What's next in the GM search?

So when does the offseason begin?

I'm talking about mine.

Here's hoping that the Orioles don't drag out the interviewing and hiring process. Here's hoping we'll learn the identity of Andy MacPhail's replacement before next month's general managers meetings.

The empty chair would be embarrassing.

Owner Peter Angelos is supposed to meet today with manager Buck Showalter, who's racking up some serious frequent flyer miles. Or maybe he's just developed an addiction to those little bags of honey-roasted peanuts.

They'll go over the list of candidates, which Showalter has contributed to, and that should lead to the necessary calls seeking permission to interview the candidates. They also will discuss who participates in the interviews.

Showalter figures to be in the room. General counsel H. Russell Smouse's opinion also is valued.

There's no timetable set for making a hire, but I wouldn't trust it anyway. Delays are inevitable. Just roll with them.

It's obvious that the Orioles want someone with an extensive background in scouting and player development. It also would be nice if he's willing to push a cart through the international market.

MacPhail wasn't asked for his input, and that's the way he preferred it. I sensed from talking to him over the weekend that he felt like the Orioles needed to handle it on their own. He's willing to chime in if needed, but he'd rather focus on other matters.

The next GM/president of baseball ops/choose a title must be on the same page as Showalter. That's the only way the arrangement will work. Showalter won't want to give the impression that he's interfering or overstepping whatever boundaries exist in baseball. The new hire won't be delusional enough to think Showalter won't have a lot of influence on any decisions made in this organization.

The Orioles aren't looking for a puppet. No one would take the job if it comes with strings attached. (See what I did there?) He'll just need to share the same vision as Showalter, which shouldn't be too difficult. I don't think there are drastically different opinions on what needs to be done here.

I'll close by offering congratulations to the Mesa Solar Sox, who won their first game yesterday, 3-2 over Scottsdale.

Left fielder Xavier Avery went 1-for-3 with a triple, leaving his average at .063. Left-hander Casey Lambert didn't allow a hit, run or walk in 1 2/3 innings, leaving his ERA at 10.80. He struck out two. Sean Gleason allowed a run and three hits in 1 1/3 innings, leaving his ERA at 3.00.

I'm leaving you now.

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