The Baltimore Orioles are looking for a new general manager this winter, and they seemed to settle on Tony LaCava, heretofore under the employ of the Toronto Blue Jays. But after his second interview, LaCava withdrew from consideration, saying afterward, "This was about the Toronto Blue Jays more than it is anything about the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles were classy in everything they did and I think they are going to go down the right path."
There was more in that vein, but Aaron Gleeman's not buying it:
Those are certainly the right things to say if you're trying to avoid burning any bridges and are now returning to work in Toronto, but it's not quite "just as simple as that." Various reports say LaCava was very close to accepting the job and the Blue Jays were already making plans for his departure. In other words, it wasn't about the Blue Jays. It was about not working for Peter Angelos and the Orioles.
One of the advantages of youth is thinking you know it all. One of the advantages of middle age is realizing that you don't. I think Aaron's probably right; given all that we know (or think we know) about Peter Angelos and the Baltimore Orioles, it seems likely that LaCava simply got a decent look behind the scenes and was frightened away.
Of course, it's also possible that he simply loves Toronto, or the Blue Jays, or Alex Anthopoulos, or that he was offered more money and more authority if he stayed.
It was probably Angelos, though.
Eight or nine years ago, I was working on a piece about Angelos that I never finished, because I couldn't get anyone to talk to me, on the record. But I'll never forget speaking to someone employed by Major League Baseball, and he was actually optimistic about the Orioles' future.
"Nobody lives forever."
Perhaps not. But Peter Angelos is now 82 and by most accounts still going strong.
I will also mention, lest anyone think we're rooting for his demise, that Angelos has given plenty of his money to worthy causes. He's not just some guy in a black hat who has gleefully overseen the downfall of a once-proud franchise. Peter Angelos, like everyone else you'll meet, is much more than that.
But the franchise does seem to have lost its way since Camden Yards became a jewel in baseball's landscape and the Orioles were right up there with the Yankees and the Red Sox. And considering that it's been a great number of years now, and that it's all happened on Angelos's watch, it's difficult to imagine things getting much better as long as he's running the show.
And yes, Tony LaCava probably came to the same conclusion.