The Baltimore Orioles have no timetable for hiring a new manager and general manager, no announced candidates and no official search committee for now, the team's top executives said today.
Orioles Executive Vice President John Angelos and Chief Operating Officer Joe Foss also said the organization is considering a move that will eliminate the title of general manager, replacing it with "director of baseball operations."
Angelos and Foss addressed the team's assembled baseball operations employees--scouts, player-development staff and front-office personnel--this morning on the first day of the Orioles' organizational meetings, reassuring everyone that their jobs are safe and outlining a plan for moving forward after the tumultuous events of last week.
After dismissing Manager Ray Miller on Wednesday, majority owner Peter Angelos stunned many in the organization by firing General Manager Frank Wren the next day.
While Foss and John Angelos characterized this morning's meeting as "positive" and "focused," several team sources who attended said there were some pointed questions and comments. "Frank was a popular fellow among the troops," one employee said. "But I think everyone left the meeting feeling better about things."
"Not to minimize what happened, but what's done is done," Foss said this afternoon. "And we have a responsibility to our fans and to ownership to move forward. . . . We have an experienced group of employees in the baseball area who have been through this before."
For now, the day-to-day overseeing of the baseball operations, normally the job of the general manager, will be split between assistant general manager Bruce Manno, director of player personnel Syd Thrift, director of scouting Tony DeMacio and directory of player development Tom Trebelhorn.
Over the next few days, the team's minor league and player-development staffs will evaluate each player in the organization, while the scouting department evaluates the talent on other clubs, all with an eye toward plotting next year's course.
"We're going to begin a process where Tony, Tom and Syd are meeting on a regular basis, at least once a week, with myself, Joe and [majority owner Peter] Angelos," John Angelos said. "We want to make sure the day-to-day business carries on this week. Then we'll start evaluating everyone's recommendations and go forward with the field manager. So the course will be charted in the coming week."
While the Orioles are discussing doing away with the title of general manager--much like the Milwaukee Brewers and Seattle Mariners, who use the title of vice president of baseball operations--Foss and Angelos stressed that the job description essentially will remain the same.
"There still will be a head of baseball operations," Foss said. "The business of baseball is much more complex today given the dollars involved. . . . We're acknowledging that the complexities of the job that has historically been called general manager have evolved in such a manner that we feel a title change might be a reflection of the responsibilities."
Foss and Angelos said the search for a new field manager to replace Miller will proceed even without a new head of baseball operations named. "It's a baseball theory that a general manager must be involved in hiring a field manager," Foss said. "But there are enough examples in baseball that have worked successfully where that isn't always the case."
Although Orioles third-base coach Sam Perlozzo interviewed for the manager's job with Peter Angelos this weekend, Foss and Angelos said it is too early to speculate whether either opening will be filled by internal candidates.
"The field manager is its own arena with its own timetable," Foss said. "There are candidates that need to be selected and interviewed."