The Orioles won their 70th game today, which also produced the 1,000th career victory for Dan Duquette while he’s been in charge of a major league team.
Duquette’s teams were 930-786 coming into the 2013 season, his second as the Orioles’ executive vice president of baseball operations.
“One of my first wins in Montreal when I got the job to be the GM was in September in 1991, after Dave Dombrowski went to Miami to build the Marlins,” Duquette recalled. “I got the opportunity to succeed him in Montreal, and before the first game was played when I was the GM, the stadium had some structural issues and the roof caved in, so they sent us on the road. We had to play the rest of our schedule on the road in the National League because our stadium needed work.
“Our roof basically fell in. That first week, the stadium imploded and we had to take the show on the road. In these situations, it’s more about the journey than the destination, right?”
The journey has included three playoff berths with the Red Sox and one with the Orioles that ended a 14-year drought.
“The thing I really want to focus on is, I want to thank all the scouts and the managers, the players and coaches and front office personnel and the owners that I worked with over the years. They gave me the opportunity to serve in major league baseball,” he said.
“It’s a great privilege for me to be able to work with Buck (Showalter). Buck got his 1,000th win last year. It’s a great privilege to be able to work with him day to day to help bring a competitive team to Baltimore. And I want to thank Mr. (Peter) Angelos and the Angelos family for the opportunity to come back and work in major league baseball. And my hope is that we can go on to the playoffs and get 1,000 more wins with the Orioles.
“Just think of all the effort that has to go into one game, in terms of preparation, staffing, pitching. And all the effort that the players have to put forward for one game. I appreciate the great effort that our players give night in and night out. I am humbled and proud to be working with these guys and so happy to share every win with these guys, because the way that they go about their business, it’s just an honor to be working with them.”
Duquette also offered his appreciation for the fans who have stuck by the team through the lean years, and the ones who have returned to Camden Yards.
“The fans in Baltimore have welcomed me personally and our family to the community. We really enjoy serving them every day,” he said.
The Orioles will exceed two million in attendance in their next home game.
“It shows that the fans are engaged with our team in Baltimore and we appreciate the faith that they have in the team, and we’re doing everything we can to reward their faith with a good, competitive team,” Duquette said.
“Just think of all the great players you need to work with, right? You need to work with great players and dedicated players who appreciate the game and give their all to help their team win, and I think that’s really what I’m most thankful for, the opportunity to work with all these people that are so passionate about baseball and so dedicated to giving their best effort to win night in and night out.”
It took 10 years for Duquette to return to a major league front office after his tenure ended in Boston. He never worried about being left on the outside.
“I thought I would get another opportunity,” he said, “and I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve here in Baltimore.”
Note: Kevin Gausman threw three scoreless innings today for Triple-A Norfolk, allowing one hit, walking none and striking out four. He threw 40 pitches, 29 for strikes.
The Orioles continue to monitor Gausman’s innings, and Showalter indicated over the weekend that the right-hander could be recalled this week.