob won’t sign a decent-value extension, then trade him if you can get value in return. Trade the older members of the bullpen (walker, bradford, sherrill), we have some decent bullpen arms in the minors (mccrory, hoey, liz?)
While I agree with Steve about Roberts, and Walker and Bradford, I think Sherrill will prove his worth, and is worthy of holding onto for a while. He’s only 30, and left handed arms are hard to come by. Jury’s out on McCrory, Hoey has some up side. Liz hasn’t shown anything special at this level.
You’re right about another thing, Steve. I’d take 78-84 from this group too. I just hope they don’t blow the team up at the break if they’re hovering near .500.
Bill Pigott says
What were your thoughts on the O’s draft?
Gotta love pitching!!!
Bill Pigott says
Just to add to the “Who should we trade” debate, here is my two cents-
Guthrie? (I’m not sure why his name doesn’t come up more. He could be very valuable to a contending team)
Anyone else under 25
I feel you have to listen to every offer for every player right now regardless of record.
Rumor- Sherrill to the Braves??? Jason Heyward, Brent Lillibridge or Tommy Hanson sure would look good in the orange and black in 2009!!!
(My minor league knowledge is scary!!!)
Bill, I tracked the Draft live from work yesterday. People were furious the O’s passed up Smoak for Matusz and I guess I can’t blame them – it’s always more attractive to bring in a big bat and dream of his 40+ homerun seasons than it is to look forward to a season of winning, or losing, 1-0 ballgames.
I was hoping, like with Weiters last year, Alvarez would drop into Baltimore’s lap, but I guess the league is wising up and recognizing you’ve got to spend money to get talent, even in rookies.
Ever been to the Orioles Hangout message boards? They do a great job of tracking and projecting trades, etc. and have been discussing an O’s pitcher to the Braves deal for Lillibridge for awhile now.
I think what we saw in the draft was a move that now sets Baltimore up to move some of its major and minor league pitching talent for some positional players and bats. Everyone is all sappy over Sherrill now, but he is not dominant – just effective, but could bring in a very nice prospect player. Cabrera’s value may never be higher. Roberts has lost some stock, but is still worth a lot to a contender. We’d be lucky to get anything from any of the old vets though.
Someone pointed out that the Reds took firstbaseman Alonso in the Draft – which begs the question what they’re going to do with their current young firstbaseman Votto. Maybe Cabrera for Votto?
Bill Pigott says
I am ok with the pick of the best lefty in the draft. From everything I’ve read, he has the ability to jump to the majors in two years. I like the fact that he was a college pitcher as opposed to out of high school. This seems to follow MacPhails’ track record. He builds an organization up with as many young arms as possible and will bring in the bats via free agency (Enter Mark Texiara).
This is the way the young “bats” over the next few years-
C- Weiters (22)
1B- Who knows (Snyder?)
2B- “ “ “ “
SS- “ “ “ “
3B- Billy Rowell (20)
RF- Markakis (25?)
CF- Jones (22)
LF- Nolan Reimold (25)
DH- Brandon Snyder (19)
Like every player in the draft, they will have to develop at their own pace. The future is not as bad as people think.
The glaring need is middle infield.
Ideal 2010 position player line up-
2B- Scott Moore??
CF- Adam Jones
SP- Troy Patten
SP- Jake Arrieta
Sad to say, but I don’t see a future for Snyder, Moore or Rowell and I think Reimold, at best, will become a platoon outfielder. Actually, I’ve heard they’re moving him around and getting him some more playing time as a way to showcase him for some possible trades, which would be just fine with me.
Honestly, I’d rather have a 21-year-old 1B prospect like Hosmer or Smoak than Texiera. Let the team grow up together rather than bringing in a guy for at most 4 or 5 years.
I also think Loewen is done and Ray was a fluke. That said, Tillman, Arrieta, Matusz, Patten (who was thought to be the gem of the Tejada trade) will be a formidable rotation.
Sad that we missed Jay Bruce by a single pick a few years back, but this team is finally on the right track.
Bill Pigott says
I’m not sure you should count our Rowell or Snyder at this point. They can’t legally drink yet. I see the glass half full on this one. As for Smoak and Hosmer, they are as unpredictable and any player in the draft… ESPECIALLY BASEBALL.
Let’s take a look back at previous Oriole drafts…
We took Jay Powell over Tori Hunter!! Or how about Rick Paradis over Alex Rios!!!???!??!
