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Orioles: If We Can’t Laugh Now, All Hope Is Lost

So the Orioles thought maybe they had their hire in Tony LaCava, by all accounts a highly respected baseball man. Many pundits predicted he’d be on board by today. Then, he wasn’t. Something went wrong. Again.

The spin machine is up and running (warning: Baltimore Sun link) but nobody in their right mind believes that’s the whole truth. There’s no way LaCava gets as deep into the process as he did if staying in Toronto was that important. Sure, it’s probably true that staying at a job he likes weighed heavily on his decision. Clearly, however, there’s more going on.

Odds are we’ll never know what “more” truly is. Plenty of folks will speculate, of course, but situations like this rarely lend themselves to easy outside analysis. Lucky for us, it doesn’t matter. The public-facing side is bad enough that the “why” is almost irrelevant. It’s a disaster.

This kind of thing doesn’t happen to solid, stable organizations. It doesn’t happen to organizations for which the future can reasonably be expected to resemble something brighter than the troubled past. LaCava himself pointed out that there are only 30 of these jobs available and that’s why he entertained the process. For him or anyone else to turn down that chance speaks volumes. It’s yet another black eye for the organization and for us, the dwindling ranks of died-in-the-wool fans.

So, what now?

As far as the team, one of three things will happen. They could get lucky and land another guy of LaCava-esque stature and move on from there — I give this a 30% chance. They might shift gears and land a younger up-and-comer — I give this a 15% chance. Most likely — I give this one a 55% chance — they end up with a second-tier candidate who is happy to get the opportunity and, as such, is willing to look past the things LaCava couldn’t.

Regardless, for fans, there’s good news. There’s a clear and simple path to sanity: laugh and enjoy the ride.

I’m not kidding. Now’s the time to step back and simply marvel at the sheer ridiculousness that is your Baltimore Orioles. Because, here’s the thing: you have no alternative. Despair is unbecoming and quitting is not an option. Hope, at this stage, is a threadbare notion at best. No, the only option remaining is the one I’ve more or less been advocating for months. Take a step back and take things as they come.

They’re going to play baseball next year. They probably won’t be very good but who knows? In the meantime we’ve been gifted a circus.

I know this sounds ridiculous to many of you. Give it some time, however — and be honest with yourself and with what you really want from baseball — and you’ll realize it’s the only reasonable course of action. For now, at least.

33 comments to Orioles: If We Can’t Laugh Now, All Hope Is Lost

  • neal s

    On another note, Matt Wieters won a Gold Glove.

  • neal s

    And so did Nick Markakis. Nice.

  • pj palmer

    Of course, all the frustrated Orioles fans will blame Angelos but don’t underestimate the Showalter factor. I’m sure that LaCava was told that Showalter could veto his decisions. In the end it will be the best team with Showalter that will make the greatest positive impact.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    i’m so happy i was drinking moonshine in the blue ridge mountains the last 14 years.

  • ISitAnywhereAtOsGames

    I kinda agree with the poster concerning Buck’s influence. Anyone have any thoughts on others? I wouldn’t mind Levine – but an obvious choice. Wildcard? How about Mussina? Harold Reynolds or Kruk? ChiSox just hired Ventura and were thinking of konerko as player/mgr – just saying…

    Any rumblings on maybe someone off the ravens staff?

  • Miles

    I’m just reminding myself that the Ravens lost their first-choice candidate for coach last time ’round (Jason Garrett), and we can all agree, in hindsight, that worked out well for us.

    Maybe the baseball Gods have a similar adventure in mind for us.

  • df1570

    Buck wasn’t to blame for LaCava’s decision, people. Buck was THE reason LaCava was the guy they offered the job to on Monday. He was Buck’s choice to run the club.

  • sci

    No way to sugarcoat this one. The man chose to stay an assistant GM rather than come here to run the show. And this was directly after he met with Angelos for the first time (apparently Angelos was not in the first interview). These are facts. All else is speculation of course, but those two facts are more than enough to indicate that the organization continues to be an utter clusterfuck.

    I agree with Neal. Sit back, laugh, and enjoy the show. It’s all we can do at this point.

  • Andrew

    @ neal s:
    And a Fielding Bible (which is totally better)!

    There’s no way to know why LaCava turned the Orioles down, and therefore there’s no way to know…well, really much of anything. Except, yeah, this is a (another) big black eye for a franchise that really, really needs to get its shit in order already.

    Worth noting that while the beat reporters (and one assumes therefore, the team itself) was poo-pooing the notion of the young whiz-kid types, the reason LaCava cited for staying in Toronto was how much he appreciates and believes in 34-year old economics-degreed, never-MLBer Alex Anthopoulos.

  • dan the man

    Just riding, man. Just smiling and taking a ride. What’s next? That’s the best part: absolutely no one has a clue. Hold on tight!

    Congrats to Matt and Nick.

  • Andrew

    You guys make it sound like this is some kind of rollercoaster, and it just isn’t. Rollercoasters are fun, and they have exactly as many ups as they do downs. You know what this feels like? This feels like it’s August 12th, it’s a million sticky degrees out, the Yankees are in town, the score is 9-1 in the fifth inning, Josh Rupe is on the mound, and I’m all out of money to buy my 8 dollar natty boh.

    In other words, I’m going the eff home.

  • dan the man

    @ Andrew: It’s not a rollercoaster, but more like having an AI suddenly take control of your car one day. Not in the sense that it goes nuts and tries to drive off a cliff. No, in fact, it’s driving rather safely and seems to be headed somewhere. At first, you seem to think it’s just driving in circles, but no, it makes just enough maneuvers to avoid completely doubling back on itself and therefore is inching towards some destination. Try as you might, the controls do not yield to you, so you eventually sit back and watch the road, waiting for the gas (let’s say the gas is Angelos) to eventually run out.

