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TT: Orioles Games of Thrones and the Way Forward

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6 minutes ago, Deadwood Fan said:

Tony, the sources you talked to for this story, what is the general consensus of John and Lou Angelos? 

My sources come from across the gamut and not many of direct access to the sons. If there is one pervasive thought is that Lou is more on the law offices side while John is more on the baseball side, and that's the way Peter wanted it.

I've never met Lou and have only had minor contact with John at a few functions. John seemed cordial and we even talked about his wrestling background because my son was a wrestler. Seemed like a good guy, but I've reached out to him a few times since and haven't gotten a response so I'm guessing our relationship will remain at functions. lol

I have no information on how they will run the Orioles. 

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Angelos has been a huge problem.  Yes, he's opened up the checkbook more recently, and that MASN mess feels like it will never go away, but you have to have structure in an organization.  I can't imagine his law firm is allowed to run as poorly as the Orioles.  Unless one of the boys knows WTF he's doing, or unless they sell, it's hard to imagine things getting much better, especially with monster franchises in the division.  They mortgaged the future for a heavily flawed run and now we're going to pay for it.  This rebuild doesn't have to take that long but it's going to need a real good plan.  I have no hope they can do it right.

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Tony, I hope you dont mind, but I broadcasted this on Twitter. I @ed Palmer and Roch for comments and also posted the link in recent team and MASN threads. I just said “interesting read” or something to that effect. Let people form their own opinions.

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Just made it through. One big question in terms of building the current team that I don't think was addressed: Who was behind the Davis signing? Some have suggested that it was an "ownership" decision rather than DD acting on his own. Davis is definitely one of Buck's guys to the end. I would like to know how much Brady was involved in that decision as well. At the very least, it sounds like he could have played an important veto role but didn't.

Totally agree that there has been visible signs of distrust between Buck and Dan. The first time I saw it was when Dan brought in Francisco Rodriguez for setup help in 2013 and Buck used him in mop up situations for the first month.

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8 minutes ago, wildbillhiccup said:

Tony, I hope you dont mind, but I broadcasted this on Twitter. I @ed Palmer and Roch for comments and also posted the link in recent team and MASN threads. I just said “interesting read” or something to that effect. Let people form their own opinions.

Be prepared.

Roch, will tell you he doesn't need anyone telling him what's going on in the organization. He'll say DD is the GM and not Brady. How much he's around the team and knows how things are really run. On and on. The company line.

He got super defensive and combative, when I told him about the article on Sunday.

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1 minute ago, Aristotelian said:

Just made it through. One big question in terms of building the current team that I don't think was addressed: Who was behind the Davis signing? Some have suggested that it was an "ownership" decision rather than DD acting on his own. Davis is definitely one of Buck's guys to the end. I would like to know how much Brady was involved in that decision as well. At the very least, it sounds like he could have played an important veto role but didn't.

Totally agree that there has been visible signs of distrust between Buck and Dan. The first time I saw it was when Dan brought in Francisco Rodriguez for setup help in 2013 and Buck used him in mop up situations for the first month.

From the article:

Quote

Next, after losing Cruz the year before, Buck wanted Chris Davis back badly. Duquette was reportedly less interested in retaining Davis for the money he was requesting, but Buck reportedly went directly to Angelos requesting his first baseman be signed.  Angelos reportedly took over the negotiations and signed Davis to the largest contract in Orioles history.

Also..

Quote

Every manager is going to make some bad managerial decisions, but Buck made such a bad decision in the 2016 wild card game that it may have cost him some influence. We all know the story, Buck leaves Zach Britton in the bullpen and brings in Jimenez in extra innings only to watch the Blue Jays walk-off with the win. It was literally the single worst decision I’ve ever witnessed as a baseball observer, and the fact Buck never took responsibility for the awful decision left a bad taste in many people’s mouth. According to one source, many people in the organization were shocked by Buck’s blunder and lack of responsibility.

Worst of all, there were whispers that Buck lost even more of his clubhouse with the move. Various sources have indicated that Buck has been losing influence over his clubhouse. As one source said, “When you play favorites with some players, that means you are being unfair to others. Players notice that.”

