Rob Long: Who’s Dan Duquette?
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When the Baltimore Orioles hired Dan Duquette in November, 2011 many wondered whether the team was hiring an Executive Vice President who was going to work for the field Manager Buck Showalter. After all, Duquette had not worked as a Major League Baseball executive since 2002. With a team that last won in 1997, optimism was out of the door.
Fast forward to today and Dan Duquette has established a reputation with the Orioles. In his first year with the club the O’s clinched the American League Wild Card and came within one game of going to the American League Championship Series.
The concern going into the 2013 season was that the organization hadn’t done enough in the off-season to improve upon a very good 2012 season. The team let Mark Reynolds go, with the hopes that Chris Davis would become the everyday first baseman and provide consistent power in the middle of the order.
The club’s gamble paid off as Davis led the League in both home runs and runs batted in. He and Adam Jones, who had signed a long term deal in 2012, were becoming one of the better run producing combinations in the game. However the lack of another hitter in the middle of the order was lacking along with a front of the rotation starter.
After having another winning season in 2013, the team waited in free-agency and signed Ubaldo Jimenez as a front of the rotation starter and Nelson Cruz to provide another stud to compliment Jones and Davis.
Duquette has made several other moves that have helped the team as well. Miguel Gonzalez has been a regular in the starting rotation for the team since 2012 and players like Delmon Young and Steve Pearce have added punch when the team’s needed it. That’s become typical Dan Duquette. He’s not been someone who’s afraid to make as many moves as possible to get what this team’s needed.
While the Baltimore Orioles have had some weaknesses this year, one has the feeling that Duquette will make moves between the minor league shuttle and even a trade or two in order to put this team and keep this team in contention. That’s who Dan Duquette is.