It just gets uglier and uglier for the Orioles.
According to SI’s Jon Heyman, Dodgers assistant GM DeJon Watson has pulled his name out of the running for Baltimore’s vacancy at general manager.
Watson was never a favorite for the job, but he’s now the third candidate to drop out of the ongoing hunt voluntarily — following in the footsteps of Jerry Dipoto, who was later hired by the Angels, and Tony LaCava, who opted to return to his role as an assistant within the Blue Jays’ talented front office.
The Orioles are down to their own director of player development, John Stockstill, and Phillies assistant GM Scott Proefrock. They’ll also interview longtime baseball executive Dan Duquette on Friday.
Eventually the O’s will find a match. And they’ll surely tell the world how proud they are to have him. But this is an organization that has been spurned in the past by top free agents and now we’re bearing witness to respected front office executives bolting from the GM opening as if it’s a gig on the line at a fast food joint.
Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark met the press late this morning and covered a wide array of topics.
One of them: free agency, which he referred to as being “under attack” based on the slow market for free agents last offseason.
“What the players saw last offseason was that their free-agent rights were under attack on what has been the bedrock of our system,” Clark said. He added that they “have some very difficult decisions to make.” Presumably in the form of grievances and, down the road, a negotiating strategy that seeks to claw back some of the many concessions the union has given owners in the past few Collective Bargaining Agreements. CBAs, it’s worth noting, that Clark negotiated. We’ve covered that territory in detail in the past.
Of more immediate interest was Clark’s comment that the idea of a universal designated hitter is, among players, “gaining momentum.” Clark says “players are talking about it more than they have in the past.” We’ve talked a lot about that as well.
Given that hating or loving the DH is the closest thing baseball has to a religion, no one’s mind is going to be changed by any of this, but I think, practically speaking, it’s inevitable that the National League will have the DH and I think it happens relatively soon. Perhaps in the next five years. The opposition to it at this point is solely subjective and based on tradition. People like pitchers batting and they like double switches and they like the leagues being different because they, well, like it. If the system were being set up today, however, they’d never have it this way and I think even the DH-haters know that well. That doesn’t mean that you can’t dislike a universal DH, but it does mean that you can’t expect the people who run the game to cater to that preference when it makes little sense for them to do it for their own purposes.
Anyway: enjoy convincing each other in the comments about how the side of that argument you dislike is wrong.