It's not technically official, but it is happening.
Andy MacPhail's tenure as president of baseball operations is over after four-plus years and a record of 307-432 (.415 winning percentage). He finished last in each of his four full seasons and fourth in 2007.
We'll have plenty of time to talk about who replaces MacPhail and what that person has to do right this ship – if one person can.
Today, though, I want to know your evaluation of MacPhail and the job he did.
Let me start by saying that when MacPhail was hired, I was told by those who knew him that he was an honest, upfront professional. In my four-plus years of dealing with him, nothing changed that opinion.
MacPhail kept things close to the sweater-vest, as we used to joke in the press box. But he was always accountable and never once lied to me to get me or other reporters off a scent – and that's huge for someone in his position. If he couldn't tell me something, he just didn't. We all respected that.
As for the job he did, I'm giving MacPhail a C-. His win-loss record probably begs a D, maybe worse. And I can't say the organization has overwhelmingly better personnel than it did when he got here – meaning it's probably just as far away from competing in the AL East as it was in 2007.
Although his trades were normally very good – adding Adam Jones, Luke Scott and J.J. Hardy, among others – his free-agent signings were primarily dreadful. That said, he didn't saddle the Orioles with any long-term free agent contracts and most of the real stinkers – Garrett Atkins, Justin Duchscherer – were low-risk long shots.
But I disagree with some fans that MacPhail's tenure here was a flop. He attempted to rebuild it with young pitching, baseball's most volatile commodity. Those young pitchers didn't take the next step – and there wasn't enough depth to fall back on – and so the Orioles didn't meet even the modest expectations that many had in 2011.
Maybe those guys come together next year or the year after and MacPhail's plan looks a little better. Maybe not. But it is hard to judge it now as a complete failure.
Those are my thoughts. I want your opinion.
Daily Think Special: How do you grade Andy MacPhail's tenure in Baltimore?