Monday, October 27, 2008

Dissention in the ranks?

Sailor Jerry over at Orioles Hangout apparently has some inside connections with the team and has posted some disheartening information about Peter Angelos and his involvement with the operations of the Orioles.

According to Jerry’s sources, Andy MacPhail wanted minor league director Dave Stockstill fired, but Angelos stepped in and overruled MacPhail’s decision.

Uh oh.

The past year and a half has done a lot to quell our fears that Angelos was still the meddlesome megalomaniac owner he’s been since the late 90’s. He’s seemingly turned over the baseball operations to MacPhail and stayed out of the way. But if this insider information is true, it could prove to be yet another roadblock in getting the Orioles back to respectability.

Jerry says:

“My sources say Stocky makes little in the way of contributions. When he can't even get into the computer system to give reports on his players... dude has to go.”

“But it almost cost them [scouting director Joe] Jordan, since the minor league side gets along with the scouting side about as well as pink jerseys and diehard fans. The disfunction remains!”

“And if you still don't think Stocky is rubbing people the wrong way, ask yourself why a top prospect like Rowell isn't playing winter ball while a bunch of non-prospects who won't get past Frederick are in Hawaii. Hawaii being the same league guys like Wieters and Snyder and Arrietta played in last year.”

These quotes are not very promising, and when looking at the results the Orioles have gotten from their minor league players recently, the writing is on the wall.

The minor-league system is rife with pitchers who can’t throw strikes and/or injury setbacks. Finding O’s hitters in the farm system who can take walks are like finding a needle in a haystack. In short, the fundamentals in the MiL system are severely lacking.

And now that there are some legitimate rumors about Angelos overruling MacPhail’s decision to fire Stockstill, excuse me if I’m not all warm and fuzzy about the Orioles right now, even on the eve of their new uniform unveiling.

The Orioles have been mired in 11 years of losing for a reason. Mostly because Angelos has made too many important decisions himself or hired incompetent people to make them for him. He’s ignored the importance of the MiL, and even after it appears that he’s started to change his ways, it still sounds like he’s not fully understanding the importance of key organizational building blocks like trusting your employees to make decisions right on down to MiL player development.

And it doesn’t end there.

MacPhail’s M.O. in Minnesota and Chicago was to build winners through the minor leagues and keep the payroll at a manageable level. So far, MacPhail has shown this to be the case in Baltimore too.

Think again.

Angelos has apparently made it known that he intends to go after big-name free agents Mark Teixiera and AJ Burnett.

On the surface, these would both be solid signings. Teixiera is a local product and could bring back some of the hometown heroism that’s been missing since Cal Ripken retired. AJ Burnett’s wife is from Maryland and Burnett has dropped subtle hints time and time again about playing for the O’s.

Now, it’ll cost the O’s an arm and a leg to sign either one of these players. And if the O’s throw their hat into the ring for either of them, it’ll more than likely be an Angelos decision than a MacPhail decision.

And as much as I’d like to see Teixiera and Burnett wearing orange and black next year, I’d like to know that Andy MacPhail is running the organization more. We know where Angelos-as-decision-maker takes us.

Actually, we’re still there.

Man... what a week for the Orioles. First they lose Adam Loewen to the Toronto Blue Jays and now this?

Just another day at the warehouse, I guess.

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