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It will take more than one man to fix the Orioles

I think there is one point that all of us need to keep in mind when it comes to the Orioles and the search for the next general manager: One man cannot, by himself, fix the Orioles. Just as one player can’t turn around a team and it takes many players and teamwork and chemistry, the same is true of the front office. The top

Avery’s bat heats up in the AFL plus other winter ball news

Xavier Avery, the Orioles’ 21-year-old outfield prospect, got off to a terrible start for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League, but now he is starting to hit and make up for lost time. After going just 2-for-26 (.077) in his first eight AFL games, Avery is batting .419 (13-for-31) in his last eight games. In that span he has three triples, seven

Don’t understand some of the fan reaction to Stockstill

Let me start by saying I don’t know if John Stockstill would be a good general manager or not for the Orioles. But I do know he has a strong resume in the game in a variety of roles and is well respected by a lot of people. Some of the comments I have read and reaction to this are just over the top. It

Recent TV ratings: MLB 2, NFL 0

It would probably be considered a bit of an upset, but the World Series beat the NFL on back-to-back nights recently in the TV ratings. Yes, the all-powerful NFL took a beating in TV viewership Sunday and Monday nights. Game 4 of the World Series drew a 9.2 national rating for FOX on Sunday and beat the 7.6 rating that NBC got for the New

The case for the defense

We will find out soon if any Oriole will win a Gold Glove for defensive excellence in the 2011 season. There may even be a chance that the O’s get more than one winner and the Orioles have not done that since they picked up three Gold Gloves in 1998. Then, Mike Mussina won at pitcher, Rafael Palmeiro at first base and Roberto Alomar for

Miclat was nifty to steal 50 bags this year

Coming into the 2011 season, probably no one would have predicted that Greg Miclat would lead the Orioles organization in stolen bases this season with 50. In his first three seasons in the O’s minors, after he was drafted in round five out of the University of Virginia in 2008, Miclat had stolen 41 bases total in 57 attempts. Plus, we are talking about a

Embracing two minor league ballparks and one special third baseman

There is something special about minor league baseball. It has a certain charm and feel that is different from the major leagues. Certainly, the fan experience is different in so many ways. That includes everything from the lower prices for tickets and concessions to greater access to the players to the between-innings fun and entertainment that you don’t see in the big leagues. There are

Baltimore got another chance to say, “Thanks, Brooks”

It seems Orioles fans never tire of letting Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson know how much they love him and today was yet another chance. In a ceremony this afternoon that was wonderfully done and emotional at times, the Brooks Robinson statue was unveiled across the street from Camden Yards on the plaza between Washington Boulevard and Russell Street. The statue, standing nine feet tall,

The players and the press

When you think about it, ballplayers and sports writers/media need each other. The players’ interviews get to the fans through the media. The media needs to get players’ quotes to enhance their stories. For the most part, the relationship is cordial and works well. That is definitely true with the Orioles. I can hardly think of one time where an O’s player was disrespectful to

Two O’s minor league managers react to criticism of the farm system

When a team has lost for 14 straight seasons, you can probably put at least some of the blame for that on an underperforming minor league organization. The Orioles’ minor leagues have been a lightning rod for fan criticism this year. Some fans seem to feel the O’s minors are barren and completely devoid of talent. Others see some players reaching the majors, but not

Looking at one way Orioles pitching can get better in 2012

When we talk about the area where the Orioles will need to make the biggest improvement from 2011 to 2012, we usually wind up talking about the pitching staff. The Orioles’ team ERA of 4.89 last year was the worst in Major League Baseball. The ERA of the starting rotation was an awful 5.39 and the Orioles’ 60 quality starts were the fewest in all

After trade, Baker settles in with the Orioles

Aaron Baker will tell you now that, as the trade deadline approached last summer, he didn’t expect to be leaving the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. They had drafted the first baseman in the 11th round in 2009 out of the University of Oklahoma and he made the mid-year All-Star teams in both his previous seasons in the short-season Single-A New-York Penn League in 2009 and the

Do the Orioles have the makings of a solid offense?

I would imagine we all can agree that the Orioles’ biggest offseason priority is to upgrade the pitching staff for the 2012 season. But how do you feel about the offense? In several team batting categories, the Orioles were average - or a little above - average this year. They finished fourth in the American League in homers (191), sixth in average (.257), sxith in

Orioles have to properly identify their problems before they can fix them

Both Buck Showalter and Andy MacPhail have said it: A critical thing that any organization must do is properly evaluate itself. Many times, fans have asked me about the shortcomings of the Orioles’ minor leagues and and they want to know where the issues are. Let me tell you, it is hard to completely really know. For three years, from 2004 through 2006, I broadcast

Maybe O’s need one man to head two departments in front office

As the Orioles move forward with hiring their next president of baseball operations, among the key jobs for that person when hired will be to improve the Orioles’ scouting and player development departments. We all know that while the club was in last place in the standings this year again, it is also apparent that right now the Orioles are fifth in the division in

Ricciardi is not on the O’s short list at this point

There have been conflicting reports about the Orioles’ possible interest in former Toronto Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi for their position of president of baseball operations. A major league source said that, as of late Friday afternoon, the Orioles had not contacted Ricciardi about their opening. Ricciardi currently serves as a special assistant to New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson. He was the

Thoughts on Machado, international scouting and Uehara

He may not have posted big stats this year when he played for the Single-A Frederick Keys, but Orioles 2010 top draft pick Manny Machado still made a big impression on his manager, Orlando Gomez, who enjoyed working with the 19-year-old shortstop. “It’s been fun. You have to teach and be patient and let him know when you don’t like something. Try to keep his

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.

