During an appearance on the Scott Garceau show on MASN and 105.7 RM, the Fan, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman had some nice words to say for the usually pathetic division rivals the Baltimore Orioles and their GM Andy MacPhail.
“Andy is doing exactly what Andy does best,” Cashman said. “He is as sharp as they come. Patience is the biggest key. He made such an astute trade with Seattle and now he has a collection of talent. Getting Adam Jones to play with Markakis was remarkable. Now he has one of the bright young outfields.
“Now he’s filling in, taking advantage of the free agent market to protect his young talent and wait for them to pop.
“I remember a few years back when Tampa Bay was perennially losing. Everyone in the industry was following them and saw all their young talent brewing and slowly getting refined. You don’t know, because prospects are suspects until they declare themselves at the Major League level.
“Andy is doing the same thing. Everybody kind of sees the collection of talent. Players with big tools and high ceiling. When you are athletic and have those kinds of tools, when it all comes together, it comes fast.
“The Orioles are a team that has closed the gap, without a doubt. And Andy is showing the patience. I think their fan base will be very, very pleased. All the sudden, before they know it, they’ll have that foundation in place. They just haven’t seen it pop yet at the Major League level.
“They are doing the right things because they have a baseball guy running it. Their owner Peter Angelos hired a tremendous baseball talent in Andy MacPhail. He’s worth his weight in gold.
“The Oriole way is coming back real quick. I went to high school and college in the DC area, so I know how important the Orioles are to that area. It’s a sleeping giant that will emerge again, I promise you.”
This was the Orioles flagship radio channel so it might have been Cashman saying some nice things about their general manager, but it has occurred to me that they have been less pathetic than usual. Their biggest problem these days is attracting legitimate free agents.
For instance, when Mark Teixeira went on the market, they made it known that they wanted him and even though he was a home town kid it never seemed like they never really had a chance.
Cashman had a point, too. The Erik Bedard trade was a very good one and a case could be made that they have one of the best outfields in all of baseball (not the best, just one of them). Adam Jones and Nick Markakis are two very good players and are just now entering their prime.
I don’t think it’s possible for the Orioles to put together a winning season in 2010. They might even still be a last place team this year, but if they get some prospects to pan out and manage to sign a big name free agent eventually they could be poised for a turnaround. Like Cashman said, this stuff takes patience.
What do you think? Will the Orioles be in the basement five years from now? Or contending with the Yankees?
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