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Obando

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About Obando

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  1. Sig started working for Luhnow in 2005 as well, and he chose to leave after last season. That doesn’t mean Sig left because he wasn’t happy with the culture, but it goes to show that despite his allegiance to Luhnow for giving him his first job in baseball, he didn’t feel beholden to him. I don’t know how Charlie Gonzalez feels about the organization’s culture, but if he were going to leave the Astros for anyone, it would likely be to go to the Orioles to work with Mike & Sig again. I’m sure Mike & Sig have at least broached the subject to all of the people I mentioned in my prior post, so we’ll see if any of them end up leaving to come here. I think it would only be likely if their contracts are expiring and they choose not to stay, as opposed to Elias requesting permission from Luhnow to interview them. I’m sure Elias is aware of whose contracts are about to expire among Astros front office staff.
  2. I wouldn’t be surprised if Elias is waiting for the Astros season to end before he hires another 1 or 2 of his former colleagues to front office positions with the Orioles. I read an article on The Athletic last week regarding the Astros culture after the Taubman incident stating that it’s expected there will be more members of the front office leaving when the season ends, evidently due to their dissatisfaction with the culture and how people are treated in the organization. If that’s the case, I would not be surprised to see someone like Oz Ocampo or Kevin Goldstein leave to join Elias & Mejdal’s with the O’s. Both of those guys have been with the Astros for a long time and worked with Mike & Sig, so there is already an established relationship. Just as Sig & Mike Fast allowed their contracts to expire last year so they could pursue other opportunities, I could see the same thing happening with some remaining Astros front office staff if they are truly not happy with the current culture as was intimated in the article I read. One guy who I would love to get from the Astros is Charlie Gonzalez, who is a longtime scouting advisor who worked with Mike & Sig going back to their St. Louis days. Gonzalez is more of an old school type of scout, but he’s well versed in how they run the draft process by combining scouting with analytics, so it would be a seamless transition, and he also seems to have a knack for finding good players. Gonzalez is considered the driving force behind the acquisition of Yordan Alvarez in a trade with the Dodgers, as Gonzalez and Ocampo scouted him as an amateur and loved him, but they lost out to the Dodgers, who offered more money. Considering that guys like Gonzalez, Ocampo & Goldstein all worked for many years with Mike & Sig, I would not be surprised if they leave to come to Baltimore for better positions & pay as long as their contracts are expiring at the end of this month and they want out. Just something to keep an eye on with no true scouting director position filled yet and what appears to be room for another assistant GM or two, since Sig’s assistant GM title delineates that he oversees analytics specifically.
  3. Exactly. The Yankees traded for Aroldis Chapman as a distressed asset with the Reds, and no one seems to talk about that anymore. However, they should be getting just as much criticism as the Astros for not just trading for him after he got suspended for domestic violence, but then signing him again after they traded him to the Cubs. The only difference is that a member of their front office didn’t heckle a female reporter about it, which was obviously totally wrong and reprehensible. But the Yankees are just as worthy of criticism as the Astros if we’re looking at it purely from a moral perspective.
  4. I doubt this was an Elias decision. It’s possible he may have offered some input about it, but ultimately, the decision likely was made on the business/ownership side. Still newsworthy, just not sure it needs to be in this particular thread.
  5. I’m sure they will still have some fan interaction events this offseason, but it will be different from the traditional FanFest. I can’t imagine they won’t be doing anything at all. This has to be part of the total reimagining of the organization, where they are essentially evaluating everything they do and determining if it can be done better, differently, &/or more efficiently than it has been done in the past.
  6. I was thinking the same thing, mainly because when Sig was hired, the title he was given was Assistant GM - Analytics. If it was simply Assistant GM, with no specific designation, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it, but it’s the emphasis on analytics that tells me Elias likely plans to hire an additional Assistant GM to oversee scouting &/or player development. Since Matt Blood has already been hired as Player Development Director, that makes hiring someone above him a little less likely, however. On the other hand, there currently isn’t a true scouting director in place, with Brad Ciolek given the title of Domestic Scouting Supervisor. If Ciolek was truly a scouting director, his title would likely include “Director” in it. That tells me that Elias likely has designs on hiring either an Assistant GM in charge of scouting (as Sig is to Analytics), or an actual scouting director. Names to keep an eye on for an Assistant GM-Scouting job are Jaron Madison, current director of PD with the Cubs (worked with Elias in St. Louis) and Kris Gross, current scouting director with the Astros (worked with Elias in both St. Louis & Houston), but that’s obviously pure speculation on my part.
  7. I totally understand where you are coming from. It’s a shame baseball doesn’t pay better as an industry unless you are a GM or manager, because it would attract a much bigger and better pool of candidates. You have to really love baseball and be willing to make major sacrifices to justify taking a low paying job with crazy working hours. That’s why it’s best to get in when you are just out of college, have minimal expenses, and don’t have a family to provide for. On the bright side, not working for the Orioles/in baseball allows you to provide us with the great content and insight that you do here at OH and on Twitter, so I guess it’s selfishly for the best!
  8. Got it, thanks. Do you have any interest in applying for a scouting position with the O’s? I would think that has to be somewhat appealing to you, especially since you are well-versed in modern scouting that combines qualitative with quantitative analysis, which fits the type of scout that Elias is looking to hire.
  9. Luke, where did you see that they have already hired a couple of area scouts? I haven’t seen that reported anywhere, but maybe I missed it. The only new addition I’ve seen reported so far is Matt Blood, and otherwise just some promotions &/or new titles for existing baseball ops staffers.
