A few Os notes
*I can confirm that the Orioles have reached out and been granted permission to interview Dodgers exec De Jon Watson, who is LA’s assistant GM and director of player development. That interview, first reported by the Baltimore Sun, will take place Wednesday in Baltimore and –since I’m sure this question will be brought up — I’m told to not take it as the Jerry Dipoto and Tony LaCava interviews didn’t go well, because by all indications they did.
But if manager Buck Showalter is really getting a heavy say, which it appears he is, he’s being every bit as meticulous and thorough as you would expect. I can’t imagine with the World Series coming to a close soon that they would interview more than five candidates total, particularly since they need a scouting director and could shuffle several more people internally, but I could see the Orioles bringing in another candidate or two after Watson.
Watson, who interviewed for the Arizona Diamondbacks GM job last year that went to Kevin Towers, just completed his fifth season in charge of the Dodgers Minor League system, which was named the best in baseball in 2010 by Topps. He joined the Dodgers from Cleveland, where he was scouting director, and also was scouting director for Cincinnati.
As of early Tuesday morning, the Orioles have not reached out to Dodgers exec Logan White to ask the organization for permission to interview him. Stay tuned for any news on that.
*There is still plenty of time to sign up for the second annual KidsPeace Trick-or-Trot 5K run/1M walk on Saturday, Oct. 29 in Canton Square. Orioles manager Buck Showalter will be present, along with his wife Angela, and there are more details on this great charity event here.
Under Armour is providing shirts, so you know they will be pretty sweet. I’ve already signed up, and you can register on Active.com or come to the prerace party Friday to register. There will be some great food deals from the local restaurants, so come by and sign up, get a beer and say hi.
*Finally if you don’t want to run, but want to help another great cause I urge you to check out this link and make a donation to the Breathe Deep DC fundraising walk on November 6. The charity team is being head by Orioles PR whiz Monica Barlow, who will also speak prior to the walk, and they are trying to match the goal of $8,000 from last year. All funds go toward raising money for lung cancer research. Once you get to the page through that link just click on the “donate” button to contribute. Every little bit helps and I can assure you they will be really grateful.
*To close, and get back to baseball for a minute, I’ve been asked a few times about how to fix the player development and Minor League system that has buried the Orioles for pretty much the last 15 years.
It’s important to note there will be some shuffling internally after the Orioles hire a new GM/president. There’s a reason every candidate they have considered has an extensive background in that area. Showalter understands this organization can’t compete without fixing the pipeline of talent and ensuring that these “can’t miss” prospects develop into Major League talent.
If they choose to go internally and fill the scouting director position, it will cause some changes and reshuffling regardless in the Minor League operations department. Bringing a new GM on board could also impact the number of scouts employed and change several positions on the development side of things. Again, you have to start from the top here. Once a new GM is announced, I imagine things will start to fall into place in a hurry as the team tries to balance the future with fielding a competitive team for 2012.
As of early Tuesday morning, the Orioles have not reached out to Dodgers exec Logan White to ask the organization for permission to interview him.