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Dominican Beisbol & Baltimore Orioles Baseball News

Orioles GM ANDY MacPHAIL’s Trade Timetable: Waiting In Vain?

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Fans of the Baltimore Orioles greeted the news that Andy MacPhail became the club’s President of Baseball Operations over the summer with an extra dose of optimism.  After all, Andy’s daddy Lee MacPhail earned his plaque in Cooperstown in part by molding the first good teams in franchise history when he served as Baltimore’s General Manager from 1958-1965.

Diehard Orioles rooters believed that -finally- they had the right man at the helm to execute the top-to-bottom organizational overhaul that’s been overdue for quite some time.  With ten straight losing seasons for the first time since the franchise set up shop in Baltimore, many fans vowed their willingness to stomach any number of losses the next two or three years, as long as a fresh batch of young Orioles were prepared to blossom early in the next decade.

When star-crossed shortstop Miguel Tejada was exiled to the Houston Astros for five new faces in December, O’s rooters interpreted as a sure sign that their calls to “Blow it up!” were no longer falling on deaf ears.  Ace left-hander Erik Bedard, who broke Baltimore’s single season strikeout record in 2007, and second baseman/ fan favorite Brian Roberts would logically be the next Orioles traded, considering they were the players with the highest value to a contender.  No sense letting them leave as free agents after two more years if you could get packages of players now worth more than a couple draft picks.

But now, more than 6 weeks after the Tejada trade, Bedard & Roberts are still Orioles, and a quick check of O’s message boards like Orioles Hangout shows that an awful lot of Baltimore fans are pretty upset about it.  Surely, other clubs have made acceptable  offers for those players goes the logic, so what in the world is Andy MacPhail waiting for?  Knowing that team owner Peter Angelos has been unable to avoid meddling in baseball matters in the past, some have targeted him as the source of the problem.  In fact, some Chicago media outlets reported last week that Angelos had killed what was believed to be a done deal for Roberts.  (Both clubs insisted that report wasn’t true).

The wrath of Orioles fans, weary from watching a decade of losing baseball, has been directed at MacPhail though.  He’s been on the job less than eight full months, but some have already given up hope and labeled him “MacFail”.

It seemed a little early for that to me, so I set out to answer a question.  There was no way to figure out when or if Bedard & Roberts would be dealt, but I could pinpoint the dates MacPhail pulled the trigger on trades in his previous experience as a general manager (Twins 1985-1994 & Cubs 2000-2002).  Here’s what I found:

 post-1985
12/12, 1/7, 1/16 (2), 3/31

post-1986
11/12, 2/3, 2/20, 3/31

post-1987
2/5, 2/24, 3/24, 3/28, 3/31

post-1988
10/24, 11/3, 12/4, 12/7, 3/20, 3/21, 3/26

post-1989
1/12

post-1990
12/5

post-1991
3/17, 3/28

post-1992
11/18, 12/5, 3/25, 3/26

post-1993
11/24, 2/21

post-2000
11/18, 11/20, 3/25, 3/28, 3/30

post-2001
11/2, 12/10, 12/11, 12/11, 3/19, 3/27

MacPHAIL’S BOTTOM LINE
Total trades = 42
October trades = 1
November trades = 7
December trades = 8
January trades = 4
February trades = 5
March trades = 17

More than half of MacPhail’s off-season trades have been made in February & March!

When I posted these results on Orioles Hangout, a few people immediately shot back that the deals probably weren’t anything major.  Well, most trades aren’t, but here are a trio of “late” deals MacPhail was involved with that certainly turned out to be big deals:

February 3, 1987 – Traded Neal Heaton, Yorkis Perez, Jeff Reed, and Al Cardwood (minors) to the Montreal Expos. Received Jeff Reardon and Tom Nieto.

March 31, 1987 – Traded a player to be named later, Jose Dominguez (minors), and Ray Velasquez (minors) to the San Francisco Giants. Received Dan Gladden and David Blakely (minors). The Minnesota Twins sent Bryan Hickerson (June 15, 1987) to the San Francisco Giants to complete the trade.

March 17, 1992 – Traded Denny Neagle and Midre Cummings to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Received John SmileyThe bottom line is. I think it’s WAY too early to be labelling our President of Baseball Operations “Mr. MacFail”.  Though his method appears to be maddening, I implore my fellow Orioles fans to give him at least until opening day to get something done.

Just to put the MacPhail figures is some sort of context, I just looked at the Orioles trades from the same years. Here are the results:

ORIOLES 1985-94 & 2000-01 deals for comparison

Total trades = 43
October trades = 1
November trades = 4
December trades = 17
January trades = 7
February trades = 4
March trades = 10

So for the off-seasons following 1985-1994 & 2000-2001, the Orioles did most of their trading in December-January, while MacPhail did most of his in February-March.

In the meantime, enjoy this quote from Leo Durocher about Andy’s grand-father Larry:

 “There is a thin line between genius and insanity, and in Larry’s (MacPhail) case it was sometimes so thin you could see him drifting back and forth.”

By MALCOLM ALLEN

malallen@live.com

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One Response to “Orioles GM ANDY MacPHAIL’s Trade Timetable: Waiting In Vain?”

  1. […] urbanshocker wrote a fantastic post today on “Orioles GM ANDY MacPHAILâs Trade Timetable: Waiting In Vain?”Here’s ONLY a quick extractTraded a player to be named later, Jose Dominguez (minors), and Ray Velasquez (minors) to the San Francisco Giants. Received Dan Gladden and David Blakely (minors). The Minnesota Twins sent Bryan Hickerson (June 15, 1987) to the San … […]


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