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?.