  • dan the man

    Buck/Klentak are at least keeping their eye on the waiver wire. We picked up Darren O’Day.

  • dan the man

    Buster tweet:

    “There are other highly regarded assistant GMs telling friends they would not consider O’s job if called. O’s have major perception problem.”

    Fair to say Olney has an Orioles problem, but it’s hard to argue that he’s wrong.

    Wouldn’t it be some shit if no one would take the job? I reckon there’s 50% of me that actually wants that to happen in order to really bring the Orioles mess into the spotlight and make them answer some tough questions (and to see what Klentak/Buck could do out of sheer curiosity). The other 50% probably wants Watson or someone who has both a pulse and some intelligence. But that basically equals Klentak/Buck, so…

  • neal s

    At this point I can say that it doesn’t much matter when, or frankly even if, the O’s hire a GM. And to your point, Dan, it’d be amazing if they literally couldn’t find someone. Won’t happen — there’s someone out there who thinks he can Rise Above — but man would that be weird and interesting.

    Hell, maybe Buck/Klentak is the answer. One to guide the strategy and another to handle the nuts and bolts. Why not?

    To @ Andrew‘s point earlier, in no way am I suggesting that this is a rollercoaster but it absolutely is a ride and a hell of one at that.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    good thing there isn’t a big football game this weekend to post about.

  • Ballmer Bruce

    Lifetime Oriole lover. Age 63. Now live in Phoenix. At least the Dbacks have a good organization so I can see some quality baseball every night. May not renew my MLB.TV to watch the O’s this year.

  • dan the man

    @ Big Ben’s Motorcycle:
    I think I’m trying to adopt this mindset: if the Saints can put up 60 points one game and then suck the next game, you can basically just say the Jacksonville and Arizona games don’t matter coming into the Steelers game. Who knows what will happen? Steelers should be the 3 point favorites at home and that’s it. That said, losing this game puts a lot of pressure on that Cinci game.

  • Mike R

    Stockstill will probably end up getting the job because he’s the only one in house who is getting a look. Since he’s in house, he’ll probably fit the necessary puppet role for Pete.

    Although, we can’t really speculate on who would be a good hire or not until after a couple years of building, right? I mean it’s not like we know what plan LaCava, or Stockstill, or Dipietro had in place.

    That said, just hire anyone, and start pitching better.

  • sci

    Dan Duquette, Damon Oppenheimer, Mike Radcliff, and Allard Baird are the four targets now, according to the Sun. Based on this, I really doubt they’re hiring Stockstill, and apparently Watson is out.

    In other news, the FA market is just plain sad past the first three or four guys.

  • sci

    And… the Twins denied permission to interview Radcliff.

    Let’s just go with the ghost of Syd Thrift.

  • dan the man

    If you count the Dan Jennings denial, the O’s are 0-5 so far. Not what Showalter was expecting, I’m sure.

    I’d actually be cool with Duquette – he did some good stuff for the Sox that Theo ended up getting a lot of credit for (correct me if I’m wrong, I could totally be wrong). He’s known to have an ego, but isn’t incompetent. Oppenheimer sounds interesting, but who’s leaving the Yankees to work for the Orioles?

  • Dave

    What would it take to get Mark Cuban to buy this team?

  • dan the man

    Forgot that Friedman and Hahn denied requests for interviews. 0-7!

  • dan the man

    @ Dave:
    That would be the funnest thing to happen to the City of Baltimore since the Ravens superbowl.

  • Andrew

    @ Dave:
    There are not enough a’s in the internet to describe how amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…aaaaaaaaazing that would be.

  • Mike R

    @ Dave:

    As awesome as that would be, a good friend of mine once said, “you can’t buy whats not for sale.”

    sad but true

  • sci

    No one wants this goddamn job. I bet we’ll end up with Dan Duquette. It’s hard to care that much at this point when we’ve cemented our status as baseball’s laughingstock. So I shall just laugh as well.

  • Andrew

    If we can’t laugh now, that makes us pretty weird since everyone else sure is.

  • dan the man

    We’ll say this… if Duquette doesn’t get/accept the job, that will be hilarious, considering it seems like the O’s are lucky to have someone even agree to an interview. There is almost literally no one left.

  • Miles

    It looks like Duquette is the man. Coming back on Monday to work out a deal, per a lot of sources.

    My first knee-jerk reaction was “that sucks”, he’s a second-tier retread. But upon further review, yes, Duquette did some good things in Montreal and Boston. The man has an ego – he could find himself butting heads with Buck and Angelos – and I’m fine with that. I think even Buck could use someone with a strong will to bounce ideas off of.

    I’d rather roll the dice on an untested young stallion who wants to do things completely differently here, but let’s not kid ourselves, that was never going to happen.

    Put it another way – I think we can all agree it’s better than Stockstill.

  • dan the man

    I think I’m pretty much on board with Duquette as much as I can be knowing that a)it probably doesn’t matter who’s GM and b)we haven’t seen him do a thing as GM yet.

    But you could argue that he was one of the original “bright young minds” and probably gave Boston their rock-solid foundation and only being fired because there was a new owner. Boston fans have some weird Clemens-related hate for him, but that almost makes it more interesting. He’ll have a chip on his shoulder, at least. Will he be given the resources to succeed? Nah, but at least he has the potential to be more active than MacPhail.

    And that’s really all I ask at this point – just make it interesting. Also, Roch says some people think he’s very connected to the Asian and Latin markets.

  • dan the man

    Found some videos with Dan Duquette speaking. Getting a good Patrick Warburton vibe off him. I think this could be funny, if nothing else. And I have a feeling he’ll either give the press nothing, or he’ll say some surprising things. Interested to hear a press conference, if this goes down.