BLOG: The Andy MacPhail Era: One Giant Disappointment
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So here we are again Orioles fans, heading towards the finish line of another awful season. Another season where we thought maybe just maybe the Orioles would become relevant again. They got us again like shooting fish in a barrel. However can you really blame us I mean we have been starving for a winner so anytime there is a slight glimmer of hope we hang all of our hopes on it. So, now on to the title of this blog. There have been several reports/rumors that at the end of the season Andy MacPhail will not renew his contract with the organization. Honestly I don’t have a problem with that and in my opinion its almost good riddance. Andy MacPhail’s reign is the most disappointing time in what has been a decade and a half of disappointments.
When MacPhail was hired back in 2007 there again was an excitement around this team that we haven’t felt since 1997, and who could blame anybody. MacPhail was the Twins general manager from 1985-1994. In those years the Twins won two world championships in 1987 and 1991. Then from them he went to the Chicago Cubs from 1994-2006 and while the Cubs didn’t win any championships they did get to the playoffs and if it wasn’t for the 2003 NLCS meltdown, the Cubs would’ve been in the World Series that year. So in other words MacPhail is a proven front office baseball winner. There was no reason to think it couldn’t be done here in charm city. At first we just bought what he was selling, because honestly who were we to question MacPhail. He drafted guys like Matt Wieters, Brain Matusz, Zach Britton and Jake Arrieta. He trades Erik Bedard and Miguel Tejada for guys like Adam Jones, Chris Tillman, Luke Scott and others. The foundation looked to be forming, and for the first time we were willing to wait.
Now of course when you have young guys there will be growing pains, but we seem to suffer more pains than other organizations. This is the only thing I will give MacPhail the benefit of the doubt with. The talent may be there but it isn’t MacPhail’s job to develop the talent. For some reason there is a disconnect with player development, these guys look great in the minors but then look like they have never played the game in their lives when the make the big league club. It’s the other part of MacPhail’s master plan that I have the major problem with, buying the bats. Garrett Atkins, Vlad Guerrero, Derrek Lee are among some of the bats MacPhail has bought. In fact pretty much all of MacPhail’s acquisitions have been colossal busts.
Now the question is are the Orioles in a better situation now than when Andy MacPhail first took the job? It’s a resounding no. You could actually make the argument that it might be worse. All of the young arms have more questions than answers, and I already mentioned the lack of big time bats. The most frustrating thing is you see teams like Arizona, Pittsburgh and Tampa turn things around, why is it so hard in Baltimore? Some point fingers to being in the AL East and while ill admit it does make it difficult it doesn’t make it impossible. A larger majority believe the O’s need to spend more money, again something I don’t necessarily believe. This maybe just me but its not how much money you spend it’s how you spend it and the Orioles have made some bad decisions in that department.
Andy Snakovsky – 105.7 The Fan Staff Writer
Follow me on Twitter @AndySnakovsky