There are now 129 days remaining until the next Orioles game. Today will be an exciting one, since the team is going to introduce Mike Elias as the new general manager, hopefully signalling the beginning of what will probably be a long climb back to there being good baseball played by the O’s again.
Although it’ll be interesting to hear what Elias has to say in the introductory press conference, he’s probably not going to tell us anything that we don’t already know. The Orioles need to beef up their scouting, both domestically and internationally. They need to expand their capability to use the kinds of analytics that are increasingly widespread across baseball in order to get the most out of their existing players.
The Orioles also must draft better, trade better, get more value out of better free agents, and fix all of the things that have busted in the later, failed years of Dan Duquette’s time in nominal charge of what was going on around here. What really matters are the specifics of how he will do all of those things, and GMs don’t just give that stuff away for free. Why should they? The fans want to know, but so does the competition.
Whatever is the pet issue that you hope Elias promptly addresses, he probably won’t have much to say about it beyond general comments tomorrow. What will be done about Chris Davis? What fate is in store for Brady Anderson?
Does Elias have any interest in continuing some of Duquette’s less successful experiments, like the Rule 5 picks still kicking around, or Jimmy Yacabonis as a starting pitcher? Will he plan to tender contracts to Orioles whose performance has made them seem a bit more expendable, like Caleb Joseph and Tim Beckham? Who in the farm system does he think actually might be able to develop into a useful big league player?
Elias probably has some ideas as to the answers of some of these questions already. He’s going to have to act shortly in deciding which Rule 5 eligible non-40-man players must be added to the roster. Will he be as enamored with the Czech catching sensation Martin Cervenka as at least one Orioles prospect writer has been? Does he particularly care about the fate of Dillon Tate, acquired in the Zach Britton trade?
There are many more questions big and small facing the Orioles right now. You probably have your own burning question you would like for him to answer above all others.
Elias has a resume that makes it seem like he’s going to have some good answers to all of these questions - he’s just not going to tell us what they are today. We’ll start to find out some things as he assembles a new coaching staff and we’ll find out some more when he starts to remake the edges - and eventually the core - of the roster Duquette left him.
Around the blogO’sphere
Questions awaiting Elias at Monday’s introduction (School of Roch)
Roch has a more expansive list of things that might be asked of Elias later today, although if you asked me to pick the most likely question that will come up, I think “How do you feel about crab cakes?” is almost guaranteed to be asked.
‘He was such a quick study’: From the Ivies to the Orioles, new executive VP Mike Elias has passed every baseball test (Baltimore Sun)
This article made me more excited than any fan of a team that just lost 115 games ought to be.
Rosenthal on the Orioles’ skipper search (The Athletic)
Among the several league-wide items in this Ken Rosenthal article is a note on Elias’s possible preference for a “caretaker” manager for the next couple of seasons.
Top Rule 5-eligible prospects for all 30 teams (MLB.com)
Tate and lefty reliever Luis Gonzalez are the only MLB Pipeline top 30 Orioles who are Rule 5 eligible. Will Elias protect both? Will he be looking to pilfer another team’s player who is left exposed? The Rule 5 draft doesn’t HAVE to be a punchline just because Duquette made it so.
About that No. 1 draft pick... (Steve Melewski)
Melewski talked to MLB.com’s Jim Callis, who noted the opportunity for the O’s to get not just a great player at #1 but for them to have a little extra money to spread around other rounds as well.
The last Orioles world championship team is wondering how long they’ll be known as such (Baltimore Sun)
The Orioles World Series drought is as old as I am. With the current state of the franchise, even if Elias is the best GM in history, I don’t like the chances of the streak being snapped before it and I turn 40.
Birthdays and anniversaries
In 1963, Hank Bauer was named as manager of the Orioles. He would still be in that role when the O’s won the World Series in 1966.
There are a pair of former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 1988 two-gamer Dickie Noles, and 1966-68 reserve catcher Larry Haney. Today is Haney’s 76th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Russian astronomer/chemist Mikhail Lomonosov (1711), Suez Canal engineer Ferdinand de Lesseps (1805), 20th president James A. Garfield (1831), designer Calvin Klein (1942), journalist Ann Curry (1956), actress Alison Janney (1959), actress Meg Ryan (1961), actress Jodie Foster (1962), Every Time I Die vocalist Keith Buckley (1979), and rapper Tyga (1989).
On this day in history...
In 1863, speaking at the dedication for a military cemetery at Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln delivered some remarks that, despite his claim that the world would “little note, nor long remember what we say here,” have proven to be famous in American history.
In 1942, after three months of fighting during the Battle of Stalingrad in World War II, Soviet General Zhukov led a counterattack code-named Operation Uranus. It would be early February the next year before the battle ended in a Soviet victory with nearly two million casualties across both sides.
In 1969, Apollo 12 landed on the moon and its astronauts, Pete Conrad and Alan Bean, became the third and fourth people to walk on the moon’s surface. Their landing site is known as Oceanus Procellarum - the Ocean of Storms.
In 1979, during the Iranian hostage crisis, 13 hostages were released; all were either women or black men. The rest had to wait until January, 1981 for release.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on November 19 - or at least, until something happens later. Have a safe Monday.