Look back at other club draft miscues…
Take the 1991 draft. The first three picks were Brien Taylor (Yanks), Mike Kelly (Braves) and David “Can’t miss 1st basemen out of Stanford” McCarty (Twins). They were all bust, no question.
Also in that same draft were Manny Ramirez (pick #13 Rd1), Shawn Green (#16, 1) AAAAAAAAAAND Nomar Garciapara (pick # 131 Rd5)
Why not the OF combo of Markakis, Jones and Scott for a couple more years? Luke Scott is KILLING the ball at home, and he’s more of a proven than Reimold. I agree with Brian, Reimold is not the long term LF for this club. I agree with Bill, too about the crapshoot angle.
Projecting the MLB draft is nuts.
Bill Pigott says
Don’t get me wrong. I like Scott, but he is either coming up on 30 or there already. If he spends the next five years hitting 280/25/70 then shame on me, but we have to keep the rebuiling project in mind. His value could bring middle infield help, starting pitching or a young bat. All the vets could.
Remember the Doyle Alexander trade? How about the Larry Anderson trade? These two trades brought two potential Hall of Fame players in John Smoltz and Jeff Bagwell. No one knew who these guys were and the developed. Like the draft, it is a long shot.
In no way would I let Nolan “have” the left field position without showing he deserves it and can stay healthy.
My point is that you need to exercise all posibilities. One thing that all fans seem to do, is overvalue talent. We all seem to fall victim to it.
The idea of Markakis/ Jones/ and a healthy Reimold for the next ten years gets me excited.
Bill Pigott says
PS- No team can EVER have enough starting pitching.
See the Oriole teams of the 70’s.
I think the O’s see that Scott is 6 years older than Markakis and 8 years older than Jones and they want to ensure they have another young bird out there to run with them, but I agree, for the time being, the outfield is great.
But think of what we could get in return when you start packaging Scott/Cabrera/Roberts/Albers/Sherrill/etc. Those are some BIG TIME parts and could likely score some promising young players who will be with Baltimore for 6-8 years.
You can always look back and find draft mistakes and baseball is VERY different from NBA and NFL in that regard. I have to say though, that the gap DOES seem to be getting slimmer. While it used to be a complete crapshoot, there are now bonafide ‘can’t miss’ prospects to be drafted – see Jay Bruce (who the O’s missed out on by one pick in the draft because they won 3 more meaningless games at the end of the season than Cincinnati) – something to think about
Bill Pigott says
Brian, I agree with you totally. Although with Matt Albers, I think I would hang on to him for the time being. For some reason (and it could be because he really hasn’t been lit up… yet) I think he fits a “Pete Harnish/ Bob Milacki” mold. He really peaks my interest. He doesn’t have electric stuff, but he is only 25ish and he seems to have a good makeup. The guy can spot start and I think we all feel good about him picking up late innings.
But yes, disperse the rest throughout the majors for youth.
Jay Bruce is a studd too. If the guy the Reds drafted turns out to be a true first baseman then why not take a stabb? I would be happy to see a 3-4-5 of Markakis, Bruce and Jones… Wow!
These Orioles continue to impress me, another come from behind win- that “never quit” attitude is a sight for these sore eyes.
Bill Pigott says
Funny you say that Molly.
It seems like every time this team gets in a 3 or 4 run hole, I never worry about them climbing back in the game.
Can’t say it enough…
THIS TEAM IS FUN!!! GO OR-eeeee-O’s!!!
Bill Pigott says
O’s take 2 out of 3 AT Wrigley…
Anyone else starting to believe this may be a decent club?
Continue the rebuild so we can be this competitive year-in and year-out for the next few decades rather than scrapping the plan for an outside shot at a wildcard spot this year and then suffering mediocrity, or worse, for another 11 years.
Why can’t we believe this is a decent club and continue on the rebuilding path?
I am in both camps. I believe and we stay the course. It doesn’t have to be one way or another. MacPhail is in it for the long haul.
I think it DOES have to be one way or another.
If this club keeps winning (playing .500 ball), there is an obviously reluntance to trade away today’s solid players for tomorrow’s solid players. The idea is to trade away one solid player today for a handful of guys that might turn into two solid players tomorrow.
There’s no way for a team to build for the future without trading and there’s no better time to trade then when players are worth there most. As hard as it is to let go, you have to get rid of the few hot-hitting or pitching 30-somethings of today so you can build an entire team of hot-hitting and hot-pitching players tomorrow.
