Os meet with Dempsey, Wedge
BALTIMORE– Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail confirmed on Thursday that the organization interviewed former Indians manager Eric Wedge and current MASN broadcaster Rick Dempsey for Baltimore’s full-time managerial position earlier in the afternoon.
“We had two interviews, “said MacPhail, who wouldn’t divulge details on either. “As always, they are informative and insightful. It’s an interesting process, not one you want to go through on a regular basis. It’s an interesting process. That’s about the extent of it.”
Wedge managed in the Indians’ minor league system from 1998 through 2002, before being named Cleveland’s manager in October 2002. He was the American League Manager of the Year in ’07 and compiled a .495 winning percentage, going 561-573 before being dismissed after last season. Dempsey is a former Oriole and World Series MVP who has coached in a myriad of roles for the O’s but never managed. Dempsey has interviewed for the position on four occasions.
MacPhail is notoriously close to the vest and has made it no secret that conducting an in-season manager search, with interim skipper Juan Samuel at the helm, will be done as discreetly as possible. He did acknowledge that the organization is still in “Phase A” which involves interviewing candidates not employed in baseball. The next step would be to inquire about prospective managers who are employed with other clubs -although not as the manager.
MacPhail has said all along that previous experience is an important factor for Dave Trembley’s full-time replacement, although first-time manager Samuel and Dempsey -who has never managed – are in the mix. Buck Showalter and Bobby Valentine also interviewed for the position, although Valentine withdrew his name on June 23.
When asked if the likelihood had increased that the organization would let Samuel finish the season, MacPhail wouldn’t commit either way, calling the managerial timetable “open-ended”.
“I think the energy level has picked up some since Juan has been here and certainly the results,” MacPhail said of an Orioles team that is 9-14 under Samuel.
“There are certain little keys that I look for in terms of the energy level. We have played far from flawless in a lot of respects and we certainly have a lot of work to do, but there are some things that you look for and those signs are positive.”