Late Wednesday night MASN’s Roch Kubatko reported that Oakland Athletics’ GM (and Vice-President) Billy Beane had been voted the Sporting News’ baseball executive of the year. Given the job that Beane did in building his club and the surprising results that they produced, this isn’t entirely unexpected. What struck me (and Kubatko) was the number of votes that were cast for the Baltimore Orioles’ Dan Duquette: 0. That would be a big fat goose egg. Orioles fans shouldn’t be disappointed that Beane won the award, as he was very deserving for sure. But would it have been too much to ask for Duquette to at least have gotten one measley vote?
In the same respect, if you come in second you’re only the first loser. However this is a point that should be fairly obvious in that at the very least one would have thought that someone would have thrown Duquette a vote. After reading Kubatko’s piece (linked above) I scrolled down to some of the comments, many of which I found very interesting. Someone mentioned that perhaps it had to do with Duquette not being very well liked in the industry, and another one said that Mike Rizzo of Washington has no business being on the list since he shut down that franchises best pitcher. (I would disagree with that given the fact that Rizzo and manager Davey Johnson were only acting on the orders of every doctor that examined Stephen Strasburg.)
There is a slight chance that Duquette’s previous reputation might have had something to do with him not even being considered. In fact, we even saw him get into some controversy just prior to the 2012 season with the South Korea situation. Furthermore we’d be lying if we didn’t admit that sometimes various bias’ play into these kinds of honors, be it a past reputation or even a media bias. However the fact is that Duquette was long forgotten when he was hired by the Orioles last year, and at the beginning of the season it appeared that he had put together a roster of fisfits to a degree. Many people questioned his tactic of bringing in 20-30 pitchers and having them compete for five starting rotation spots. All of those “negative nellies” have egg on their faces after the season that the Orioles managed to string together.
So should the Orioles and their fans be angered at the fact that Dan Duquette wasn’t voted Executive of the Year by The Sporting News? Not in my opinion, based upon who actually won the award. Had they given the award to Brian Cashman in New York that might be a little different. However Billy Beane is a very deserving GM, and he did a fabulous job with what he had with which to work. But Duquette not even being considered or given one vote is a legitimate gripe. In my opinion Duquette as well as Mike Rizzo should be considered for any awards that exist for executives, just as Buck Showalter and Davey Johnson should be considered for any field managers’ awards. Having said that, perhaps Orioles fans should also appreciate the fact that Duquette still appears to be largely coming in under the radard, just like the team itself.