If you’ve been trying to pry a list of Orioles managerial candidates from family, friends or beat writers, do yourself a favor and forget about it.
There’s an order here and it begins with the hiring of a replacement for executive vice president Dan Duquette, with the title to be determined.
I’ve heard more than once that the new hire will compile the list of candidates to replace manager Buck Showalter. He or she will choose the successor. He or she won’t be overruled. So, until we know who’s in charge here, it’s impossible to pass along an accurate list of managerial candidates.
This is the time of year when people throw names against a wall and see which ones stick. It’s a tradition as old as time. And they will be mistaken as sourced reports.
I certainly can’t guarantee that someone will be interviewed if I don’t know who’s replacing Duquette and whether he or she has a connection or affinity for a particular manager, coach or television analyst.
Don’t assume that someone with previous ties to the Orioles automatically will be interviewed.
John and Louis Angelos will bring in executive candidates, and the ideal scenario is to make a decision sooner rather than later, without recklessly rushing the process, to get the managerial interviews underway.
I’ve been dismissive of pricy veteran ex-managers, based on the Orioles’ desire to reduce payroll. Why employ a $3-4 million skipper under these circumstances? But again, it’s hard to make any predictions.
John Angelos met with former Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti earlier this summer, but it hasn’t been made clear whether there was a formal interview and if so, for what position. They just spoke on the West Coast, and because of it, Colletti will be included in the speculative articles.
Logic says former Red Sox GM Ben Cherington will be a consideration, and let’s not forget that Blue Jays assistant Tony LaCava appeared to be the choice as Andy MacPhail’s successor before he withdrew his name.
Royals assistant Scott Sharp helped to build the World Series teams and he’s a Sykesville native whose stock is seriously on the rise. The Mets reportedly are interested. He checks off a lot of boxes, including his strengths and background in analytics, player development and scouting.
Any assistant on a current playoff team also could get a call. That’s often how it works. I mean, as long as we’re chucking names at the wall.
A new manager could mean an entirely new coaching staff. There’s a lot of work and a lot of decisions pending, and the late bird doesn’t get the juiciest worms.
(My apologies if I caught you in the middle of breakfast.)
The sweeping changes that might be in store for the Orioles beyond the offices of Duquette and Showalter could push out some important contributors to the organization. And not necessarily because they’re removed from it.
Dean Albany is a highly respected scout who easily could land another job if he doesn’t return next season. He had a close relationship with Showalter and relished the opportunity to work for his hometown team. But who knows what’s in store for him, and many others, during this transitional period?
The Orioles would be smart to hold onto him, but we just don’t know what the future holds. And, of course, he’d have to want to remain with them. It takes two.
There have been significant losses over the last few years, including Matt Klentak and Ned Rice in the front office. They took jobs with the Phillies, Klentak going first to the Angels. Showalter didn’t take it well.
Albany signed Josh Hader out of Old Mill High School and I’m sure that it pains him to watch the left-hander dominant in Milwaukee. It pains me to know that I’m no longer the most famous alum.
OK, I’m not even in the Top 2. The school also produced Lester Speight, an All-American linebacker at Morgan State University, former professional wrestler (Rasta the Voodoo Man) and now an actor who portrayed Terry Tate: Office Linebacker in a series of Reebok ads and appeared in numerous films, including “Any Given Sunday” and “Norbit,” had a recurring role in the television series “My Wife and Kids” and played Augustus Cole in the “Gears of War” video games.
Kevin Barnes graduated from Old Mill and played cornerback at the University of Maryland and with the Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions in the NFL.
I have a blog.
Anyway, Albany is really good at his job. The same is true of director of player development Brian Graham, one of the smartest hires over the last dozen years and a guy with front office, managing and coaching experience. He’s the point man now on an interim basis until Duquette is replaced, and there are no guarantees that he stays in the organization or his current role.
He, too, would be a big loss.
* Of all the moves that backfired in 2018, few made a louder sound than signing Colby Rasmus to play right field. And the Orioles still don’t have a sure-fire replacement for opening day.
Rasmus agreed to a minor league deal on Feb. 21 after the Orioles were unable to lower Jon Jay’s asking price. They didn’t have a left-handed hitting outfielder on their 40-man roster after designating Jaycob Brugman for assignment earlier in the day.
The club touted Rasmus as a plus-defender who could move around the outfield, giving them a starter in right and a backup to Adam Jones in center. He also had some pop. But not the desire to keep playing, leaving the Rays in 2017 and the Orioles on July 3.
The hip never was right following surgery and Rasmus got off to a miserable start this season, going 2-for-21 with 13 strikeouts, and lasted only 18 games.
Putting all of your right field eggs in Colby Rasmus’ basket was a huge gamble. It wouldn’t sting nearly as much, though, if Austin Hays had stayed healthy, hit the way he did last summer and earned a promotion.
I was in full agreement to bring back Chris Tillman for the back end of the rotation, figuring that a full offseason and spring training would round him back into form. That the Orioles knew exactly what they were getting after watching him throw at the Ed Smith Stadium complex before he signed for $3 million.
I was completely wrong. None of it mattered.
Tillman made seven starts and registered a 10.46 ERA and 2.213 WHIP in 26 2/3 innings. The Rangers signed him to a minor league deal after he declined the Orioles’ offer and sent him to Triple-A Round Rock, where he started four games and allowed nine earned runs (10 total) and 11 hits with eight walks in nine innings.
The rotation never was settled, with 14 different pitchers making starts to match the total used in 1988. The 1955 Orioles used 19.
Rookie John Means could have been the 15th this season, but Showalter chose Jimmy Yacabonis for Sunday’s finale. Dillon Tate also was a candidate before a sore shoulder led the Orioles to shut him down.