The front-office moves have come rapid-fire. Frank Robinson was dismissed as Baltimore Orioles manager two weeks ago and re-hired as an assistant general manager last week. He will work closely with general manager Roland Hemond, who was handed a two-year contract extension yesterday.
Now that the ink has dried on those two contracts, a question remains:
What about Doug Melvin?
The Orioles' other assistant GM has been on the front-office fast track since he joined the organization in 1986, but the Robinson promotion and the Hemond extension would appear to cloud his career picture.
Melvin does not seem concerned. He wants to be a general manager -- it has been a long-term goal since he got into baseball management, and it is the logical next step on the career ladder -- but he isn't under any specific timetable.
"I've always felt very good about my future," Melvin said. "I've worked under Roland Hemond and with him, and the knowledge that I get from him I can't get anywhere else. The future will take care of itself.
"I've never set a timetable, because the game is too unpredictable to do that. You just never know what's going to happen."
The front-office chemistry has changed during the past three weeks, but Melvin said that his role has not been affected. He met with Hemond and Robinson early yesterday to review scouting reports on the other major-league clubs and discuss possible personnel moves. It was business as usual, except that there was one more person to provide insight and input.
"Roland makes the final decisions, regardless of Frank's role or my role," Melvin said. "Today, we had a good day. We went over a lot of ballclubs and looked at our needs. We talked to [scouting director] Gary Nickels. This is a team. You work together."
The timing of Hemond's contract extension might seem curious to some, considering the state of the team on the field, but Melvin said it was the right move at the right time.
"I was happy to see Roland get that," he said. "It shows that this organization wants to have some stability. Things aren't going real well right now, but we still feel that they will turn around."
Melvin has made no secret of his career objective, but he has made no overt effort to speed his ascent through the Orioles organization.
"I want to be a general manager," he said. "I think everybody knows that. I have confidence that I am ready to be one right now, especially with the knowledge that I have gained working with Roland."
There will be some jobs opening soon. Two new expansion franchises have been awarded for 1993 and will begin filling front-office positions in the near future. No doubt, there will be other openings, also. But Melvin said he will not pursue any of them actively.
"Right now, we've got a job to do here," he said. "I'm not someone who's going to be sending out resumes. I'm not going to be politicking for a job. It's better to have a club approach you, anyway."
If anyone wanted to talk to Melvin, permission would have to be granted by the Orioles, but Hemond has made it a policy not to stand in the way of an employee who can better his lot.
Robinson is in the same situation. He has signed on to get the experience necessary to move into a GM position, but doesn't necessarily figure to get that opportunity in Baltimore.