Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

I think I found Tony's old Orioles/Syd Thrift article from 2002

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, gtman55 said:

I've been trying to track this down for a couple days and doing my best Sherlock Holmes work I think I finally found it. It's quite a read:



Thanks for finding that. I haven't read that in years. 

I still stand by my way forward. Unfortunately it appears Mr. Angelos didn't agree. Haha

  • Upvote 4

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, gtman55 said:

I've been trying to track this down for a couple days and doing my best Sherlock Holmes work I think I finally found it. It's quite a read:



Excellent!  Scary description of the Thrift, Demacio era and the bad drafting and developmental disasters that directly led to the next decade of awfulness. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought it was interesting now that the orioles have hired Mike Elias to go back to my recommendations back in 2002. 

Here a list of ten steps the Orioles need to take to become the first-class organization that they once were, and (just as important) to get back to their traditionally winning ways.

The first five items address the need to revamp the organization in ways critical to the team's performance on the field, though these changes must happen behind the scenes:


First things first: Syd Thrift must be let go and he must be replaced with an energetic, creative, visionary who's not afraid to try some new concepts and not afraid to step out of the norm. This organization needs a leader, a guy who can create a one-team attitude. He must be able to have full authority to run the franchise. Angelos should give him his budget, and let him shape the club as he sees fit. He must have full authority to hire and fire anyone in the system, or at least have the authority to delegate that responsibility to the Farm Director, who should be allowed to hand-pick the staff. Although Tony DeMacio has done an outstanding job, it should be up to the new GM to decide whether or not he stays on, since he has to be sure that all of his team members are on the same page and under the same philosophy. The same goes for Mike Hargrove and his staff. Finally, Angelos will be wise not to get caught in the trap of thinking that the GM needs to be a seasoned baseball man who has held every job in a professional baseball organization. The success of the Yankees' Brian Cashman and Oakland's Billy Beane is a better example and shows what can happen by giving young, smart guys a chance.


Without a doubt, the new GM must have a sound and coherent baseball philosophy and be prepared to institute that philosophy throughout the system. The major league and minor league pitching and hitting coaches should be working under the same philosophy, so that from the time a player arrives in the organization until the time he steps into Camden Yards, he's been taught the same thing year after year. This is why it's so important that the new GM be allowed to handpick his Farm Director and Scouting Director as well as hiring his assistants. Everyone must be on the same sheet of music, with no exceptions, and with no behind-the-scenes power struggles.


The organization must think outside the box by using new technologies like collaboration software and servers, which allow multiple users to share ideas, documents, voice, and video across the Internet in a secure environment. Imagine a meeting each day with the farm director at Camden Yards, the GM on a laptop in a hotel in New York, minor league managers and scouts with laptops in their hotel rooms discussing last night's games and action. No more calling up for voice reports for the game, but an actual interactive conversation with the professionals who saw the plays happen live.

Take that information and have it entered into an online scouting service which can be accessed by anyone in the system from scout, to manager, to coach, to front office. One such system is IBM's PROS ("Prospect Reporting and Organizational Solution"), a Web-based software application that allows scouts to quickly collect, store and access information on prospects and players. The Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies, Colorado Rockies, Toronto Blue Jays, Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets already use this system.

Also, the minor league system of analyzing players' performances could be much better if more information were charted and tracked. Instead of having minor league pitchers chart the velocity and type of pitch on a piece of paper, have each use a pocket pc with pitch/bat charting software like Chartmine/E-chart from Competitive Edge Decision systems or Pro Scout from Inside Edge, Inc. This data can be uploaded into databases which can then be viewed by people within the organization as well as being shared with the players during workout sessions and pre-game preparation.


Everyone wants to be part of something special. Young military men put themselves through excruciating tests of physical and mental duress to become part of the Army's Special Forces or Rangers, and Navy personnel go even further to become SEALs. Why? Because if they make it, they truly became part of a special team, a special group of individuals that have accomplished a great deal just to get where they are. That type of mentality should be instilled in every minor league player that comes into the system.

On day one the new recruits should be shown a film of Brooks Robinson throwing out Lee May in the 1970s World Series or Cal Ripken catching the last out of the 1983 Series in Philadelphia. They should be shown Jim Palmer on the mound and Frank Robinson at the plate. These future Orioles should hear past and present Orioles talk about the things Cal Ripken Sr. stood for, about what a special honor it is to put on the uniform of the Baltimore Orioles. 

Class, hard work, hustle and dedication should be expected from each player in the system. The consequences of breaking a spelled-out code of conduct should include being benched, demoted or released, depending on the offense. In return, the coaching staff will be dedicated, hard-working men who believe in the philosophy of the organization and who want to work with the young men they are given.


Each player that comes into the organization is different. They come from diverse backgrounds and education levels, with unique characteristics that differentiate each one from another regardless of skill level. When a player is signed, the minor league staff and scouts should assess him and an individual developmental plan (IDP) should be outlined to show a player his strengths and weaknesses.  This IDP should follow the player from each level so that when the player is promoted, the new coaching staff knows what the player is working on and what he does well, along with other notes from the previous coaching staff and organizational scouts who have seen him.

Just as importantly, at the end of the year, the player should be counseled on his season and his IDP should be discussed. The organization should develop an offseason program tailored to the player with such things as drills, fitness, and weight training included.

