MacPhail: “I just thought it was a good time to step back”

Andy MacPhail says he’s too young to retire. He’s not ready to leave baseball for good. But he doesn’t anticipate being a part of it next year, and he most certainly won’t be in the Orioles’ organization.

MacPhail said his decision to leave “is really just a function of time.”

“It’s not something you really get much of anymore with these GM jobs,” he said in a brief phone interview. “I just thought it was a good time to step back. And there are some other issues.”

He wouldn’t elaborate, but a source indicated earlier this week that MacPhail is dealing with some family matters.

“You can’t be around some of the time and then not be around for some of the time. You can’t have one foot in and one foot out,” MacPhail said.

MacPhail was given the choice of serving in a variety of roles, according to people close to the situation, but he didn’t want to divide his attention.

MacPhail didn’t do much reflecting when I asked how he viewed his tenure in the front office, which began on June 20 2007. He felt better about the instances when the Orioles were on “fair or equal ground” and could acquire players in trades rather than trying to coax them to come here. He was “a little restricted,” he said, when it came to free agency because pitchers seemed reluctant to sign with them.

MacPhail also noted that, while the Orioles didn’t make big splashes internationally, they significantly increased their spending.

“I think we’re younger and more flexible,” he said. “There’s money coming off this year. And there’s more talent on the squad.”

MacPhail doesn’t expect to offer any input on his replacement. As I’ve reported over the last few days, it won’t be manager Buck Showalter.

As for what he plans to do further down the road, MacPhail said, “I’m too young to retire, but this will be a good opportunity for me to step away.”

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