Ken Rosenthal tweets that Tony LaCava has turned down the Baltimore Orioles‘ offer to become their new general manager. Nothing has been said as to the reason why, but I’d like to remind anyone wondering that Peter Angelos is very much the owner of the Orioles.
The outpouring of concern over the possibility of Toronto Blue Jays assistant general manager Tony LaCava taking a more prominent position in the Baltimore Orioles front office struck me as kind of strange. Fans of the Blue Jays who have unknowingly used Alex Anthopoulos as an all encompassing metonym for the team’s front office were suddenly grief stricken over the threat of one of his key lieutenants departing.
While it’s probably safe to assume that the Toronto Blue Jays are a better organization with LaCava than without him given his standing with the club and the often praised steps the team has taken to improve, it’s beyond ridiculous to express a vehement belief in his abilities without knowing what specific contributions he makes. We’ve heard about his handling of particular negotiations and learned of the work he’s put in to build the team’s farm system.
However, much like the game of baseball, almost every successful manager relies on competent staff members. Unlike baseball, we don’t get to watch that manager and his staff work for three hours, 162 days of the year.
Questions about LaCava taking the GM job in Baltimore were brought up earlier today by the unfortunately named Peter Schmuck, who, writing for Orioles Insider, learned from a source that the GM position was still open.
There might be more interviews. That could mean that Angelos wasn’t that impressed with LaCava or LaCava wanted more authority than Angelos was willing to allow. It could also mean that the meeting was just another meeting and not really a late-stage negotiation.
While normally, I’d try to avoid speculation, I can’t help but wonder whether or not the level of autonomy afforded a Baltimore Orioles general manager under owner Peter Angelos played a role in LaCava’s decision. I think it speaks quite well to the type of power that owner Peter Angelos wields considering that the free agent period has already begun, the winter meetings are a little more than a month away and yet, the team still finds itself without a general manager to replace Andy MacPhail who departed at season’s end.
One interesting tidbit to come out of all this talk of LaCava switching teams in the AL East was Anthopoulos discussing what type of role the candidate for another job would play in the front office while he’s in the process of interviewing for it.
I think it’s fair to say, if someone is in the interview process for a promotion with another club, they’re obviously not going to be involved in the meetings we have in preparation for the offseason. If there are employees that are currently interviewing, or talking with other clubs, there’s probably less bodies in the room when we have our meetings and that’s pretty accurate to say.
I imagine the next week will be a rather busy one for LaCava as he catches up on all that he’s missed out on.