On his first official day as the Baltimore Orioles' new executive vice president of baseball operations, Mike Flanagan started the process of bringing back interim manager Sam Perlozzo, while outgoing executive VP Jim Beattie pondered his future.
According to Flanagan, the Orioles spoke at length Tuesday with Perlozzo, who replaced the fired Lee Mazzilli on Aug. 4.
"At this point we're deeply into contract negotiations," Flanagan said. "It is going well. I think it's going to be soon. We're working out the final details of the contract."
Beattie -- who found out Monday that his contract with the Orioles wouldn't be renewed, which led to Flanagan's promotion -- said he harbored no ill will toward the organization and likely would accept the team's offer of a job as a consultant.
"I think the job will have fairly minimal involvement," Beattie said. "I have flexibility. I'm in a situation where I can call clubs. It also gives me the option if I don't find anything else now to wait a year."
Beattie and Flanagan were hired before the 2003 season to run the Orioles' front office in tandem, with Beattie atop Flanagan in the hierarchy. Beattie declined to comment Tuesday on Peter Angelos's statements the previous day that he had been hired to tutor Flanagan, although some in the organization have questioned why Beattie would have relocated his family to Baltimore for a position that would last only three years.
Beattie denied that he and Flanagan had philosophical differences in running the team. But numerous team sources say that Beattie thought Dave Ritterpusch, the Orioles' director of baseball information and Flanagan's close friend, had been too heavy-handed in the decision-making. At issue is Ritterpusch's strong belief in psychological testing and quantitative analysis, a philosophy Flanagan has embraced, perhaps too much, according to some in the organization.
"I think it's a little unfair how much attention it's gotten," Flanagan said. "You're not doing your due diligence if you're not accumulating as much data as you can."
Beattie said the information he received from Ritterpusch was useful but said the practice of using such techniques to determine player transactions was "not well-defined" and not the only way to judge talent.
But several internal Orioles memos obtained by The Post show that Beattie did not stop the use of psychological tests to determine player signings, because, many close to the team say, of Flanagan's relationship with Ritterpusch and Angelos.
One such test is the ISAM, an acronym for the Athletic Success Institute's psychological tests. A memo to all baseball operations personnel, dated July 9, 2004, and signed by Beattie and Flanagan, reads: "Consistent with the Orioles' policy in regard to signing drafted amateur players, effective immediately no player is to be signed to an Orioles minor league contract without an acceptable ISAM profile on hand."
It continues: "No position player will be signed who scores less than a 3 on a valid, accurate ISAM; nor will any pitcher be signed who scores less than a 4 on a valid, accurate ISAM."
A 5 is considered a top ISAM score. Beattie declined to comment on the memos.
A close look at the memos reveals that, at the very least, the test results are inconsistent when used to evaluate players. Some memos praise players such as Chris Ray, Adam Loewen, John Maine, Matthew Pulley and John Parrish, but are critical of reliever B.J. Ryan, one of baseball's top closers this year, who scored a 2.
"Would love to see B.J. Ryan moved -- and Parrish put in his spot," reads a memo from Ritterpusch dated June 30, 2003. "Parrish is not bright -- which is why he can't cut it as a starter -- but he has a heck of a profile."
Ritterpusch said many successful teams, including the Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians, have used psychological tests. He also said that the profiling helped restock the Orioles' minor league system. This year's Orioles draft has already produced two top-rated prospects in their respective leagues.
"For anyone to say this was an inhibitor is ludicrous," Ritterpusch said. "There may be some people that are jealous of what we're doing."
But a source with intimate knowledge of Baltimore's draft this year said Ritterpusch had no say in any picks.
"He had no input on this draft whatsoever," the source said. "It didn't influence any pick that was made. It was all about what the scouting staff wanted."
Flanagan said Tuesday he had not made any decisions regarding the structure of his front office, including Ritterpusch's role.
"We're going to do some outside interviewing for staffing a variety of roles," Flanagan said.
The Mets have given senior vice president of baseball operations Jim Duquette permission to talk to the Orioles about a position in their front office, according to the Associated Press.