It was announced last night that Andy MacPhail will move on to do what every important person does when he leaves his position: spend time with his family. What matters more is that he will not be spending any time at all with the Orioles. He turned down Angelos' offer to return to the Orioles in a myriad of capacities. However, four and a half years of running the team was enough. It has been mentioned that MacPhail had control over the team. It has also been mentioned that there are certain people who are "made men" in the organization whom MacPhail could not touch. It has also been suggested that deals with Wieters, Markakis, and even Roberts involved the hand of Angelos. We will likely not know what happened or what did not. I do think though that MacPhail had more freedom to move than his predecessors had since Syd Thrift's tenure. I honestly think Thrift probably had the freest hand of any GM under Angelos.
This leaves the team in a situation where they are trying to determine where to go from here and to what degree the new hire will have control over the team. In fact, it has been a position where GM candidates (and individuals were contacted before MacPhail made his decision) have specifically asked for a descriptions of duties and responsibilities. Many individuals who are considered potential top talent for a GM position are likely to be weary about what it means t be a Baltimore GM. Frank Wren's issues and Jim Duquette's rants suggest that Angelos has, in the past, wielded a very heavy hand. Buck Showalter's presence may be a concern as well. Showalter is someone who Angelos supposedly offered the GM position to and we know how an Angelos confidant can deep six a GM in spectacular fashion (see Thrift doing in Wren).
Recently I was asked if I would take a position in the Orioles front office if I was asked (note: no one associated with the Orioles front office asked me this). Simply, yes. There are only 30 front offices in baseball. These jobs are quite difficult to come by, so if a baseball team, any baseball team, offered me a position, I would likely sign a contract that I considered fair. This is even more true for a GM. There are only 30 slots. Executive will put up with a lot to be the king even if he is more of a viceroy. Anyway, I digree.
If you are interested in reading more about potential GMs for the Orioles, check out our Life Without Andy series.