As Mike Elias takes the reins of an Orioles team at the start of a rebuild after a franchise-record 115 losses, here’s a look at the similarities (and differences) between the Astros’ assistant general manager and the Orioles’ former top executive, Dan Duquette, who was let go in October.
Both Elias and Duquette ended their playing days at the college level. Duquette was a catcher at Amherst while Elias was a left-handed pitcher at Yale. Neither played on the professional level.
Start of career
Both Elias and Duquette were hired in scouting departments right out of college. Duquette was hired as a scouting assistant for the Milwaukee Brewers, where he worked for seven years. Elias was hired as a scout in the Mid-Atlantic by the St. Louis Cardinals, where he worked until going to Houston.
Both Elias and Duquette had high-profile jobs by the time they were 30. Duquette was named director of player development for the Montreal Expos at age 29; Elias was head of scouting for the Astros at age 30.
Ties to the Orioles
Duquette had family ties to the Orioles before becoming VP of baseball operations. His cousin, Jim, had also been Orioles vice president. Elias grew up in Northern Virginia, and said when he was introduced as GM on Monday that he would visit Baltimore when he was growing up, and attended games at Camden Yards.
World Series champions
Perhaps the most glaring difference between the two: Elias has a World Series ring. He was assistant general manager for the Astros, heading up scouting, when they won the World Series in 2017. Despite making the playoffs three years during Duquette’s tenure as the general manager of the Red Sox, Boston never made it to the World Series.
(Though in fairness, many of the players Duquette signed were on the team that won it all in 2004). And of course Duquette was at the helm during the Orioles’ renaissance, when they made the playoffs three times, but never got past the American League Championship Series.
One of the first and most important moves Elias will make with the Orioles: hiring a new manager to replace Buck Showalter, whose contract was not renewed after this season. Of course, Duquette did not play a role in hiring Showalter, who was in place as manager a year before Duquette arrived.
A break from MLB
After being fired by the Red Sox in 2001, Duquette took an almost-decade-long break from MLB. During that time, he ran a baseball academy for youth. He returned to MLB when the Orioles hired him as executive vice president of baseball operations in 2011.