GM search grinds on

Just when it looked from the outside that the Orioles were closing in on a replacement for Andy MacPhail, there are rumblings out of the front office that the interview process may be extended for at least a few more days.

Draw your own conclusions. Tony LaCava was in Baltimore yesterday to meet with the ownership component of the search committee, which raised everybody's antennae and led to some speculation -- right here, in fact -- that they likely were getting close to the point of talking contract and perameters of authority.

Apparently, the Orioles still aren't settled on a candidate, since a source indicated yesterday that there might be more interviews. That could mean that Angelos wasn't that impressed with LaCava or LaCava wanted more authority than Angelos was willing to allow. It could also mean that the meeting was just another meeting and not really a late-stage negotiation.

What we do know is that we're kind of late in this game, since the free agent market is about to open and the new guy needs to do some other things, like hire a scouting director and figure out the hierarchy of his front office staff. The winter meetings are what, five weeks away?

Clearly, there is not the sense of urgency you might expect from a team that wants to win anytime soon. It was pretty obvious a couple of months ago that the Orioles might be hiring a new president of baseball operations this fall, and they're still treading water two days before free agency.

By comparison, the Angels, who were in the AL West and wild card races until the final week or so, already have hired Jerry Dipoto to be their new general manager, even though they had far less time to think about it.

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