Around the time of the Vernon Wells trade, I began to take an interest in the Angels. They were both better and more exciting than the Orioles at that time and they were on the West Coast, which made for convenient late-night baseball watching. It was an odd move, the Wells trade, and one that was universally lamented by Angels fans. I think the trainwreckness of it was what drew me in.
Well, if you follow the AL West you probably observed that the trainwreck continues. As I considered the Angels' situation, I realized that just a few years ago many of these stories (I'll let you search for more) could have easily applied to the Orioles. Being a fan of a losing team is hard, and I'll admit that in the 2010-2011 seasons, I sometimes just had more important things to worry about than the Orioles being bad at baseball. I just had to look up when Dan Duquette joined the O's, and I needed to know that because I remember being surprised when I heard the news. It had been weeks since I had checked on the O's (at the time), and I didn't know they needed a new GM.
What I want to ask the CC community is when, in your mind, the Orioles made the transition from being the trainwreck team with the meddling owner to being a team that went to the playoffs last year, and how they made the transition?
From where I stand, it looks like Peter Angelos no longer meddles with his GM. Maybe he still does, I dunno. Maybe Duquette has an optimal personality for working with him. Maybe he's accepted (or been hurt by) the criticism that all his decisions are bad and he should hire good people to make them. If you feel the same, when do you think he stopped meddling?
From where I stand, it looks like Dan Duquette makes competent decisions. I don't think they are all good, but I can see the logic in them. Again, it looks like Buck Showalter has stayed out of whatever behaviors that got him fired before. Obviously some of the groundwork here was laid by Andy MacPhail, but in your opinion, when did other teams and media start taking the O's seriously (at least on the business side)?
This post wasn't meant to denigrate the Angels or Peter Angelos. Part of me worries that, being on the West Coast now, it will be hard for me to participate in this discussion (assuming anyone reads this). But I am genuinely curious about the social process of the Orioles lifting themselves out the laughingstock role in baseball. I can't be the only one who's thought about this.