After today’s press conference at Camden Yards, Louis Angelos of the Orioles ownership group was asked about the club making such a long commitment to Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette, with their contracts extended all the way through 2018.
“Continuity is important for an organization,” Angelos said. “Buck came in and he rejuvenated just about every aspect - what happens on the field, in the dugout and clubhouse. Dan came in and his impact was immediate as well. During the interview process, Dan stood out heads and shoulders above everyone we talked to and we had a great group. He has a depth of experience and his record in Montreal and Boston speaks for itself.
“The way they worked together it was clear at an early point that the ability to work together and the dynamic with Mr. (Peter) Angelos, it was a perfect team. The exchanges were positive and lively and the commitment by all three men is exceptional. You want to keep that team together and that’s what we’ve done.
“Buck loves it here and he’s been embraced by the fans from day one. We love him and his baseball knowledge is second to none, and the same applies to Dan. This coming together when we talked with them was almost less about their contracts and more about improving the team. It’s just a testament to their working relationship.
“You can start with a standard three-year deal. But then it becomes, ‘Let’s go further than that.’ This is about building a sustained winning and competitive team. You have two guys that are an unmatched team when you look at the extent of their baseball accomplishments.”
Louis Angelos also talked about how the contracts and the deal came together.
“It was principally Mr. Angelos,” he said.” I had the priviledge of sitting in on a couple of lunches. It was a discussion about building a sustained winner and how are we going to go about that. Look at Dan’s international connections. He brought in Wei-Yin Chen, who pitched 192 innings. No one else was talking about Chen. He had a depth of knowledge that is right in line in what Buck is trying to do.”
Angelos was asked about the Orioles’ offseason moves and some of the fans that are not happy with the Orioles’ lack of marquee additions. His answer also revealed that the Orioles had some long internal discussions about trading for the Mets’ R.A. Dickey.
“Someone said we haven’t had an eventful offseason,” he said. “I would say in many ways, that’s a good thing because, as Dan said, the team is a good team. You don’t want to trade or sacrifice the future for what’s in the immediate. I think Orioles fans know the game really well and they want sustained winning and they want to see the guys come up through the system. You can get away from that and get distracted by a tantalizing free agent or a trade possibility like Dickey, for example. That was a long and considered internal dialogue that went on. But Dan has his vision and it’s in line with Buck’s vision.
“It’s not about the immediate with a two-year extension where we have to win now. It’s let’s do the right things to win over a 10-year period or a 20-year period. Let’s have competitive teams with players from within and you supplement from the outside.
“The notion that it hasn’t been an eventful offseason should be interpreted in many ways as good. We are not going to sacrifice draft picks and that is coming right from those guys. I know Mr. Angelos has said, ‘You guys want to do it? Let’s go for it. But what do you want to?’
“With respect to Dickey, tough call, but we are going to stay with the program and keep bringing up our guys up and I think it will pay dividends over the long term.”