Yesterday, the Orioles interviewed Jerry Dipoto, the Senior Vice President of Scouting and Player Development for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Today, the O’s are going to interview Tony LaCava, the Assistant General Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. While either of these two would be a good hire, I believe it would be a poor decision to not bring in additional possibilities.
MASN’s Roch Kubatko reported this morning (http://www.masnsports.com/school_of_roch/2011/10/more-front-office-chatter.html) that Dipoto could be the front-runner for the opening with the Angels. If you tell the world from the onset, that you are going to be interviewing 7-10 candidates, you would obviously have your pick of multiple options. Should Dipoto take the Angels job tomorrow, you don’t want to be perceived as turning to LaCava solely because he is the ‘last man standing.’
Kubatko also again stated is that Brian Graham, the O’s Coordinator of Minor League Instruction, will likely replace John Stockstill, if Stockstill is reassigned as expected.
That is just poor on the O’s part. Hopefully Dipoto told them as much yesterday, and hopefully LaCava reiterates a similar theme to them today. Someone with the Orioles needs to be reminded that when you are hiring for the President of Baseball Operations or the General Manager position, you don’t handcuff that new leadership with hires they did not personally make. If the O’s want the new GM to interview Graham, that is a reasonable request. Letting it be known that Graham is positioned to be the hire, before the GM is even named, is odd at best.
Kubatko and others have reported that it does not appear that Marlins’s Asst. GM Dan Jennings will interview, or be allowed to interview with the O’s. As Kubatko stated, the Marlins have denied teams permission to interview Jennings on three other occasions. My first inclination was that this was rather petty on the part of Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria. I was basing that on the fact that in baseball, Executives and Coaches are typically allowed to interview with other organizations, for positions which come with additional Seniority. However, I’ve been told that Jennings is content at the moment, likes South Florida, and has on his own turned down numerous opportunities since 2002. If Jennings is happy where he is, congratulate him and move on with your search.
The last thing that Kubatko reported was what Dodgers Executives De Jon Watson, and Logan White are on the short list of candidates, but the O’s have not sought permission to contact either. I’m happy that White is on the short-list, but puzzled as to why the O’s have not yet reached out. Again, why wouldn’t you want to bring him in?
It was announced October 8th that MacPhail would not be returning for 2012. By the end of today (October 19th) the O’s will have interviewed two candidates? They will have formally asked permission to interview just three options? Does this make sense to anyone?
Starting on Monday the 17th, I would have had up to ten candidates I was prepared to interview by this Friday. I would have scheduled two interviews per day, with three or four advancing to a second round of interviews this weekend, with a decision (and perhaps a final interview) Wednesday the 26th.
What appears likely to me now, is that O’s will be prepared to offer the position to Dipoto or LaCava as early as Friday or so, with potentially nobody else interviewed. If you are going to go through a change of leadership at the top of your organization, you owe it to yourself to make sure you are making the decision with as much information as possible. Limiting your interview choices does not accomplish that.
Here are links from 3rd party sources of the best available potential GM candidates:
MLB Trade Rumors:
One note here, I see that the O’s Matt Klentak has been included. While Klentak is generally well regarded, my understanding is his strength is contract negotiation. That is certainly a valuable asset to any Front Office, but I don’t think that is enough to run an Organization. I’ve been told that Klentak has issues with people skills, and is not seen as a great communicator.
Again, here is a link (https://baltimoresportsandlife.com/?p=3052) to my own Q&A’s with analysts from Baseball Digest, Baseball Prospectus, FanGraphs, USA Today, CBS Sports, and ESPN providing names of Executives they believe to be a good fit.
If you look at the SI list, the MLB Trade Rumors list, and my own link above; there are certain names which come up again and again. Several of them, by their own comments to me, have expressed significant interest in the position.
Why haven’t the O’s reached out to them? Why are the O’s handcuffing any potential candidate at GM by letting it be known that Graham is positioned to take over as the Director of Player Development? Why do the O’s seem not inclined to interview additional options?
Those are my questions, what are yours?
Chris Stoner founded Baltimore Sports and Life in 2009. He has appeared as a radio guest with 1090 WBAL, 105.7 The Fan, CBS 1300, Q1370, WOYK 1350, WKAV 1400, and WNST 1570. He has also been interviewed by The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Business Journal, and PressBox (TV). As Owner, his responsibilities include serving as the Managing Editor, Publicist, & Sales Director.