Baltimore Orioles: Who’s being classless?


With all of the drama surrounding Dan Duquette to start off the winter meetings. We’ve heard a lot about whether or not the Baltimore Orioles should allow Dan Duquette to interview with Toronto and so forth. My personal stance would be that they should not – Duquette has an ironclad contract with the Orioles, and furthermore this is coming at a bad time (more on that later). There’s a school of thought out there which says that it would be classless for the Orioles to block Duquette from in theory moving up (on paper, that is). But is this all really classlessness on the Orioles’ part?

While we don’ know from where the leak came, it’s probably safe to deduce that it came from Toronto’s camp. If they’re interested in Dan Duquette, why would Duquette be the one to leak it out? So given that, would there not have been a better time to discuss this? Dropping a bombshell like that on the eve of the Winter Meetings was probably done in a very deliberate manner. It puts the Orioles in a situation where they either have to let Duquette go, or stand in his way. And owner Peter Angelos made it pretty clear where he stood on that matter.

Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto had to know that this would force Angelos to let rumors swirl, or make the comment that he did. And in doing so, he risked alienating Duquette – and doing so on the eve of the Winter Meetings. So Toronto has successfully managed to throw a wrench into the fire that burns in the front office of one of their competitors. Mind you, had this occurred in October the Orioles wouldn’t have been happy about it, however the timing on Toronto’s part is curious to say the least. Is that really what a classy organization would do?

Their tactic appears to be that there’s no rule against it, therefore it must be okay. And for sure, it probably won’t get them in any hot water with the commissioner’s office. However my point is that this was done to cause an uproar in the Orioles’ operation, and also to paint the Orioles in a bad light. I was a bit surprised that a few members of the national media seemed to be saying that the Orioles all but had an obligation to allow Duquette to leave if he wanted to do so –  take this tweet from CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, for example.

All of this might well have been planned out by the Toronto brass. So again I ask – who’s the real villain? The Orioles for potentially not allowing Duquette to leave, or Toronto for starting this to begin with? Let’s even take this a step further; what if Toronto just put Dan Duquette’s name out there without any reason to do so? They still would have thrown a wrench into the plans of a division rival, and one that they seem to dislike at that.

So for my money Toronto is the true villain in this case. However there’s little doubt that they’re trying to capitalize on a division rival who has an owner with negative perceptions in his own community and league-wide. It’s a similar ploy in that sense to Roger Goodell trying to bully Angelos into giving him a date in 2013 for the NFL’s season opener. Angelos/the Orioles were 100% in the right, however given the fact that it was Angelos most people lined up against them. My prediction is that Duquette will continue to serve out his contract throughout it’s term.