  10. I think this is a great sign, and only reinforces the notion that Elias has full control of the baseball operation. I thought it was already a good sign that Brady’s role had been greatly reduced this year, but the fact that he was still around at all made you wonder if the Angelos boys had forced Elias to keep him around in some capacity as part of his hiring agreement. But the fact that he’s completely gone now tells me this was probably Elias’ plan all along, and he always had full autonomy to let Brady go when he felt the time was right (meaning after a full season of evaluating his ability to contribute to Elias’ long term rebuilding plan). I think the only thing Elias doesn’t have full authority to decide on is Chris Davis’ status, which is understandable considering he’s owed a lot of money, and those types of decisions usually involve ownership. However, I’m sure this situation was discussed heavily before Elias accepted the job, and I’m guessing John & Lou Angelos agreed to give Elias some level of input in the matter, even if he didn’t have the final say. And really, if the Davis situation is the only one that Elias doesn’t have full control over within the baseball operation, I can live with that since it’s a major financial decision that should involve ownership, since they are the ones writing the checks to him. All in all, you have to be happy with the direction things are headed in with Elias in charge, and with Brady being the latest to leave the organization (and I think they are making it seem like it was Brady’s decision to leave on his own accord, just to soften the blow), this just reinforces even more that Elias has full control to rebuild the organization as he sees fit, Davis situation notwithstanding.
  11. The way Elias handled it couldn’t have been any worse than how DD handled communication in general. Communication was not DD’s strong suit, to put it mildly. In less than 1 year, Elias has shown me he is a much, much better communicator, at least publicly, than DD ever was in 7 years as GM here. Could you have ever seen DD tweeting messages to the fans? Elias is as transparent and communicative as you will find for a GM these days. I don’t know how much of that is simply his young age (he’s technically a millennial) and the fact that he knows it’s important to communicate with the fans during a rebuild, but whatever it is, I find it very refreshing and hope it remains this way moving forward.
  12. Whether you agree with letting Surhoff go or not (or really any others with long-time Orioles ties), it really comes down to this: Would you rather Elias be forced to keep certain people, like Peter Angelos used to require of prior GMs, or would you rather he truly have full autonomy to make personnel decisions and build the baseball operation as he sees fit? Look, I have a soft spot for Oriole players I grew up watching and rooting for, like Surhoff, Brady, etc., but does that mean I think they should be forced on the GM to be a part of the organization if, in the GMs purview, he has no real use for them or doesn’t think they fit his rebuilding vision? Absolutely not. So I commend John & Lou Angelos for doing the opposite of their father and giving Elias true autonomy to make the decisions that he thinks gives the Orioles the best chance to be successful in the long term. That doesn’t mean every decision Elias makes is going to be correct, because everyone makes mistakes and has regrets, but ultimately, these are his decisions and no one else’s, and after years of meddling and mismanagement from ownership, this is extremely refreshing.
  13. Okay, I clearly missed that if he did. I’ll go into that thread and see if I can find Luke’s analysis. The real question I have about Yaz’s breakout is whether this is sustainable or not. Is he another Justin Turner who suddenly figures things out in his late 20’s/early 30’s with the help of a swing coach & data/technology and has sustained success, or is he a 1-year wonder who will never match this level of productivity again? I guess we’ll find out over the next few years, assuming Yaz stays healthy and continues to play regularly.
  14. Seeing Yaz breakout like he has with the Giants this year makes me wonder if this could turn out to be similar to the mistake the Astros made when they released JD Martinez in spring training 2014 because they didn’t give him enough of a chance to show them the changes he made to his swing in the offseason, only to see him sign with the Tigers and start the huge production run he’s been on ever since then. Is it possible that Yaz made some adjustments in the offseason at a place like Driveline or with one of the other hitting gurus like Doug Latta, and the Orioles simply didn’t give him enough opportunities to show the changes he made in spring training? I mean, how does a guy go from a fringe major leaguer at best who never busted down the door in the minors for the Orioles to give him a chance, to suddenly putting up numbers in the majors well beyond anything he ever did in the minors? That doesn’t just happen by accident. Sure, he was a victim of the Orioles depth in OF prospects, which put him behind several others for a shot in the majors, but you would think if the front office really thought he was capable of this type of breakout at 28 years old that they would have at least given him a chance to show what he could do before trading him away, especially on a rebuilding team. This tells me that either Yaz made some changes in the offseason and the O’s didn’t give him many opportunities to show them in spring training, or he simply figured something out after he got traded to the Giants, most likely with the help of technology that has become so prominent in the development aspect of the game these days. With a smart, data & technology-driven front office like the O’s have now, it has to be a shock to them to see Yaz performing as well as he has since coming up to the majors in late May/early June. Then again, Elias and Sig barely had any time to get their system implemented by the time spring training rolled around, so anything they could have truly done to help Yaz reach this level probably wouldn’t have occurred until after the minor league season got underway. Could someone like Luke compare Yaz’s swing from as recently as last year to what it looks like now, to maybe offer some insight as to what suddenly changed to allow Yaz to produce like this? Because I think most of us were completely blindsided by this, and it would be great to try and understand how this could have happened. I’m happy for Yaz, but obviously, it would have been much nicer to see him doing this for the Orioles after being in our system for the last 6 years and having nothing to show for it. This isn’t to say our other highly regarded OF prospects won’t eventually reach this level, but on a rebuilding team, it would have been a great story to see Yaz doing this for us in 2019.
  15. I noticed that as well. They spelled analyst under Sig’s name wrong too. How can you print mass publications like this and not see & correct these obvious errors before sending to print?? I wouldn’t be surprised if whoever’s job it was to spell check got fired for that, despite the fact that there’s a lot to proofread in a typical media guide.
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