Dan Duquette: GM of the Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles have apparently found their President of Baseball Operations: Dan Duquette. The details of the deal have not been revealed at this time, but according to Roch Kubatko of www.masnsports.com, it's a three-year deal. Duquette was the sixth candidate that the Orioles interviewed, and of course the O's were very loudly turned down by Tony LaCava last week.
So what's the deal with this guy Duquette? From the outset Oriole fans have to be a bit wary given that they interviewed so many candidates. However Duquette has a decent resume. Duquette took the lowly Montreal Expos to first place in two seasons as their GM, and if not for the 1994 players' strike they appeared to be headed for great things. Montreal aquired several big names under Duquette, including Pedro Martinez, John Wetteland and Delino DeShields (who later came to the O's).
Duquette left the Expos after 1994 for his hometown Boston Red Sox, who went 656-574 in his eight years as GM. Here's the key thing with his tenure with the Red Sox: the minor league coaching staffs and minor league facilities were upgraded, the Red Sox drafted well, and they vastly improved their race relations. Why is that important? The O's have failed over time at scouting on an international scale. When I say race relations and international scouting I'm talking about two different things; however the fact is that this is a guy that has experience in improving a team's identity in a sense. The Orioles also moved into a new spring training facility (which is still a work in progress) two years ago, and the quality of the minor league system and coaching staff is something that's been criticized of late. All of this will once again fall on Duquette's plate in Baltimore.
So this is a guy that has a proven record as a GM, right? In a sense; however as Amber Theoharis pointed out in her column on www.masnsports.com, Duquette hasn't done this job in ten years. To draw a parrallel to the NFL, we see coaches come back into the game after years away all the time and we wonder if time hasn't passed them by. In some cases that is in fact the case. However you also see guys such as Dick Vermeil who have success years later. It really matters the person and the situation. Furthermore, being a GM and being a coach is a totally different thing. One thing's for sure; Duquette is taking the job with the full knowledge that he'll be expected to work with Buck Showalter in molding this team, both for 2012, and the future.