I guess those who suggested Buck has lost the clubhouse were correct after all. Not surprised, it's been obvious for awhile now.

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8 minutes ago, Ripken said:

Angelos has been a huge problem.  Yes, he's opened up the checkbook more recently, and that MASN mess feels like it will never go away, but you have to have structure in an organization.  I can't imagine his law firm is allowed to run as poorly as the Orioles.  Unless one of the boys knows WTF he's doing, or unless they sell, it's hard to imagine things getting much better, especially with monster franchises in the division.  They mortgaged the future for a heavily flawed run and now we're going to pay for it.  This rebuild doesn't have to take that long but it's going to need a real good plan.  I have no hope they can do it right.

Angelos’ style of regarding nearly everything sort of reminds me of the scenario of if you can get across the street as a pedestrian when you have the right of way, or you let the car approaching go ahead on by first. Essentially, some people prefer to be right than alive. 

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34 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

Guessing he advocated for Hardy and O'Day as well.

Quote

Duquette was hired on November 4th, 2011 and basically took over for Showalter who was acting as GM after MacPhail left following the season. In fact, Showalter was instrumental in grabbing his former Texas Rangers reliever Darren O’Day off waivers four days before Duquette was hired.

....

Lastly, after losing Miller the year before, Buck wanted O’Day back and he was re-signed to a 4-year contract though Brady was also instrumental in keeping O’Day from signing with the Nationals.

There was no mention of Hardy, so I guess everyone wanted him back.

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9 minutes ago, AnythingO's said:

In your Tony's Take on the last page you get into how to setup an organization and it reminded me of something I printed out years ago and have taped to my workstation. It is titled "The Orioles Way" and I have alluded to it over the years. Most people think pitching, defense, and strong fundamentals and Buck alludes to it occasionally. But it was much more than that, so forgive me but I'm going to type it out.

"Surround yourself with good, talented, committed people. Lay out the vision clearly. Map out goals precisely. Provide a road map, so that every individual knows what they have to do and how they must do it to get to the organization's goals -- and their goals individually for their career path. Empower them. Honor them. Trust them. Motivate them -- and stand back."

I can't remember who they quoted in the piece, or when or where I found it, it has been many years. This is NOT how the Orioles organization has been operating during the Peter Angelos era; you have captured the dysfunction in your piece. Thank you Tony, that can't have been an easy undertaking and I hope you don't suffer blow back, but I fear you will.

Great take. Empower them and then hold them accountable in my mind are the two most important pieces that have been missing for sometime. 

As for blowback, I'm not concerned. One, the worse they can do is pull my credentials, but why would they? I didn't lie or make things up.

They don't advertise with me anymore so it's not like they can pull their money. That happened after the MacPahil piece. lol

Honestly, I've always gotten the response from Greg Bader that he appreciates me being fair. I call it as I see it and do my best to back up things with multiple source before running out and writing stuff. 

Either way, I just wanted to get things out so people can know what I know because this is such a crucial time for the Orioles organization with Peter reportedly no longer running day to day operations of the club.

I don't think there is a villain in this story at all. Just various people doing what they think is best. Each have done some good things and things that have contributed to this current mess.

But like you said, if there is one thing I hope John and Lou read is that final piece about having one guy take control of Baseball Operations and let him hire his guys. Empower those guys with specific roles and responsibilities and then hold them accountable.

If that happens then I'll have hope for this organization.

Saying all that, one of my sources told me that although maybe not as bad, many organizations have difficult to follow chains of command. Who knows? I don't follow the other organization as closely obviously.

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I recall stories circa 2008 stating that prior to accepting the job, Andy McPhail sat down with Peter Angelos and discussed with him the appropriate role of a team owner within a baseball organization.  Andy McPhail had the stature in MLB which Flanagan, Beattie, and Jim Duquette did not.  Subsequently once McPhail was hired,  Angelos' actions were in line with McPhail's guidance.  And this seemed to turn around the franchise for years to come.  McPhail and Dan Duquette -- both good baseball minds -- seemed to have freedom to operate.   Seemed to last until Dan Duquette's perceived "disloyalty" w.r.t. Toronto in 2015.

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