When things are going poorly, I like to provide a balance and point to the positives which can be found if you look for them.
With optimism about the O’s currently at a high, I thought this might be a good time to list the things we still want to see the organization improve.
If you want to talk about on-base % (currently 23rd), and subsequent roster moves, I guess that is fine. What I had in-mind is more about organizational type moves.
People have talked about one of the benefits of this season being that the O’s potentially might be more attractive to Free Agents. I’d like to believe the O’s could be more attractive as a destination for everyone, not just players.
I give Duquette a lot of credit for coming in, and making changes with the things he could control. Moves like Anderson, Peterson, Ferreira, Poitevint (regardless of results), Stephen Walters (Economic Advisor), Lee Thomas, Sarah Gelles (Baseball Anayltics) etc.
I want to see the O’s have another waive of ‘brain power’ added to the organization this Winter.
The Astros have hired Kevin Goldstein from Baseball Prospectus as their Pro Scouting Coordinator. This is a perfectly logical move to me, but extremely progressive for a MLB team.
I’d like to see the Orioles consider hiring Dan Szymborski (founder of ZiPS, EIC of Baseball Think Factory, contributor to ESPN) to their Baseball Analytics department. Boston has utilized Bill James for years. ‘Tom Tango’ (alias) is employed by an undisclosed MLB team. Szymborski would be a comparable hire. The fact that he is a Baltimore native does not hurt either.
Baltimore employs Anderson, and Thomas as Special Assistants to the EVP (Duquette), but do not employ a traditional ‘Assistant General Manager.’
I think Duquette should tap Atlanta’s Director of Baseball Administration / Professional Scouting John Coppolella for the AGM. It would be a promotion for Coppolella (the Braves employ former O’s executive Bruce Manno as their AGM), and certainly a position Coppolella would have to consider.
Last year, when the O’s were looking for replacements for MacPhail, Coppolella’s name came up several times in our talks with writers, asking who should be considered:
Jason Parks, Baseball Prospectus
“I would like to see John Coppolella get the job because he’s a friend and a very, very sharp baseball mind.”
Goldstein, Baseball Prospectus
“If they’re going to go new, I think they should go young and find a new name who can stick around for a while. John Coppolella with the Braves would be a great person to give that opportunity to.”
In July 2011, SI’s Will Carroll listed Coppolella 6th among his list of possible GM candidates:
Adding Szymborski’s Sabermetric background, and Coppolella’s Scouting background would be two very large improvements to the organization as a whole.
What specific things would you like to see the O’s improve on as an organization this Winter?