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Dan Duquette: Entertainer

By now, it should be common knowledge that Dan Duquette has signed 49-year-old former Oriole pitcher, Jamie Moyer to a minor league contract. It’s yet another interesting and amusing signing by possibly the weirdest GM in baseball. Seriously, from Day 1 when he referred to Baltimore as Boston, talking nervously in his bright orange tie, you knew it was going to be interesting.

I can’t shake this impression of a big kid in the Warehouse nerding out on his Pokemon collection. Danny Boy just does his thing up there and I’m not sure anyone can make a whole lot of sense of it. From the hiring of a stunning amount of staff over the off-season to the mishap with the South Korean kid to the Dontrelle Willis saga – it’s been one quirky thing after another. But what we can say is this: he’s far more entertaining from a fan’s standpoint than Andy MacPhail ever was. Dan makes moves – lots of them. In-season moves, no less. How many times in the past have you seen a player hit the open market mid-season and said to yourself, “Why not pick that guy up for depth?” The Orioles never really picked up that guy. But this year, Dan’s picked up no less than 11 of them, all during the season. Here are his acquisitions since the start of the season:

  1. Joel Pineiro – free agent, 4/13
  2. Luis Exposito – waiver claim, 4/17
  3. Mike BelfioreJosh Bell trade, 4/22
  4. Bill Hall – free agent, 4/23
  5. Miguel Tejada – free agent, 5/8
  6. Lew Ford – free agent, 5/18
  7. Josh Barfield – free agent, 5/22
  8. J.C. Romero – free agent, 5/24
  9. Steve Pearce – for cash, 6/2
  10. Nate McClouth – free agent, 6/5
  11. Jamie Moyer – free agent, 6/6

Now, obviously injuries and questionable 3B play have played a role in the sheer number of transactions to date. However, I can’t help but feel that MacPhail may have been content to roll with whatever one decent guy was available on the open market or in the farm system. Duquette, on the other hand, has employed a method that relies not only on acquiring veteran players on the open market, but acquiring a mass of them. He’s literally handing out contracts like candy and seeing who sticks.

In years past, MacPhail may have indeed picked up Bill Hall, for example, but then stuck with the guy for far longer than he was actually useful. Instead of just picking up Bill Hall to fill holes at 3B and the outfield, Duquette has picked up Bill Hall, Miguel Tejada, Lew Ford, Steve Pearce, and Nate McClouth. And you get the feeling he’s ready to just swap them in and out of the 25-man as necessary, contract-purchasing and 40-man roster be damned. He doesn’t appear to be tied down to any one player.

It’s been a refreshing and eyebrow-raising ride so far and while the jury is still out on Dan Duquette, he has done his job. He’s improved the starting rotation, he’s made a decision on Adam Jones, and he’s acquired a heck of a lot of depth. And the O’s are in first place. For now, I find it hard not to applaud the guy for at least keeping it interesting.

9 comments to Dan Duquette: Entertainer

  • sci

    I waver between cracking up about the Moyer pickup, hating it, then loving it for the sheer absurdity, then hating it again. Can we bring him up instead of Hunter on Saturday? I’d rather see anyone but Hunter right now. But really, I’d much rather see Tillman or even this Miguel Gonzalez get a chance rather than Moyer or Hunter.

  • dan the man

    @ sci:
    Miguel Gonzalez would be my personal choice, but it appears the Hunter yo-yo is in full effect.

    They’re saying Moyer is going to be evaluated after 3 starts at Norfolk, so we’ll see. I think Pineiro would be the guy if he hadn’t gotten injured.

  • dan the man

    Aaaand 12. Rich Rundles, signed out of the Independent League. Sure!

  • dan the man

    Kinda still waiting for the O’s to develop a consistent starting pitcher.

  • Andrew

    Best line I heard all week:

    Good thing the Orioles didn’t have the chance to draft Carlos Correa, because their scouts are banned from there.

    I don’t personally have an issue with yo-yoing Tommy Hunter. He’s not a prospect, and a lot of his present value is in his ability to be yo-yo’ed. I hope he can figure out something, but it’s tough to carve out your spot as the fifth starter on a staff full of fifth starters.

    I do hope Adam Jones is okay…that’s my primary thing right now. If he went down, my expectations shoot right back to the mid 70s as far as wins go.

  • dan the man

    Wow, Jake. Wow.

    Matusz and Arrieta, Orioles Cavalry, back-to-back total implosions. It needs to be top priority to get these guys right. Willing to bet Jake will be in AAA tomorrow.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    hard to see this shit in a positive light. it sure would be nice to have that solid ace right now wouldn’t it?

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    pretty big swing there haha

  • dan the man

    Back-to-back walk-off wins for the series W. Nice.

    I find myself wondering whether I’d rather have Tolleson or Reynolds on this team if I had to choose. All Reynolds has to do is hit some bombs to sway me.