Besides the quality of the baseball organization, the packaging of the baseball product to its fans is also important.  The next five items address shortcomings in this area:


Offer one section in the stadium where seats are five bucks if they are bought with a child's ticket. Limit adult seating to two adults per child's ticket, and allow an unlimited number of children's tickets per adult. A child would be anyone under the age of 18 accompanying an adult. This arrangement will encourage families to come to the park. A family of four paying $20 to see a game is much more inclined to buy food and souvenirs then if they have already plunked down $80.


Drop the price of the annual FAN FEST to $5 and make it bigger. Bring back more ex-Orioles and offer up more fan forums, in more intimate settings like smaller conference rooms. Fans love the ability to interact with ex-players, even the Mark Williamsons of the world. Encourage more major and minor league players to attend and allow them to mingle with the crowd. At last year’s FAN FEST, players like John Parrish, Josh Towers and Matt Riley could be seen enjoying their time interacting with the fans with Parrish and Riley spending lots of time just standing in the crowd talking with whoever had something to say. The autograph sessions are fine for the people who like that kind of thing, but they allow little time for chit-chat. Also, add in more Orioles trivia with prizes, maybe even an Orioles jeopardy show with contestants picked at random. These changes will allow for the players and the fans to feel more like a community, and just might bring some of that old Orioles magic back.


For God's sake, turn down the volume of the music between innings. Why in the world a fan should have to scream to the person next to them in order to have a conversation is beyond me. A lot of people have complained about this, but apparently it has gone on deaf ears. Perhaps the person in charge of music was sitting in the upper deck near one of the speakers?


With Cal Ripken gone, it seems as though the players nowadays can't get into the dugouts fast enough after games. What's so wrong with hanging out a little while after games to sign some autographs for the fans?


With all due respect to Jim Hunter and Fred Manfra, the firing of Jon Miller may have been the worst decision Peter Angelos ever made. Miller is the best in the business because he was still worth listening to in 10-1 routs (which would have come in handy the last few seasons). I'm sure Miller is happy in San Francisco, but maybe the lure of a big payday and a lifetime supply of Maryland Blue Crabs could bring him back.

  • Upvote 2
  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The very first line...


With the Orioles completing their fifth consecutive losing season and with a farm system in disarray, it's doesn't take a rocket scientist to know there is a problem.

How naive we all were then! 😛

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Frobby said:

Tony, your “way forward” was incredibly prescient.    

Not too bad for 18 years ago. :D That article reminds me how much time I spent back then knowing personnel in the scouting and development areas and players. 

I wish they had done some of these things a little sooner! 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

Orioles Information

Orioles News and Information

Daily Organizational Boxscores

Tony's Takes

Orioles Roster Resource

Orioles Prospect Information

2018 End of Season Top 30 Prospects List

Prospect Scouting Reports


2019 Orioles Stats

2019 Orioles Minor League Stats

Baseball Savant Stats

  • Posts

    • Before the lockdown and half of the season being gone, right? Hard to image, not readdressing things.  
    • IMO, Boras is just one of the parts that is wrong with the current MLB. Yes, he is supposed to fight for his clients and get the most for them. But, I think there is enough evidence that points him as being self serving for his own agenda and his client advice is not always in their best interest.  
    • They did that in March. What the owners want to do now is get a bailout from the players because they don't like the deal they agreed to in March.
    • Scott Boras drops in with his (unsolicited? Unwanted?) opinion.
    • Usually, the two sides present their side of things, each one tilted towards what they want. But realistic people understand, that its a give and take and come up with a compromise so that each side can declare they win. These two sides, dont appear to have that intellectual properties to accomplish this.  
    • No.  He should be.  If you're going to put in a guy like Kirby Puckett who's career was cut short then you have to look at Belle. The differences here are that everyone loved Puckett and he had glaucoma.  Everyone hated Belle and he had a bad hip.  Glaucoma and loss of eyesight in a guy that everyone loves gets sympathy.  A bad hip on a guy that everyone hates gets ignored. Puckett:  .318/.360/.477 for an .837 OPS, 124 OPS+  51.1 WAR.  2,304 hits, 207 homers, 1085 RBI in 7,244 at bats.  Pretty confident that if he played out his career he'd have gotten 3,000 hits.  Also worth mentioning his 6 Gold Gloves.   Belle:  .295/.369/.564 for a .933 OPS, 144 OPS+ 40.1 WAR.  1,726 hits, 381 homers, 1,239 RBI in 5,853 at bats.  Pretty confident that if he played out his career he would have passed 500 homers, maybe approached 600. Belle had 1,391 less at bats and trailed only by 11 WAR.  If I'm doing my math correctly, had Belle been able to have an equal number of at bats, he would have slightly exceeded Puckett's value.   But Belle was a bad guy, threw baseballs at people, terrorized trick or treaters, was surly and didn't like the press.  So the press took joy in letting him drop off the ballot.  Don't get me wrong, I understand it and I'm not saying Belle is a shoe-in by any stretch.  But I feel like there have been less deserving players who have stayed on the ballot longer.  If Belle was an angel, he'd have a different legacy, IMO.
    • The two options are to (1) pay the players to play what you have agreed to pay them in front of no fans or (2) cancel the season. Logically, the only way that paying the players becomes economically infeasible is if it is cheaper to cancel the season completely. Economic feasibility isn't based on maximizing profitability or minimizing losses to the owners by modifying the other portions of the agreement. It is based on the difference between those two binary choices.
  • Popular Contributors

  • Create New...