Baltimore Orioles: Toronto is served justice (updated)


I was a bit amused last night when this article came across my twitter feed regarding Toronto GM Paul Beeston now appearing to be staying with the Blue Jays organization for the 2015 season. Bear in mind that nothing has been announced formally to my knowledge, nor is this officially official in a sense. But bearing that in mind, I want you to think back to September 16, 2014…

…which of course is the last time that the Orioles defeated Toronto in a game of any sort of relevance. (There were two other games in that series, and one more three-game set in Toronto before the regular season ended – but that was the last game of any sort of impact.) One could possibly look at today as a continuation of that victory. Because according to this report, Dan Duquette is staying in Batimore.

Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Bear in mind that this has nothing to do with who’s a better GM, who’s in a better position to win, etc. (And for the record, I salute Paul Beeston for staying with Toronto for so long, as he was their first employee hired when they became a franchise. I also salute Toronto for keeping him around for this long.) But this has everything to do with justice. And speaking for myself that’s a hugely important word. I’ve always felt like I had a good sense of justice, and so far as the Orioles are concerned justice has been served.

I don’t know and we probably won’t find out, however I suspect that Toronto has made this decision because they knew they were at a point where they weren’t going to get their way with Peter Angelos and the Orioles. It was either give up the quest for Duquette, or pay the king’s ransom. They’ve evidently chosen the former.

But it’s also a lesson to everyone involved in doing things the right way. For all of the things (positive and negative) that can be said or written about Peter Angelos, his feeling was that Toronto did everything in their power to do things the wrong way in this scenario. I don’t need to go through the laundry list of grievances – we’ve been over that ad hoc. But the lesson here is that you always have to do things in the correct manner and according to the regulations that are in place, lest you not find people willing to play ball with you.

This might well only be a stay so to speak in the sense that Toronto might very well go after Duquette again in 2015-’16. And if they do things by the book, asking in a formal and above-the-table manner in the immediate aftermath of the season, my hope would be that Angelos would allow Toronto to speak with Duquette. While the presumption would be that the Orioles would require compensation if Toronto wanted to hire him, I do believe in the concept of not holding your people back from accepting a promotion.

The other alternative of course is that Angelos could restructure his own front office, giving Duquette a parrallel job in Baltimore. This has not been an easy process for anyone involved, and it’s safe to say that some feelings, egos, etc. on both sides have been hurt throughout the course. But if in fact this is true, both franchises can now move onto bigger and better things – namely Spring Training.

However in the interim, make no mistake about the fact that the Orioles won this “game,” just as they did on September 16, 2014. In a staring contest, it’s safe to say that Toronto blinked first.

Update (1:30 PM, 1/22/15): According to this tweet from ESPN’s Buster Olney, this matter might not be as closed as I initially thought. Having said that, Jeff Hoffman was chosen by Toronto with their first round pick in 2014. I would submit that in essence trading a GM for a first round draft pick would still put the Orioles in the win column in this circumstance. Toronto would obviously have their man, however it would have come at a great price – especially seeing that initially they probably thought that they’d get him for a low-level prospect or possibly nothing.

It’s also worth noting that MASN’s Roch Kubatko also sent out this tweet, which seems to indicate that the Orioles feel there were some immoral liberties taken on Toronto’s side. Time will tell how this ends up, but more as we hear it!