Here is part of Andy MacPhail's opening statement: "What we have currently in our franchise is we have a young core of players who are struggling and have taken a step backwards. They haven't been exposed to a winning-type environment. We for the last couple months have been trying to find somebody that has had some experience at creating that winning environment, that has been exposed to young rosters before and knows how to prepare young players to be as good as they can possibly be. We were looking for somebody who had some experience at that and some success at that. We just didn't feel like this was a circumstance where we could bring somebody in who had never managed at the major league level. It was essential in our view to bring somebody in who had been there and done that." Here are some nuggets from Buck Showalter: "I know a lot of people have asked, 'Why? Why Baltimore?' I've had some people kick the tires and other things the last couple years. I think what you miss is the exhilarating feeling of competing for a common cause. I think you miss that team where you put yourself on the line every night, just for a common cause. Knowing the percentage of people who watch the baseball games on MASN and knowing the percentage of people that come out to the stadium, they're there. We just have to put a product on the field that they want to be a part of." "I think a lot of times we confuse change with a lack of respect for tradition, and that obviously won't be the case here. I'm going to need and solicit help from a lot of the people who have been here before and walked the walk. I don't think there's a prouder organization in baseball. I really mean that. I remember what it was like coming here back in the early 90s with the Rangers. I really, sincerely feel it can happen again, but it's about the product on the field. You can do all the promoting and this and that, but the bottom line is, are you doing something on that field as an organization and as a team that people want to sell their soul to and feel comfortable about trusting that players are going to give effort, players are going to be sincere about what they're doing and the way they go about it? Some people don't like that accountability, and we'll sort that out." "You hear people talk about realignment. I don't really care. The Yankees aren't going away, the Red Sox aren't going away and Tampa's not going away. And Toronto's getting better. You've got to figure out a way to do it, and Tampa Bay's eliminated a lot of the excuses. It can be done if you know who you are and stay with the way you have to do it to be successful. Stay the course. You've got to stay the course." "I don't want to walk in there and think I'm just there to evaluate. We're going to try to win tomorrow night. That's the first priority. But at the same time, help us make good decisions in the off-season. I don't want to sit here (now) and prejudge things because of how they look from a distance." (On bringing teams to the threshold of the World Series): "It's kind of like raising your daughter and then letting somebody else walk her down the aisle. Hopefully, you get to walk her down the aisle here." "I think the flexibility here is very attractive. In Texas, we had a lot of commitments to people who probably were not going to be a pile jumper, so to speak, somebody you'll see after Game 7 jumping on the pile on the ground. That's what it boils down to. You're looking for 25 nuggets. You get one, you put it over here, you sift some more, you move a rock here and there, but you've got a nugget over there. When you've got 25 nuggets, you get to play in October. It's as simple as that. It's not nearly as complicated as everybody makes it out to be." I'll post a few more quotes after I return home.