Q&A; Jim Duquette

The Baltimore Sun

After working in the New York Mets' front office for 14 years, Jim Duquette, 40, was named the Orioles' vice president for baseball operations on Oct. 20, 2005. On June 12, 2003, he was named the Mets' interim general manager; the interim tag was removed a little more than four months later. Duquette oversaw the development of current Mets stars Jose Reyes and David Wright, but also drew criticism for trading prospect Scott Kazmir, now one of the best young pitchers in the game.

What is the most misunderstood part of being a baseball executive? -- Probably ... the amount of time you put in on the job. A lot of times, people don't understood that we don't have an offseason. We're changing the term from offseason to winter season because there is no offseason. It's a warped term.

What is your proudest accomplishment as general manager? -- I am not very retrospective when it comes to that kind of stuff. I feel like until you get a chance to win a World Series as a general manager, I don't feel like I've accomplished all that much. But probably the proudest moment was turning the Mets franchise back around, getting it going in the right direction.

Was it tough to watch the Mets go to the playoffs the year after you left, while the Orioles struggled? -- I felt the other way. I felt a source of pride. I followed them basically every night, not as much as the Orioles, but they were the second team I followed. I was genuinely happy for their success.

How is your relationship with executive vice president Mike Flanagan? -- It's very good. We spend a lot of time, hours upon hours at the ballpark, and most of the time is spent together, talking about the team, talking about things we need to do and getting things done. I think we complement each other very well in terms of our strengths. We trust each other obviously, and neither one of us has a big ego when it comes to duties. It's worked out better than I really ever even imagined.

What is the biggest thing that the organization needs to improve on? -- I think the biggest thing is we need to get everyone going in the same direction. I think we've made a lot of strides in that area, but it's still a work in progress.

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