Late last week it was announced that Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette had begun a restructuring of the team’s scouting department. Several formerly professional scouts were reassigned to the amateur side as the O’s try to rely more on home-grown talent. Duquette was careful to specifically say that these moves are not to be looked at as demotions in anyway, just reassignments. I suppose that if I were one of the scouts affected I might not really see it as such, however at this point it’s probably too late for them to leave and find another job. Nevertheless, those guys probably wouldn’t be offering Dan Duquette a healthy slice of lemon meringue pie if he showed up at their houses for Christmas.
Honestly, I take Dan Duquette at his word when he says that he’s not demoting people. What this shows is a new direction. The ironic thing is that many people have been calling for a new direction for quite some time, and now that they’re getting it it seems that there’s still complaining. In reading fan message boards over the course of the past day, people are naturally asking why this kind of thing is going on while the Orioles could be out there signing Prince Fielder. The two are mutually exclusive for what my opinion is worth. Furthermore, who’s to say that they aren’t out there trying to sign him?
By putting more of an emphasis on the amateur side of scouting, the O’s are trying to find the next Prince Fielder. There are plenty of players in college and within independent minor leagues right now which may well help this franchise moving forward. I may well be applying some football mentality here, however I do believe in utilizing the draft to revitalize your system and to ensure depth and success at the big league level down the road. That’s all attributed to amateur scouting.
Having said that, I do in a way feel badly for the actual personnel because going to college games and scouting is a far cry from scouting professionally. However again, this shows a push on the Orioles’ part to grow their own players. To the people that still aren’t satisfied in terms of why Duquette’s doing this type of thing rather than trying to improve the club in 2012, don’t fret. Keep in mind that GM’s aren’t really supposed to be out in public with what they’re doing. Furthermore, it might be a subtle move like this which brings the Orioles the next Eddie Murray or Mike Mussina. That wouldn’t be a bad thing, would it? As I’ve said previously, let’s let the smoke clear before we officially pass judgement on this off season. More importantly, there’s still a long way to go.
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