The Baltimore Orioles are parting ways with Triple-A manager Ron Johnson, along with several other front office staff. There may not be new leadership in place yet, but the Orioles are slowly moving the rebuild forward
The Baltimore Orioles have yet to announce anything regarding their search for a new President of Baseball Ops, but the rebuild is moving forward anyway. On Saturday afternoon, the Orioles announced that Norfolk manager Ron Johnson wouldn’t be returning in 2019.
Johnson managed the Tides from 2011-2018, earning the International League Manager of the Year in 2015, but amassing a sub-.500 winning percentage in his 8 seasons with the club.
In addition to Johnson, the Orioles will be parting ways with several other front office staff, including Special Assistant Matt Haas, East Coast Scouting Supervisor Kirk Fredriksson, area scout Dana Duquette (son of Dan), Director of Dominican baseball ops Nelson Norman, Senior Advisor Joe McIlvane, and Special Assignment scout Wayne Britton.
We wrote yesterday about the need for the Orioles to make drastic improvements in their player development department, and these moves at least show us that the Orioles recognize the problem and are working to fix it.
Once the Orioles get their new front office in place it’ll be easier to evaluate their new hires, and to see the direction the organization wants to go in. But this news is absolutely a sign that the Orioles are moving in the right direction.
As fans, we appreciate all that Johnson and his staff in Norfolk were able to accomplish for the Orioles during his time there, and likewise with the other Orioles staff mentioned above. The Orioles had a good five-year run from 2012 through 2016 and many players graduated from the minors and contributed at the major league level; Johnson certainly played a part in that.
However, it’s felt for too long like the organization has been going in the wrong direction.
The Orioles needed a change of pace, and we as fans are hopefully going to get it. They have a ton of work to do over the next few weeks as we head toward MLB’s Winter Meetings, not least of which is assembling an entire front office and management team.
The new leadership will come in time, though admittedly not soon enough for those of us desperate for big-time news. But for now, it’s encouraging to see the Orioles acknowledging their problems and making a concerted effort to fix them.
For now, that’ll do. The Orioles aren’t going to rebuild this mess overnight, but at least for now, they’re heading in the right direction.