The latest is their reported choice of Dan Duquette to become the team’s next general manager, with a second scheduled interview set for tonight. After failed overtures for Jerry Dipoto and Tony LaCava, and Allard Baird and De Jon Watson declining requests to be interviewed, the team settled on someone who has been out of Major League Baseball since 2002.
It’s easy to mock the selection, but it should be remembered that Duquette’s track record for player development is impressive. Prior to becoming the general manager of the Montreal Expos in 1991, the Massachusetts native was a scouting assistant in the Milwaukee Brewers front office. He then became the director of player development for the Expos in 1987. In his three years in that role, the Expos drafted Marquis Grissom, Cliff Floyd and Rondell White and signed Vladimir Guerrero, Javier Vasquez and Orlando Cabrera.
Duquette then served as GM of the Expos from 1991-1994, most notably trading for Pedro Martínez from the Dodgers for second baseman Delino DeShields. He then moved on to hold the same position with the Red Sox from 1994-2001. While in Boston, he again orchestrated a deal to acquire Martínez. He also landed Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek in trade, and signed Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon as free agents.
The Red Sox fired Duquette shortly after John Henry purchased the team in 2002, and he hasn’t held a Major League Baseball job since. During his exile, he worked with the Israeli Baseball League and the New England Collegiate Baseball League.
And this would be why the hire is largely mockable. Duquette would be a fantastic choice to take control of a ball club in 2003, but unfortunately for the Orioles, it’s almost 2012.