ESPN's Buster Olney on the Duquette-Showalter braintrust

They are the Orioles one-two punch in running the organization, and making the key baseball decisions. Executive vice president Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter.

They are both strong personalities that have their own opinions about the game and how to produce a winner. They have come together to make the Orioles a winner again.

When I spoke to ESPN's Buster Olney recently he talked about the O's one-two punch at the top. He feels Duquette has earned redemption in Baltimore after going nine years between GM jobs before taking over the Orioles on Nov. 8, 2011.

"When I've spoken to Peter Angelos, Peter just raves about him," Olney said of Duquette. "He feels like (Duquette) is a nice team with Buck and it feels like the relationship there is working well. I think Buck probably has more input than most managers because of his breadth of knowledge and that's good.

"I remember when they hired him the feeling in the industry was they were getting a retread and someone that the game may have passed by. But given the success they had last year in finding incremental solutions and guys like Nate McLouth and Lew Ford, he definitely redeemed himself.

"The important thing to him is to build the farm system and there have been some signs of progress there based on what I've heard from other teams."

Olney pointed out that Showalter was in place first and was even involved in bringing Duquette to Baltimore.

"Buck was part of the process of hiring him and in a lot of cases that may be viewed as backward. But in this case maybe it is something that is more of a positive because Buck, right from the outset, was invested in the guy who is making these decisions.

"Buck is so smart that you don't want to limit him to just making out the lineup and when to bunt. He knows personnel so well. I think he certainly played a hand in the acquisition of Chris Davis, for example and having that dynamic has been important to them."

So does the O's one-two punch at the top stack up against most other teams in baseball?

"Boy, I hadn't thought of the question quite that way. I think they do. You know the big thing is - do you squander resources? It has become such a game of efficiency among the front offices. The fact they've avoided the big mistake has been important to them and that's Buck, and it's Peter, and it's Dan," Olney said.

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