The reaction here to Dan Duquette’s second interview with the Orioles is mixed, to say the least.
Some fans respect the work he’s done in the past - especially the one-sided trades - and think he’ll be a major asset. Others think the work was done too far in the past and he’s no longer relevant.
I just want the situation resolved, so I’m feeling a small sense of relief for selfish reasons.
Duquette is meeting tonight with owner Peter Angelos, and the common belief is the Orioles won’t let him leave Baltimore without a contract, as they did with Tony LaCava, who returned home and turned them down. They won’t tie Duquette to a chair, but they’ll work overtime to get it done.
Duquette doesn’t figure to balk at having to retain some personnel. He hasn’t worked in the majors since 2002. He can navigate around certain issues.
Just to be clear, Duquette isn’t the Orioles’ sixth choice. Fans making that suggestion need to brush up on their math or better understand the process. He was the sixth candidate to interview for the job. LaCava was the only one offered a contract.
If the Orioles had interviewed Yankees scouting director Damon Oppenheimer and hired him, he wouldn’t have been their seventh choice. It doesn’t work that way.
Feel free to view him as the wrong choice - I’m not here to change your minds - but he’s not the sixth.
Duquette took some time off to attend to family matters after the Red Sox let him go in March 2002. Once he was ready to get back into baseball, he followed some leads on potential president jobs that didn’t pan out. He didn’t purse other GM opportunities that would have represented a lateral move from his days in Boston.
I’m told that he only became interested in lesser front office roles - such as special assistant - within the past two years, and after his kids were in college.
According to one source, Angelos wanted to avoid hiring someone who had recently been fired as GM, so Duquette had that preference working in his favor. There’s nothing recent about his dismissal.
I wrote earlier today that the search committee was extremely impressed with Duquette’s connections to the Latin American and Asian markets. He didn’t become totally detached from the game after the Red Sox fired him. He also has a burning desire to beat his former club and the Yankees. You’ll always score points with that one in a job interview.
If Duquette is hired as expected, he’ll need to find Joe Jordan’s replacement as director of scouting. I’m told that he doesn’t have one particular candidate in mind.
The Orioles also need to replace Alan Dunn, who began the year as their minor league pitching coordinator until he accepted a job as LSU’s pitching coach. That vacancy was never filled.
You can expect a big turnover in minor league coaches for next season. It was going to happen, no matter who called the shots. The wheels are already turning in that department.
I’ve been asked about the chances that Duquette’s cousin, Jim, returns to the organization. I’ll venture a guess and say it’s a possibility, assuming that the former Orioles vice president of baseball operations is receptive to the idea. But one hire at a time. We still need Dan to sign a contract.
Fun-fact: Duquette’s roommate at Amherst College was former Orioles bench coach Dave Jauss, who’s now an advance scout for the Pirates. I wonder if he could return to the organization.
Another fun fact: Duquette was a founding member of the 2007 Israel Baseball League. I left that one off his resume this morning.
Also, I can confirm a tweet from Scott Miller of CBS Sports.com that the Orioles fired California-based scout Gary Roenicke, a former outfielder whose brother, Ron, manages the Brewers.
This last item has nothing to do with the Orioles, but it’s sad to hear that Smokin’ Joe Frazier’s bout with liver cancer is nearing an end. We’re about to lose another sports legend.