01 November 2011

The Problem with LaCava's Decision

Lots of things could have happened for Tony LaCava to decline signing with the Orioles.  Highly talented people sometimes don't take good jobs (see Rick Hahn or Billy Beane).  I think it might be presumptuous to say it had to do with limitations placed by Angelos on him.  Frankly, we do not know and it does not really matter.  If Angelos is a problem, he is a constant.  He will not change, so we must focus on the part of the team that can change.

So what is the problem with Tony LaCava's decision?

It resets the interview process with two days to free agency.  DeJon Watson and John Stockstill will not be given a fair shake by the press or the public as the best options.  Watson will likely be seen as the third choice and, perhaps unfairly, Stockstill might be seen as a placeholder.  In this light, the team has to interview at least two more people and that will set the clock back another week.  The organization was already going to go through some pains through transition and this delays that further.

At some point, it might actually be best for Buck to take a year off from the dugout and try being a General Manager.  I don't think that is best for the Orioles in the long run.  However, if they want to move quickly in free agency they need to start getting their plan in order.  That might mean continuity.

So again, the issue today is not that LaCava is not coming here.  There are several GM candidates in baseball who have as good potential as he does.  The issue is that the front office remains unsettled while everyone else is ready to enter the off season.


John said...

Do you expect Buck and Matt Klentak to have the authority to make offers to free agents, while the GM position is pending? Or will the front office just be in a holding pattern?

Anonymous said...

Information I have gotten seems sketchy, but it has been that if need be Buck will direct with Klentak handling the contracts. Movement on free agents would not be surprising.

Zachary said...

There's no reason to have a "placeholder" in Stockstill or Showalter for a year. Thursday's commencement of free agency is being over-magnified as a trigger for getting this done. Of course there needs to be more urgency to this process, but the Orioles aren't solving anything with free agency—not this year, not for two or three years at least—we are not a marquee free agent away from contending. We are a team that needs substantial restructuring and rebuilding at all levels of the organization, and the number one priority is finding the right person to take that on. Not having that person in place for one FA period is just a blip on the radar.

Anonymous said...

That depends on the perspective of the team. If there is reason to them to be competitive this year, then not having a GM is a big issue. If they have a long view then it is not a big issue. I don't think you can discount the former because you think the team should have a long view.


Nick J Faleris said...

Having the new GM/PoBO in place is important for purposes of getting started with appraisal of the system (including determination of which pieces will be shopped and which potential trade targets will be pursued), full review and analysis of processes in place in the front office, and beginning of implementation of new processes.

All this not to mention any new F.O. hires and it's that time of year where scouting contracts are sorted out. If the new head honcho wants to make any large changes in the scouting department, this would be the time to start pouching scouts and hiring to fill newly created positions.


Anonymous said...

Right...basically coming in late means you are going to have to be happy with those carried over. It is not catastrophic but it does leave the transition a bit hamstrung.


Anonymous said...

Yea, who says the O's need a GM in place for free agency? Nothing but overpaid bums for sale anyway. The O's need a root canal, not a flossing!
I say take your time Peter!