As much research as these candidates do, nothing can help a new GM more than talking to everyone in key spots and hearing what they think needs to happen and where they believe the organization is. The GM is going to have to make up his own mind, but getting a snapshot from people who have lived it will go a long way toward formulating a plan. Many have been with the Orioles for years, know the score and have developed blueprints in the past that might not have been implemented. Plus, nothing hampers an organization more than a breakdown in communication. The new top office guy has to quickly establish that he is in control and that everything goes through him. Bypassing the GM to talk to ownership or the field manager should not be tolerated. Skeptics will say that the hierarchy established by the general manager doesn't matter because the owner will control all decisions. Ultimately, managing partner Peter Angelos (above) has the final say, but MacPhail stressed throughout his tenure that he had the authority to make the moves he felt were needed. And it's hard to imagine — after the way this hiring process has gone — that the new GM would take the job if he didn't think he would have decision-making power. That should be stressed in the GM's first speech on the first day of organizational meetings.
Baltimore Sun photo