Andy MacPhail, Baltimore’s president of baseball operations, may not have completed any deals at the first day of the Winter Meetings, but he did receive a flattering tribute from one of his peers. Alex Anthopoulos, Toronto’s new general manager, said that MacPhail has been generous with his time and with his advice during his first few months on the job.
Anthopoulos relayed an anecdote about the GM Meetings and said that he began to grow more comfortable after a sitdown with several of his veteran peers. MacPhail was part of that group, and a burgeoning friendship may have been born that day.
“I’ll tell you about Andy,” said Anthopoulos. “I didn’t know him before I got this job, but he’s a class act. He’s a real gentlemen. I told him just sitting at that table with those guys, just shooting the breeze for an hour, they made me feel like I was part of the group and part of them. I think they all understand there’s a respect level. They all understand. I think when you get to the position you’re in, they understand that you’ve certainly put in your time.”
MacPhail was surprised to hear about the Anthopoulos comments, and typical to his self-deprecating nature, he deflected them as best as he could.
“He asked my opinion on a couple things and advice on things I had gone through,” he said. “I just told him what I know and what I did. He’s got a lot on his plate. I think he was just looking for one of the older guys. I’m one of the older guys now. It’s hard to believe.”
— Spencer Fordin
The Winter Meetings have begun in the sense that most team executives have checked in to their respective hotels and that the lobby of the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown is already full of loitering reporters. The scene is subdued, at least in relation to the sensory overload of last year’s industry convention at the ultra-opulent Bellagio in Las Vegas.
Things will likely swing into gear on Monday, when executives begin meeting with their peers to lay the groundwork for trades and with agents to discuss the burgeoning free agent market. Baltimore manager Dave Trembley will stage a group interview, and Andy MacPhail, the team’s president of baseball operations will meet with local reporters on a daily basis.
That’s all the news for now, but check back often Monday through Thursday for updates.
— Spencer Fordin
Baltimore manager Dave Trembley just learned that he’ll be coming back next year, and now he wants some time to decide on his coaching staff. Trembley parried several questions about his coaches Saturday, saying only that he wants time to make a decision.
“I’m going to allow myself to go home on Monday afternoon,” said Trembley of the season’s endgame. “And I’m going to allow myself an opportunity to unpack and put some closure on this season, to think about what may be areas that could be improved and what I can do to make it better. Then I’m going to talk to [executive Andy MacPhail] about it and I’m going to call each and every coach individually and tell them what their status will be for next year.”
Trembley said he has already spoken to MacPhail, the team’s president of baseball operations, about his coaching staff. And to illustrate his point, Trembley told an anecdote about a recent organizational meeting and a conversation he had with MacPhail.
“We had a meeting in Tampa with all the coaching staff and Andy MacPhail and other front office personnel,” said Trembley setting the stage for his comment. “That night in Tampa, Andy said, ‘What do you think? I thought the meeting went really well.’ I said, ‘Well, I’m going to tell you something about the coaches that you have here: They have passion. Everybody has passion about the players, especially the guys they work with in their areas.’ “
— Spencer Fordin
Andy MacPhail, Baltimore’s president of baseball operations, has made a habit out of including a ceremonial contract signing as part of his press conferences this winter. First, he did it with Koji Uehara, and then with the six-year extension signed by Nick Markakis.
So perhaps it shouldn’t have been surprising when MacPhail employed the same stage maneuver Friday, when the Orioles inked Brian Roberts to a four-year extension worth $40 million. And this time, MacPhail even included a joke to enliven the proceedings.
Right before he handed the pen to Roberts, MacPhail said, “Brian has not looked at this contract yet, so he might be surprised to find out that it’s $400,000 for next year.”
Some laughter ensued, but Roberts topped him with an even better punchline. “I don’t care how it’s spread out,” he said of the bounty he’ll be paid from 2010 through 2013.