Inconvenient News,
       by smintheus

Friday, October 20, 2006

  Baltimore Orioles GM promises to 'stay the course'

My friend Milo forwarded to me this news story from Reuters. I thought it was so interesting that I'm going to quote it in full:

Baltimore Orioles General Manager Mike Flanagan said on Friday he will resist pressure from fans for a major shift in strategy in the American League playoffs, despite growing doubts among Americans and anxiety over the Orioles among Republican lawmakers.

"Our goal in this pennant race is clear and it's unchanging," Flanagan told Republican loyalists, denouncing Democrats who want a course correction as supporting a "doubt and defeat" approach.

But less than three days before the World Series begins, pressure is growing in the U.S. Congress for a major shift in a pennant race that has seen multiple defeats in October alone.

"I don't believe we can continue based on an open-ended, unproductive offense," Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe was quoted as saying in The Washington Post.

"I don't think there's any question about that, that there will be a change" in the Orioles' strategy after the American League playoffs, she added.

Addressing election-year concerns about the Orioles that have many Republicans panicking about losing control of the World Series, White House spokesman Tony Snow said, "Political opportunists do nothing to win postseason games."

At the same time, Snow said Flanagan was open to adjusting pitching rotations in the face of a failed attempt to stem loses in July, August and September.

Flanagan met for a half hour on Friday with visiting manager Sam Perlozzo, who oversees the team as head of the Interim Disaster Management Group, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.

On Saturday, Flanagan, Vice President Jim Duquette, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and top White House officials will meet with the Orioles coaching staff for a long-scheduled videoconference. Perlozzo will be a key presenter at that meeting, Perino said.

"The General Manager is always listening to his vice president and his senior coaches on the tactics that are needed to win in the playoffs," she said.

Many Senate Republicans are awaiting the results of a special panel led by Peter Angelos' longtime family friend and former manager Ray Miller, the Orioles Study Group, which is preparing recommendations for a shift in strategy.

The Miller report will not be issued until after the playoffs, in which the Orioles risk being defeated even before reaching the World Series.


Orioles officials say the recommendations will be reviewed seriously, but have already rejected trial balloons such as benching unproductive hitters, a dialogue with the team's leading scouts, or replacing the entire roster with the Orioles' triple A team, the Norfolk Tides.

Rumsfeld declined to say whether he believed a course correction was needed in Camden Yards.

"I think the way I'll leave it is I prefer to give my advice to the General Manager," he said at the Pentagon. "I'm old-fashioned."

Democratic leaders of the House and Senate wrote a letter to Flanagan urging him to change course, saying the situation was deteriorating and "there is no effective plan for improvement."

"We've lost the hearts and minds of the fans and we've become caught in a downward spiral," said Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. John Murtha, who drew Flanagan's ire a year ago by calling for unproductive hitters to be benched.

Flanagan, raising $1 million at a downtown fundraiser for new cup-holders in the bleachers, invoked Manager Earl Weaver, saying Weaver had the strong will to win several World Series and that it would take similar backbone to win the Series this year.

"Despite all of the opposition that the Manager faced from the Democrats, he didn't waiver," he said. "He stood for what he believed: Weaver Ball."

I suppose I have nothing to add to this. I think it's pretty self-explanatory.


  • So what's your McCain story? (re Digby comment thread)

    Doesn't involve risque IMs, does it?

    By Blogger Emphyrio, at 11:23 PM  

  • No, no IMs from McCain, thank god.

    I was a faculty member in the early '90s at the US Naval Academy, where McCain and two other Senators (Mikulski and Sarbanes) were members of the Academy's Board of Visitors. There were huge, running scandals in those days. The USNA military leadership was doing some astounding things that badly undermined the institution. I wrote to all three Senators giving details of what was transpiring. Mikulski and Sarbanes invited me to DC to discuss the issues; I never received a response from McCain.

    Mikulski and Sarbanes then arranged a special (in fact, a unique) meeting with USNA faculty so that the BoV could hear about these issues directly from all the faculty. McCain did attend, and told us repeatedly that he took these charges very seriously and would investigate them fully.

    Then he left and spoke to journalists, who'd been excluded from the meeting (the issues were headline stuff for months). McCain told them that the faculty had raised only the most trivial matters. A journalist who sought my comment upon McCain's statement could barely restrain herself from laughing while she read back his statement to me. It was transparent that he was trying to cover up for the Commandant of the Academy, a classmate of McCain's and apparently a personal friend of his.

    So McCain is a creep and a practiced liar. Despite his interference, the 'dant was relieved of his command shortly thereafter and sweeping reforms were instituted at the Academy.

    By Blogger : smintheus ::, at 12:42 PM  

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