Could J.P. Fly Away?
One of the biggest moves in the Mets off-season may be one that they have little to no control over. While some of us sit here and dream about the possibilities, we also tend to see things from a very different angle and at times the makeup of the Mets front office is one of the reasons.
The Baltimore Orioles are a franchise in desperate need of a change. GM Andy MacPhail (whom some of my friends who follow the O’s call Andy BigFail), is not returning in 2012 as the teams GM.
With that said, the team is forming a “panel” to interview candidates for the GM position. Among potential candidates for this job are: Josh Byrnes who is currently with San Diego, Gerry Hunsicker who is with Tampa Bay, Thad Levine who is the Asst. GM to Jon Daniels, Tony LaCava the Asst GM in Toronto, and Dan Jennings the Assistant GM in Florida, and possibly Jerry DiPoto.
Oh, and J.P. Ricciardi of the NY Mets. Assuming the Mets give permission to the Orioles to speak with Ricciardi, this could be a great fit for Riccardi.
The biggest problem in Baltimore has been the involvement by owner Peter Angelos in team business. It’s going to take a special kind of talent to come into Baltimore and succeed. I personally think Dan Jennings has paid his dues and deserves a chance, but I also would not be shocked if J.P. Ricciardi ended up in Baltimore.
Don’t forget, when Ricciardi was in Toronto he too dealt with owners who were very involved in who and what he could spend the teams money on.
Baltimore is a franchise that should be able to compete with teams like Boston & New York. They have big market potential with a recent history of small market failure. As a GM in Toronto, Ricciardi is best known perhaps unfairly for the Vernon Wells deal. Yet people forget that in the mighty AL East with a limited budget, he had an over .500 record 4 out of his 9 seasons.
After reportedly getting told he can spend more money, Ricciardi’s Blue Jays finished over .500 in 2006, 2007, and 2008.
If Ricciardi does indeed get the job in Baltimore, what does that mean for the future of the Mets? Many have speculated that he could perhaps be the GM in waiting for the Mets, but is that going to stop him from getting an opportunity to turn around a once storied franchise right away? I’m not sure.
While some may have believed that Epstein leaving to go to Chicago impacted the Mets, the truth is if Ricciardi leaves NY it will have a greater impact.
About the Author: Michael J. Branda
My time with MMO began in July of 2009 when I wrote a Fan Post defending Omar Minaya (before it was cool to do that.) I grew up a Mets fan with the mid 1980's teams. My favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, I like to think I meet in the middle. I believe thinking of new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the same way has not produced results. However, I think over-thinking certain situations can get you into trouble. I'm excited for the new regime, because I believe they have pieces in place to focus on several aspects of the Mets organization. I've waited this long for a World Series, waiting a few more years for another chance isn't going to kill me.
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