06 September 2011

More Info on Replacing MacPhail

Tony Lacava
Yesterday, Ken Rosenthal reported on who Angelos might replace as Andy MacPhail's replacement.  I've noticed over the years that Rosenthal's stellar reporting on Baltimore's future has become more and more hit or miss.  I think many of his connections from his days in town are no longer tight with the team.  That said, I do think his reporting should be noted.  In his column, he cited the Marlins' Dan Jennings and the Jays' Tony LaCava.  Both would be fine choices.  I have written earlier on Jennings in this column.  Specifically, I wrote:
Jennings has been rumored for GM positions for about ten years now.  Last year he was a finalist in the Mets opening before losing out to Sandy Alderson.  Jennings is known as being skilled at scouting and would probably complement Buck Showalter quite well.  As a long time Florida employee, he is also well aware of Joe Jordan.  If the Orioles want more continuity along with revamping the organization to be more efficient, Jennings might be that guy and Jordan might be a great help to him.  The weakness here though is that this leaves no one in the front office in control who has experience running the day-to-day operations of the team.  Buck would need someone who is well skilled to be able to turn deals that Buck cannot do while sitting in the dugout.  I do think Jennings would be an interesting choice.
I do think Jordan and Jennings would make a good team, but seven years have passed between them and the word is that Jordan will not seek a continuation of his service with Baltimore.  I have had my disagreements with how Jordan chooses to spend his money, but am wholly sincere when I say that I find him to be an average to above average scouting director.  Jennings knows his scouting though and would find someone suitable to work with him in forging a solid front office built on a strong foundation of amateur assessment.  Of course, this group will need to figure out what the developmental hangups are in this organization.

The second person mentioned, Tony LaCava, was not mentioned before in this blog.  LaCava would be a great pick up.  He has been toiling with the Blue Jays for several seasons and had been retained by Alex Anthopoulos.  He has been a runner up for several positions including the Seattle Mariners, Washington Nationals, and Pittsburgh Pirates.  LaCava is someone who everyone seems to know in baseball.  This also may be a problem.  LaCava might be a MacPhail without track record of relative success.  Like MacPhail, everyone seems to know LaCava and everyone seems to think he has a great baseball mind.  LaCava, now in his 50s, has been on the threshold of being a GM, so it makes one wonder why he continually is passed over.  The Orioles may also provide a situation where the best of the interview worn bunch may not be a ticket for the World Series.  LaCava may have been unjustly overlooked several times in his career (perhaps due to some lack of involvement in player development), but this Orioles' franchise in this division may need someone who is willing to think unconventionally.  Maybe LaCava is that person.  Maybe he is the guy who has had a heavy hand in transforming the Jays.  He just might be.  If he is, I think it would arguably be the best acquisition since Pat Gillick was inked.  However, I have my doubts.

That said, both of these candidates would give the Orioles General Managers who will likely be average to above average in performing their duties.  Neither would be an out and out mistake.  I recognize my own personal bias in wanting to find an untested genius, but it may be that these somewhat well-traveled careers have been voyaged by individuals who have incredibly creative minds to take the current relatively stable and somewhat under performing Baltimore Orioles and act in a successful, unconventional way.  It has been too long that other teams have mimicked the Rays and Jays or wished they had the revenue to mimic the BoSox or Yanks.  Let others wish they had the brain power of the Orioles or at least fail extraordinarily trying.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I still think it's John Hart.