The Orioles hire of Mike Elias to be the team’s general manager has quickly reversed the gloomy outlook facing the team, offering a reason to look forward to the future in Birdland for the first time in a couple of years. He said just about everything you could want a new, modern GM to say and didn’t say anything that you wouldn’t want a GM to say.
Although Elias talked in broad terms about how he feels that there are players both on the MLB roster now and in the farm system who could be really good and a part of the next Orioles playoff team, he was also realistic in his outlook. He never said in so many words that the Orioles were bad and probably will be bad still for a while, but did caution that while this is a process that works, it doesn’t have any shortcuts.
The things Elias rattled off on Monday that he was looking to improve are the same things that could have been on any fan’s wish list. He spoke about the need to “build an elite talent pipeline” starting all the way at the bottom of the minor leagues, with the Dominican Summer League, up to the top, the MLB level.
Elias also mentioned areas where the O’s needed to expend more resources, areas where both he and the Angelos sons were in agreement: Domestic and international scouting, player development, coaching, analytics. Saying and doing are different things, of course. At least we know he’s starting out with a good blueprint.
Also cause for excitement is that after two years of stories about dysfunction in the front office, the Orioles have said everything right about giving Elias the ultimate authority to make all baseball decisions.
No one directly addressed that stuff in Monday’s introductory press conference, but it’s not hard to read between the lines when a question about autonomy is answered with, “We had a lot of extensive conversations throughout the process ... we were on the same page.” I think it’s safe to guess that the question of Brady Anderson came up and was resolved in the interview process, though we don’t yet know publicly what that resolution will look like.
Even this dedicated pessimist can’t help but have a little hope for the future of the Orioles after hearing what Elias had to say yesterday. I did not expect him to sound as positive about the existing set of players he’s inherited. Maybe, with better coaching and a better pipeline of modern analytics from the front office to the players, he can make parts of the leftovers from a 47-115 team into better MLB players, at least enough that it won’t be so depressing to watch the team next year.
The realist in me still knows that Elias probably said what he did about the existing roster because there’s no point in antagonizing your players on the day you publicly take over. Better to encourage them about the possibility for opportunities than discourage them by making them think they suck (even if some of them do) and that any attempt to work hard to stick around is pointless. People skills are part of the job and Elias seems to have them.
What I’m wondering is, if all of this works out, when do you think the Orioles will be good again?
Has Elias’s arrival turned you into a believer of a rapid turnaround within the next couple of years, even though he’s cautioned there’s no rushing the process? Has he made you more hopeful of improvement three or four years down the road? Or do you still think this whole mess is going to take five or more years to sort out?
Based on how you’re feeling this very moment, please answer this poll, and if you’d like to explain your answer further, drop a comment in the section below this article:
In what season do you think the Orioles will make the playoffs again?
This poll is closed
2023 or later