The Orioles today lost a highly-regarded member of their front office when scouting director John Barr resigned to become assistant general manager of the San Diego Padres.
Barr, 33, will reunite with new Padres general manager JoMcIlvaine, for whom he served as an administrative assistant in the New York Mets' organization from 1984-88.
Orioles general manager Roland Hemond called Barr a"outstanding young man with a lot of ability," and said farm director Doug Melvin would assume Barr's duties until the club ++ hires a replacement.
"This goes with the territory when you have good people,Hemond said. "The type of opportunity he was offered, you understand. It's like ballplayers, you like to see them move ahead.
Barr said he will be McIlvaine's "right-hand man" in San Diegonegotiating player contracts, working closely with the major-league club and assisting in scouting and player development.
"I loved it here [in Baltimore]," Barr said. "These people wergood to me. The scouts were great to me. But it's a decision I had to go with. The opportunity, I thought, was unique. I'm excited about it."
Barr's most visible function with the Orioles was presiding ovethe two most recent drafts, in which the club selected Ben McDonald with the No. 1 pick in 1989 and Mike Mussina in the first round this year.
However, he said his biggest accomplishment was reorganizinthe club's scouting department, which was in a state of disarray when he was hired in October of 1988.
Scouts often follow their department head to his neorganization under such circumstances, but Barr said he will not raid the Orioles' 30-member staff.
"I'm grateful for what we accomplished here. I would not comand tear it down for self-serving reasons," Barr said. "I don't have any intention of doing that."
Hemond said he expected Barr might be contacted by SaDiego because of his past association with McIlvaine in New York. Two years ago, it was McIlvaine who advised the Orioles to hire Barr.
"He gave him high marks then," Hemond said.