The best example of this is the Tampa Bay Rays. They’ve endured non-stop losing seasons, but rather than trying to grab an impact player or two as a stop-gap for today, they chalked up a half-decade of losing, traded their best players when they were playing their best and now are legitimate contenders with their best players still young or in the minor leagues.
That’s going to be a tougher road to take in Baltimore, which, unlike the new Tampa franchise, has a storied history and fanbase unlikely willing to accept further losing seasons.
But you can’t have it both ways – you can’t keep the team intact and rebuild at the same time.
I think the reluctance comes from fans. Not front office. Some of our guys now are giving clubs all kinds of reasons to do a double take. Huff Daddy for intance, a perennial second-half season hitter has been clutch. .509 slugging percentage.
We’ve already committed to the rebuild with MacPhail like it or not. If we unload BROB and Sherrill (second inleague for saves), lets say as an example, yes it will be difficult to cut them loose, especially BROB (my fave), MacPhail is going to get the most bang for the buck. He’s already proven that.
It is then that the true test will be underway. How will the team react in terms of wins and losses? The mystique of “team chemistry” that some shrug off as crap will be altered for certain. How will the fans react?
This rebuilding blueprint is going to take some time….
I am in both camps because they are giving us something exciting to watch and believe in. However, we have to stay the course.
This is a part of the game. A part of the business. I don’t like it. But it is what it is.
I still hold firm that the young talent is giving us reason to believe that they can contend. The question is contend for what?
Our hearts? Or a playoff berth? Time will tell
Only for our hearts this year, Molly. Huff will go before the deadline. The question will be-to who, and for who?
Millar? I don’t see anybody with a real pressing need for his services right now, unless a contender has a 1B go out with injury in the next couple of weeks. Even then, what is his value in trade?
Roberts has played down his value. The club should have pulled the trigger pre-season. Add to that the fact that they still don’t have a legit starting SS. As your middle infield goes, so goes the rest of your club. My money is on BROB sticking around for a while.
Another July, another fire sale. Eventually, MacPhail may hit on the right combo to make this club competitive.
At a minimum, this crew is getting pretty fun to watch. Anybody who can’t be pleased with these guys sitting over .500 at this point in the season?
My point exactly. I don’t think they are going to the playoffs, I’m not that jaded by orange enthusiasm.
You think Sherrill is going to go?
Dell, how has Roberts played down his value? He’s batting .297, leading the club. He’s first in the AL in triples (6..and in all of the bigs), tied for first in doubles (28) and fourth in stolen bases (21). He’s also in the top ten with runs and hits.
MacPhail didn’t give him up in the beginning because he wasn’t getting enough.
I did not seek to offend, I just think that he was worth more, to more possible suitors, in potential for the first half than he will be now as a stretch player for a contending club. I love his game. He’s….scrappy. Effusive. Ebullient. Reticulated.
If Sherrill goes, I hope Andy gets an everyday IF or a stong ‘pen arm in return. My gut says that he stays (hope), if that sort of value in trade isn’t there.
two words: radical realignment.
no offense taken. Just curious to see why you thought that.
It’d be nice if both Sherill and Roberts could stay. I don’t think MacPhail will keep them to make a run though. Stick to the plan. And MacDaddy is not going to give them away without a strong trade. Those guys are making their case. Unfortunate for us fans.
I love Sherill too. He’s really stepped it up as a closer.
You probably heard the promotion recently that O’s fan would receive a free ticket
on that Sunday game if the Birds turned up victorious. Well they didn’t. And so the promotion continues: PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 16, 2008
O’S ANNOUNCE “WE WIN, YOU WIN 2” PROMOTION DESIGNED TO BREAK SUNDAY LOSING SKID
It’s Back. It’s Bigger. It’s Better.
In an effort to snap their 14-game Sunday losing streak, the Orioles have announced a sequel to the popular “We Win, You Win” promotion from July 6. The “We Win, You Win 2” promotion will raise the stakes, as all fans in attendance at the 1:35 p.m. game on Sunday, July 20 against the Detroit Tigers will receive two complimentary tickets in the same seating category to any future non-prime game, if the Orioles win.
Through Sunday’s game, the Orioles were 45-48 on the season. They had a 1-14 record on Sundays, having not won a Sunday game since April 6 vs. Seattle at Oriole Park, the opening weekend of the year. The Orioles have a 44-34 combined record on all other days of the week.
So it took some time, but our O’s finally raked in a win on a Sunday!
What about all the trade talking?
Free taco tomorrow at Taco Bell from 2 pm to 6 pm (as reported by Beth Pinsker)
Baseball keeps on delivering for us!