It has almost been a year now since Andy MacPhail stepped down as Orioles president of baseball operations. He was in that position from June 20, 2007 until the end of last season. The Orioles averaged just 67 wins per year in his four full seasons.
But doesn’t MacPhail deserve some of the credit for the Orioles’ 2012 success?
If you just look at the lineup the Orioles send out there every night, he acquired several of those players like Adam Jones, Mark Reynolds, J.J. Hardy and Chris Davis.
Among the pitchers that have helped the club this season, he acquired Chris Tillman, Troy Patton, Pedro Strop, Steve Johnson and Tommy Hunter.
Matt Wieters was drafted before MacPhail was hired, but it was on his watch that they signed him just moments before the signing deadline in 2007.
Among the players drafted during his time with the club were Manny Machado, Dylan Bundy, Brian Matusz, Xavier Avery, LJ Hoes, Bobby Bundy and Oliver Drake to name just a few. The O’s draft spending increased on his watch.
He oversaw improvements to the Orioles’ spring training home in Sarasota and their Dominican facility. He hired Buck Showalter, although many reports indicated he was not his first choice for the job.
As with any GM, there were several moves that didn’t work. The Orioles never got the production last year that they hoped for from Derrek Lee and Vlad Guerrero. He signed Garrett Atkins and acquired Felix Pie. The Orioles drafted some pitchers that have not been able to overcome injuries yet, such as Matt Hobgood and Dan Klein.
The Orioles put very little into international signings under MacPhail, something I never could figure out, even though he had pledged to upgrade there.
It’s a mixed bag of some hits and misses but if the Orioles make the playoffs this year or truly have turned the corner, he had a hand in getting the car into the turn.
Some critics felt he was too deliberate in his moves and took too long to act sometimes. He had a thorough approach, that is for sure.
I always thought, no matter how you felt about MacPhail that he was a class act and the Orioles had someone very well respected in the industry heading up their baseball operations.
I think now that he is gone and the team is winning now, some see his tenure a little differently today than they did in October 2011.
What is your take: How do you feel about MacPhail’s tenure with the Orioles now? Should he get some credit for the 2012 success? How do you compare his style and moves to those of Dan Duquette?
More eyes on the O’s: In case you missed it, here’s some news on increases in viewership of Orioles games on MASN in 2012.