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Obando

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About Obando

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  • Birthday 4/8/1980

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  1. I so badly want this to happen, and I’m convinced the Yankees are cheaters, only no one has outed them yet. I could give numerous examples, but over the years, I have watched too many games where the Yankee hitters react as if they knew exactly what pitch was coming, and even their worst hitters are hitting home runs out of nowhere, and off of good pitchers too. Sure, they could be stealing signs the old fashioned way to know what pitch might be coming, but it just seemed too unlikely and non-coincidental that there has to be something more systematic in place going on behind the scenes. And I think we all know the Blue Jays have cheated in their home stadium for years, as there were always rumors of someone sitting in the stands indicating what pitch was coming to the hitters. It basically became a joke after awhile, but there was definitely something to it. In reality, I think every team in baseball is cheating to some extent or another, but right now, the Astros are taking the most heat for it because other teams and players are jealous of their recent success and don’t like their smugness and self promotion about their process and how they became winners.
  2. I’ve always been convinced that the Yankees are cheaters. How often have we seen average players go there and then turn into studs, with 2019 being a perfect example? Guys like Tauchman, Urshela, & Mike Ford, who were bottom of the roster players and jettisoned by other teams, suddenly become Yankees and turn into studs. Even Didi Gregorius was considered a defense-first player and a mediocre hitter when acquired, suddenly turns into Babe Ruth with the Yankees. Even Aaron Hicks, who looked like a bust with the Twins, comes to the Yankees and becomes one of their better hitters. And typically when Yankee players leave and go elsewhere, especially hitters, they are never as good. Why do you think the Yankees always seem to win trades? Because they artificially make players look better than they are, then trade them once their value is up and actually get a good return, only to see the player not do nearly as well with his new team. Aaron Judge was a strikeout machine in the minors, and even in his first abbreviated year up with the Yankees in 2016. Then 2017 comes around and he’s a completely different hitter that strikes out less and doesn’t miss any mistakes, becoming a perennial HR hitting stud. Coincidence, I think not, which isn’t to discredit his success completely. I know part of this is probably just envy and jealousy at how good the Yankees are and have usually always been, but I seriously think there’s more to it than just they are the big bad Yankees and can outspend every team in baseball. I’m convinced there is some level of cheating going on, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Carlos Beltran had something to do with it, especially in 2019.
  3. You might be right about that based on the piece of the article you posted. If Rosenbaum was running the Int’l Scouting department and then got demoted/replaced with Velasco, it would make sense for her to not be happy about it and decide to leave. Ocampo used to run that department, but in recent years he has been the interpreter for the major league team primarily. I’m guessing he wanted to have more responsibility and felt he wasn’t going to get it in Houston under the current hierarchy. Luhnow certainly has a way of ruffling feathers, huh?! I wonder if he’s doing these things purposely to push people out that he no longer wants, or if he simply likes fresh blood in these positions so the leadership doesn’t get stale. He seems like the type that likes to keep people on their toes in order to avoid complacency.
  4. If you notice the pattern of what has been happening the last 2 off seasons, long-time Astros baseball Ops employees have chosen to leave the organization to pursue other opportunities (presumably when their contracts expired). Last off-season it was Sig Mejdal and Mike Fast (who went to the Orioles and Braves, respectively), and this off-season it was Eve Rosenbaum and Oz Ocampo. Mike Elias technically didn’t choose to leave, but he was in demand as a GM candidate and decided to accept the Orioles job rather than stay with the Astros as Assistant GM. This was obviously a promotion for him, but we have seen other qualified GM candidates turn us down in the past to remain in lesser roles with their organization, most notably Tony LaCava before we hired Dan Duquette. So we really don’t know if Elias accepted the job because he truly wanted out of Houston, or because he simply wanted the promotion to GM and task of rebuilding the Orioles. That ultimately doesn’t matter all that much. However, it’s very telling to me that longtime Jeff Luhnow assistants like Sig and Oz Ocampo chose to leave the organization on their own, and to a lesser extent, Eve Rosenbaum. This tells me that they were not happy with the culture that had developed there, and it’s very possible that it’s directly related to the sign stealing and trade for Roberto Osuna. And then of course once Brandon Taubman did what he did and the organization botching how they handled it, that probably was the last straw for Rosenbaum and Ocampo (Eve in particular being a woman). So far, the only Astros executive with any direct connection to the sign stealing is Kevin Goldstein, but since he works for Luhnow, you would have to believe that Luhnow was fully aware and supportive of what was going on. But at this point, it’s not fair to implicate people like Elias, Mejdal, Rosenbaum, and Ocampo, just because they worked for the organization when these incidents occurred. Like Elias said recently, there are a lot of good people with the Astros that are being unfairly disparaged just by being associated with the organization, so I don’t blame many of them for wanting to leave, especially if they didn’t have anything to do with what was going on (even if they were aware of it). Being aware of something going on in your organization and supporting it are 2 different things, so let’s not lose sight of that. From purely a quality standpoint, I think we should be excited about the hiring of Rosenbaum, and it’s a good sign that she wanted to come here and work with Elias & Sig again. That tells me she thinks highly of them. And I would not at all be surprised if Ocampo ends up here as well in some high level assistant or director role. He goes way back with Elias & Sig to the Cardinals days, and he worked with Rosenbaum in the Astros International scouting department. The fact that he chose to leave indicates he probably already has an opportunity lined up with some team, and among people with other teams, he has the strongest connections with Mike & Sig, plus David Stearns in Milwaukee, who was in Houston with Ocampo for 3 years earlier this decade.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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