I love that whenever the Baltimore Orioles do anything these days, it’s automatically a top candidate for the Baltimore OriLOLest thing of all time.

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.

Comments (7)

  1. As I mentioned on Twitter, I met Duquette when he was helping set up the Israeli Baseball League. When I asked him how to go about getting into the game, he recommended volunteering to work in Indy league baseball.
    Bear in mind that his first job was secured through Harry Dalton, as both were alumni of the same school.
    His newest job (if the rumours hold true) may have been secured through his cousin, Jim, just left his post as Orioles VP of Baseball Operations.
    Looks like Dan has followed his own advice.

  2. Dustin – So what if Duquette’s been out of the game for a while? It’s not like baseball’s changed that much since he’s been out. Now, if he’d been out of the game since, say, 1982, rather than 2002, you’d have a better case, but I just don’t see it as it stands.

    Look, Buck Showalter was out of the game for four years before coming back to manage the Orioles and he’s done alright for himself. For career baseball men like them it’s the same as getting on a bicycle again after having not biked in years–no big deal.

    Again, I’d buy into your argument if Duquette hadn’t distinguished himself in Montreal and Boston, even being named MLB Executive of the Year in 1992. When I head his name being mentioned, I at first wondered if he’d be a good fit, but that was before researching him. Actually, he looks like a very good pick for the O’s.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Duquette

  3. I think Dustin is implying Duquette is too old to learn new baseball knowledge. Is he basing this on anything but age? He probably knows as little about Duquette as the people he eviscerates for knowing little about Tony Lacava and praying Tony stays in Toronto’s front office. Presumably Dustin would prefer some unknown 28 year old with a degree from Yale.

    Think back to a couple of years ago. Dustin was mercilessly being mocked with “Fuck off Parkes!” He was a good second banana to the great Andrew Stoeten and not a whole lot more. But what you didn’t know was that Dustin was studying hard while fighting off the tears and he has come a long way since. This is quite commendable.

    In the winter of 2016, Dustin will make his first trip to the winter meetings. He’ll pretend he isn’t looking for a job, but he’ll be putting out feelers like nobody’s business. Think to yourself, would you hire this blogger? Or would you prefer a hungry 24 year old blogger with credentials and something to prove?

  4. I wouldn’t hire a crusading blogger, but the point stands nonetheless.

  5. A lot has changed in baseball in the last ten years. I actually thought this was a fair write up. The time away from MLB is a valid concern. And Parkes mentions all the good things from Duquette’s history.

  6. Isn’t this best case scenario for this situation? All the up and coming front office candidates who are talented enough to be candidates on future GM job openings can afford to refuse the Orioles’ offer. Only those lesser candidates would consider this job if they don’t have a chance at the other opportunities.

    At least with Dan Duquette you have a GM with decent track record. At worst you end up with one of the Angelos yes-man that Tony LaCava wanted to fire.

  7. Considering how unnapealing the Baltimore job is at the moment, the Orioles really didn’t do so bad for themselves. No one with a recent track record of success was going there so the choice boiled down to recent lousy record or older good record.

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