If you didn't get a chance to hear Andy MacPhail interviewed Wednesday on 105.7 the Fan FM in Baltimore, you missed a good, wide-ranging interview with the Orioles' team president. He appeared on the Ken Weinman and Vinny Cerrato show that airs each weekday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m on the Fan.
Many topics were addressed and here are some excerpts from the interview.
MacPhail was asked about Brian Matusz:
"He's healthy. For whatever reason, from where he was in spring training to the time he came back from the intercostal strain, there's been about three to four miles per hour that somehow we've lost in that transition. We're hopeful that another start in Washington over the weekend, we'll get closer to seeing what we are accustomed to seeing from Brian in velocity."
He was asked if Matusz's velocity loss is similar to what happened to the Yankees' Phil Hughes:
"No, not to our knowledge. He just hasn't come back with the same velo he had before. Sometimes that is a function of building your arm strength, but he had a pretty extensive rehab, so I'm a little surprised we have not seen the velocity return to where it's been in the past."
MacPhail said he does not make the decisions on which players the Orioles draft and talked about some reasons that he defers to scouting director Joe Jordan and his staff:
"Unlike some GM's today like a Kevin Towers, it's not an area (amateur scouting) where I cut my teeth. Often what happens when the general manager shows up, the price goes up and the level of tension goes up. I keep appraised of who is in the mix and why. Philosophically between Peter (Angelos), Joe Jordan and myself we will talk about our organizational needs.
"We've been aggressive in terms of dollars spent. From 07 to 2010, we spent more money than any American League East team on the draft. Joe keeps us up to date on who we think would be available and who we are deciding between.
"Then, it's also about a measure of accountability. If you give too many people opinions and you look back three or four years and you're not satisfied or you want to reward the person responsible, it can be hard to go back and ascertain who did what. So I'm pretty much on giving people a wide reign but also about those people being accountable."
MacPhail was asked about the O's farm system this year:
"I probably feel better about our system today than I did on opening day. We have several kids I think that are having good years for us that had not really had those kind of years up until this point.
"Then we've had a spike in velocity from some of our kids way down the ladder. All of the sudden we have some pretty hard throwing arms. Whether they will evolve into pitchers or not, we'll find out over time, but we certainly have some stuff to work with that we're happy with."
MacPhail said he expects the contract negotiations with top draft pick Dylan Bundy to go down to the wire:
"Anybody that gets selected fourth in the country will be a difficult sign and anyone that gets selected fourth will, in all likelihood, be an August 15th sign. It's just unfortunately the way our game has evolved and it's generally done ten minutes before midnight. Even when it's clear that the player wants to play, that's just the way it regretfully has become in our sport."
MacPhail was asked if he feels that top name, big money free agents just don't want to come to Baltimore:
"That hasn't really been my experience. My experience has been that the position players I think are much more open (to coming here).
"I do think you have a problem with pitching and it doesn't have anything to do with Baltimore. All things being equal, they just soon pitch in a different division or maybe in the National League without the DH.
"Some want to pitch in the National League West where you have, by and large, big ballparks where the ball doesn't carry at night. Things are not equitable in that regard. So I have encountered some resistance on the pitching front but not so much on the position player front."
You can click here to hear the entire interview with MacPhail.