Earlier today, I posted an entry about Andy MacPhail, and through reading up on things before bedtime, I found a quick Q&A he did with a Boston Globe writer, Nick Cafardo. He mainly answered questions about the state of the Orioles, how the team can improve and also life in American League East.
Is this a complete rebuilding time for you in your first year in Baltimore?
AM: "I think it's a franchise that has economic wherewithal. If you do get a nucleus of players, it's not like they're going to be rolling off and we can't afford them, like a lot of these clubs. It's a tall order and maybe I didn't fully appreciate how difficult the position is. But that doesn't mean we can't do things a lot better than we've been doing them in the past. We really need to make a concerted effort to rebuild the franchise's foundation - scouting, player development - and be as good at those things as we can possibly be."
You've run the Twins (championships in 1987 and 1991) and the Cubs; are you incorporating the Twins model or the Cubs model?
AM: "The Minnesota model is a good one to use to the extent that you're a scouting-and-development-based organization. I told our guys when I first sat down with them that this is an area where you have to excel. You can't be adequate or average."
Does it seem overwhelming to look up and see Boston and New York?
AM: "When the Egyptians were building the pyramids, they didn't think about what they had to build, they just carried the rocks up. I think that's what we have to do. We have to bring the rocks up one at a time and stick with it. I mean, we do have the financial wherewithal, maybe not to compete on a one-on-one basis, but to make the investments once we have a foundation where we feel the investment will really pay off for us."
Does it make you crazy when you watch a game at Camden Yards, and there are so many Yankee or Red Sox fans in the stands?
AM: "I'd rather have all Oriole fans in there. I grew up in a family where the things that mattered first was that baseball was popular and that we need fans in there. At least there are people sitting in there, but I'd much rather they were our fans."
The Q&A didn't tell us all much new in terms of potential deals; however, it is always good to get what Andy MacPhail is thinking about first-hand.