Joe Jordan talks about his decision to leave the Orioles

It all happened very fast for Joe Jordan, who left his job today after seven years as the Orioles scouting director to take the position of head of player development for the Philadelphia Phillies. Jordan said as he was flying home Friday from the Orioles’ instructional league in Sarasota Fla., the Phillies were asking permission to interview him. That interview took place Monday and yesterday

A closer look at Joe Jordan’s time as scouting director

When Orioles fans debate how Joe Jordan did in his seven years as scouting director, most will first mention Matt Hobgood and Billy Rowell. Rowell has simply not come close to panning out and may be headed on his way out of the organization and the returns so far on Hobgood are pretty bleak. Hobgood still has time to salvage his career though, so he

O’s scouting director Joe Jordan is leaving to join Phillies

The Orioles can add the position of scouting director to their front office search. After seven seasons as the Orioles’ director of amateur scouting, Joe Jordan is leaving the organization to take a job with the Philadelphia Phillies. Jordan is expected to be named the Phillies’ director of player development. He interviewed with the team this week and accepted the position today. Jordan interviewed Monday

Nick Markakis: “I want to be here for the good times”

Orioles fans have head to deal with 14 consecutive years of losing. No players have had to deal with all that losing, but Nick Markakis has been a part of the organization for the last nine seasons. Markakis was a first-round draft pick in 2003. How has the losing impacted him and his career? “This is where I started, this is the team that drafted

Frederick pitching coach sizes up Bundy and Schrader

One big reason the Single-A Frederick Keys won the Carolina League championship this year was solid pitching. The Keys’ team ERA of 3.22 was the best in the league. Two of their better pitchers this year were 21-year-old right-handers Bobby Bundy and Clayton Schrader. Both put up big numbers for the Keys, but neither ended the year with Frederick. Bundy moved to Double-A Bowie in

Thoughts on Showalter, the GM search and Avery’s AFL struggles

I have noticed several fans that indicate they have a problem with Buck Showalter having input into the hiring of the Orioles’ next president/general manager. It’s funny that last year at this time, Showalter walked on water in the minds of some fans and now some of the same fans may be wary of his input on this next hire. Showalter is likely to emerge

Orioles statement: MacPhail leaving official

Here is the Orioles statement on Andy MacPhail: Andy MacPhail elects not to return as Orioles president of baseball operations The Orioles today announced that Andy MacPhail has elected not to return as President of Baseball Operations for the 2012 season. “On behalf of the Orioles organization, I thank Andy for his service to the club over the last four and a half seasons,” said

Job one for the new regime: Fix the minors

Now that we know Andy MacPhail is leaving the Orioles, a big project for his successor is to improve the club’s minor leagues. When Baseball America released its top prospects lists for the various minor leagues this week, the Orioles, as expected, had fewer prospects making those lists than the other four American League East teams. Not only do the Orioles reside in the cellar

FOX Sports reports, MASNsports.com confirms: MacPhail is out

FOXsports.com senior baseball writer Ken Rosenthal reported a few minutes ago that Andy MacPhail will not return as the Orioles’ president of baseball operations. A source tonight confirmed that information to MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko. Rosenthal filed a report via Twitter that read: “Sources: MacPhail out as #Orioles press of bb ops. Will not return in any capacity. Showalter expected to remain mgr; situation fluid.” The

A multi-year deal for Guthrie? He doesn’t think so

Jeremy Guthrie just completed his fifth season in the Orioles’ rotation and it was a season where he went 9-17 with an ERA of 4.33. Guthrie will be arbitration-eligible again before the 2012 season and after that year he can become a free agent. Last winter, he and his agent approached the Orioles about the possibility of a multi-year contract, but the club was not

After solid year at Frederick, Sean Gleason is now pitching in the AFL

There are probably a couple of ways fans can look at Orioles minor league pitcher Sean Gleason. Because he turned 26 in August, some will write him off as a prospect. But he is also a guy that impressed a lot of people this past season and is someone that could push for time at Triple-A or even Baltimore at some point next season. A

Will Showalter’s season two magic work here, too?

As Orioles fans look for a nugget of hope (pun intended) that their team will actually be better next year, consider this: Each stop where Buck Showalter managed before, his clubs made a dramatic improvement between his first and second seasons. While Buck managed for two months last year, the 2012 season will be his second full season as Orioles’ manager - if he continues

“Too Much Moneyball”

This is worth watching, even if you haven’t seen the movie.

Orioles AFL notes

When the Mesa Solar Sox open their season at 2:35 p.m. Eastern Time this afternoon, playing Phoenix in the Arizona Fall League, there will be seven Orioles minor leaguers on their roster. But two players that were slated to play for Mesa are dealing with injuries right now in Joe Mahoney and LJ Hoes, and pitcher Chorye Spoone is no longer on the Mesa roster.

Markakis reflects on his 2011 season

The facts are there for everyone to see. Nick Markakis hit .284 this year with 31 doubles, 15 homers, 73 RBIs and a .756 OPS. His slugging percentage has dropped every year from 2008 on, from .491 to .453 to .436 to this year’s .406. His 31 doubles is much fewer than recent seasons when he had 48, 45 and 45. That .756 OPS is

A thought on the future of the Orioles’ front office

As we all await the next few days to see how much gets resolved in the Orioles’ front office, I will weigh in today with a few thoughts. I have no doubt that Buck Showalter could do a good job in the role of general manager. But I also realize he has never served in that role. I think the best move here is for

Jim Johnson: To start or not to start? That is the question

Here are the two best reasons I can think of for keeping Jim Johnson as a reliever next season: * He’s an excellent relief pitcher. * He’s easily the best option for closer among the current roster. But here is the reason I still think he should be used in the rotation next year: * The Orioles’ starting rotation ERA this year was 5.39. That

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