Dan Duquette's top 5 moves in his first year with the Orioles
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Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of when Dan Duquette was named the Orioles' executive vice president of baseball operations.
His introductory press conference was a memorable one -- complete with the former Red Sox executive saying he wanted to build a perennial contender "here in Boston."
There were a whole lot of questions on that first day about whether Duquette, who had been away from the majors for nearly a decade, would be able to adjust to the rapidly changing sporting world, its non-stop media cycle and the economic and personnel challenges looming in Baltimore.
Well, he's done pretty well so far. Duquette made a dizzying number of moves in his first season, and the result was a deep pool of players that helped the Orioles achieve their first postseason appearance in 15 years.
It wasn't all champagne and celebrations; Duquette had the occasional misstep in Year One. The Orioles got kicked out of a country (Korea, for negotiating with a high schooler), feuded with a veteran journeyman pitcher over his minor league role (Dontrelle Willis) and publicly questioned why a concussed star (Brian Roberts) couldn't show up at the annual Fanfest to sign autographs.
Without a doubt, the quirky Duquette made things interesting. Ultimately, he discovered enough hidden gems to catapult the Orioles into the playoffs and endear himself to a beleaguered fan base.
Here's a look at Duquette's best five moves in his first year.
-- Dan Connolly