Jordan on Hobgood, his staff, the 2009 draft and more

As Joe Jordan leaves the Orioles for the Phillies, I guess he can finally go several weeks without getting a phone call from me. We’ll have less to talk about now, but I sure wish him the best.

He’s done so many interviews with me since 2004, I’ve lost track. I have asked so many questions about Matt Hobgood that I’ve lost track of that.

A typical conversation between us might go like this:

Joe: Steve, Britton was sure good last night. What did you think of that sinker?

Steve: Looked good. Hey, Joe, was Hobgood a signability pick?

It wasn’t quite like that, but close. So when I interviewed Jordan one more time yesterday, he had to figure I’d bring up Hobgood one more time. And I did.

“I’ll just say this. I believed in the pick,” Jordan said. “We did have a plan as far as what we wanted to do beyond that. It is what it is. I’m not going to talk about these guys specifically, but that draft in 2009, we had a plan as far as what we wanted to do with the first pick and picks beyond that. We executed the plan. It obviously looks how it looks now and we’ll just have to see how it plays out.”

That 2009 draft was one where Jordan took several pitchers that have been hurt or have not progressed too far along yet, along with Hobgood, Mychal Givens and Tyler Townsend in the first three rounds.

“I think you look at every draft. Anytime you are in a situation where there are changes at the top of the organization (like now with the Orioles), and you are being looked at and scrutinized, people aren’t looking at the success stories. It always gravitates to the other ones. I’m good with that, I understand,” he said.

“So many of these things you have to let them play out. Some of the initial returns have not been near what I thought they would be or what I said they would be. All the drafts will be evaluated. My work is on record.”

Here are some other topics Jordan addressed in this interview:

Was he given all he needed in resources and staff as scouting director?

“I can’t look back and say, ‘Damn, I wish we had this or we would have had that.’ As far as the amateur staff and the resources, we had plenty to be successful and have good drafts.

“It’s a hard business and we made some mistakes. But there’s ability in the system and there is some that has gotten to the big leagues and there is obviously more coming. You know, I like the job we did. Didn’t get them all right, but I like what we did, I really do.”

He said yesterday there may have been some decisions he made that could have gone differently. What did he mean by that?

“I’m not really going to pull out any specific players. People that follow the organization, there have been some players that are easy to identify. I root for them every day. Now, being with another organization, I don’t want to pull individual players out and talk about them, I don’t think it’s appropriate. It’s all about the players. You just do what you think is right. I know we missed on some and I don’t really think that separates me from anyone else doing the job.”

Will most of his current scouts stay with the O’s in 2012?

“The contracts were offered to the complete staff around two weeks ago. Most of the guys have agreed. Not all of them were up, we had about half of the staff that was under contract for 2012. But those that were renewing were all offered contracts, which I was very appreciative of. I think most of the guys will be back.”

So his successor will inherit some of his staff?

“Yeah and that’s the norm. Like when I came in, in late 2004, the staff was pretty much complete. I hired two scouts in California and it’s pretty much the same situation I inherited. That’s fairly normal. I think the new scouting director is going to appreciate that. It’s a good group with experience. The fact you have your area scouts in place for the most part will be good for that person.”

Over the years, Jordan has seldom avoided any of my questions. But he did with one I asked yesterday. He did not want to share an opinion about what the Orioles need to do to get better in the minor leagues in the future.

“Oh, gosh, I don’t want to comment on it. I just, again, I just think there are certain things that are inappropriate and I don’t feel like I need to comment on that. Sorry.”

He said working for the Orioles was a good experience.

“Really, nothing but positive. The hardest thing about this and the emotional side of it is simply my staff, (scouting administrator) Marcy Zerhusen in the office, the people that I’ve worked with. It’s been a great experience and I’ve been fortunate to do it. I haven’t had a lot of time to reflect, but it’s been very satisfying. It was made to be a great job because of the people I’ve worked with.”

In this interview with Jordan that was published yesterday, he talked about whether he could have returned to the Orioles next season and if he had any issues with the Orioles’ player development department.

To prove he and I discussed Matt Hobgood at length a few times, here is a two-part interview from last January on that topic. Click here for part 1 and here for part 2.

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