SBD/February 11, 2011/Franchises

MacPhail Offers Candid Look At His Management Philosophy With Orioles

Orioles President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail was "fairly candid about his management philosophy" Thursday at the Univ. of Baltimore School of Law's Pro Sports Symposium, according to Kevin Van Valkenburg of the Baltimore SUN. MacPhail said that it is "obvious the Orioles cannot financially compete with the Yankees, especially when the Yankees charge 10 times as much for season tickets and draw revenue from a TV network that's worth more, on its own, than most franchises." Because of that, MacPhail's focus "has been figuring out a way to improve the Orioles by boosting the team's amateur scouting, opening a new spring training facility and signing hitters, not pitchers, in free agency." He offered "deeper insight into why the team doesn't try to make big, splashy moves -- unless a 'perfect storm' exists the way it did with Mark Teixeira, to whom the Orioles offered" a $144M deal in '08. MacPhail: "We have to spend our money where we're on equal footing. And we have to be efficient with it. ... We're not going to be buying No. 1 pitchers. Because by the time they reach free agency, they're expensive and they're fragile. It's just a bad place for us to spend our money." MacPhail said that since '07, "no team in the American League East has spent more money on signing bonuses than the Orioles." He added that "while it may frustrate fans, patience and long-term planning are the only approach he thinks will work." MacPhail also said that he "doesn't believe the economic disparities in baseball are going away, which is why the Orioles have to stick with their philosophy." He added that there is "very little interest, from either the owners or the players union, in implementing a salary cap." MacPhail noted that the Orioles "have been spending money generated" by MASN on payroll, "but emphasized that MASN will never be the equal of YES or NESN." Also, "if there was one team MacPhail feels like the Orioles need to emulate, at least from a management philosophy, it's the Tampa Bay Rays" (Baltimore SUN, 2/11).
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