Friday, June 22, 2007

Rejecting The Orioles Once Unheard Of

I guess the Baltimore Orioles didn't learn their lesson with Lee Mazzilli.

Mazzilli, the ex-Yankee, was Orioles manager for a mostly unsuccessful run in 2004-05.

Now another ex-Yankee is vexing them -- but in a different way.

Joe Girardi said NO to the Orioles -- rejecting their offer to manage their ballclub. This just a couple days after longtime executive Andy MacPhail said YES to the team -- as their head of baseball operations.

MacPhail grew up around the Orioles. His father, Lee, used to be a team exec. Lee MacPhail, in fact, was the architect of the Orioles teams that terrorized the American League from 1966-71 -- even though he left the O's after the 1965 season.

But Girardi, last year's NL Manager of the Year with the Florida Marlins, listened to the Orioles and apparently didn't like what he heard. Either that, they say, or he's waiting to be Joe Torre's heir apparent in New York.

Regardless, Girardi rejected the Orioles, and that's quite a change, for the managerial job in Baltimore was once considered a jewel in MLB. But the Orioles haven't sniffed playoff contention in quite some time -- certainly the longest stretch of ineptitude since the team moved from St. Louis (Browns) to crab country in the mid-1950s.

It's not known whether the Orioles have a Plan B for their manager vacancy. Maybe there's no Stan Van Gundy waiting in the wings, like the Orlando Magic had when Billy Donovan abruptly changed his mind about leaving the Florida campus to take over their team.

Just another unsolicited opinion from another know-it-all blogger, but the Orioles might want to take a look at Kirk Gibson, biding his time in Arizona as the D-Backs bench coach. The Orioles have my permission to talk to Gibby.

I heard a rumor floated that Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon is on the Orioles' radar.

But what IS known is that Joe Girardi will not be the Baltimore Orioles' next manager. He turned them down, and I'm not sure if that speaks more about Girardi or about the Orioles. Suffice it to say that a rejection of the Orioles was once an unheard of proposition.

So maybe Girardi's NO says more about the Orioles, after all.


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