Flanagan gets GM job

Orioles demote Beattie, promote his trainee

Perlozzo likely to stay

October 11, 2005|By DAN CONNOLLY AND ROCH KUBATKO | DAN CONNOLLY AND ROCH KUBATKO,SUN REPORTERS

Jim Beattie's three-year tenure as the Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations will officially end Nov. 1, when Mike Flanagan moves up from vice president to assume Beattie's title and role in directing baseball matters, team owner Peter G. Angelos said last evening.

Beattie, whose contract expires at the end of the month, has been offered a job as a consultant, but he hasn't decided whether to accept it.

Meanwhile, the club will now seek a top assistant to Flanagan and hopes to hire someone quickly. Angelos would not comment on specific candidates and whether they would come from inside or outside the organization.

"Mike will have the appropriate staffing to assist him during a very busy time, which we anticipate this [offseason] will be," Angelos told The Sun.

Also looming is the fate of interim manager Sam Perlozzo, which seemingly was bolstered by the decision not to fully overhaul the front office. Several industry sources said Perlozzo's rehiring is now a formality that will be completed soon. Angelos said a managerial decision had not been finalized, but confirmed no other candidates have been interviewed.

"Sam has done a good job for this organization for a long time," Angelos said. "He is a solid baseball man. He has a great personality and is a very committed baseball professional."

The change in front office leadership is basically what Angelos said he envisioned when he replaced Syd Thrift in December 2002 with what is now commonly referred to as the Orioles' two-headed general manager. At the time, Flanagan, a longtime consultant to Angelos and one of the winningest pitchers in team history, had no front office experience.

Beattie, a former general manager for the Montreal Expos, was hired to provide that expertise and effectively share the job with Flanagan - with the thought that Flanagan eventually would become the solitary GM.

"That was our original intent, and we made that fairly clear when Jim and Mike came on," Angelos said. "There's nothing different from that, except that it was disclosed."

Angelos did not expect to make yesterday's announcement until after the World Series, but when reports began trickling out, Angelos said, "The fact that Jim's situation was disclosed, we are not going to deny it."

"We have to thank [Beattie] for all he has done," Angelos said. "He is a highly qualified and intelligent man and a fine guy. We appreciate all the help he has given this organization as well as given Mike in preparation for assuming the role."

By keeping Flanagan as a decision-maker, the club will maintain consistency instead of starting over again, though Angelos said that was not the primary motivation for the hire.

"He does represent that, but hopefully he represents far more than consistency," Angelos said. "That will ultimately be determined by his results in the future. I have every confidence that he will perform very well."

Contract terms were not released, but one industry source said it is likely Flanagan will receive another three-year deal.

Flanagan didn't return calls from The Sun yesterday.

Beattie's tenure might ultimately be remembered more for the decision to hire Lee Mazzilli as manager and re-sign pitcher Sidney Ponson to a three-year, $22.5 million contract than the free-agent acquisition of shortstop Miguel Tejada, who has become one of the league's best players and the current face of the franchise.

"I feel like it was a great opportunity for me, but we didn't get done what we wanted to do," Beattie said. "I still think there were some great things Mike and I accomplished, and leave it at that."

Because they were hired so late, Beattie and Flanagan had to settle for bargain-basement players such as shortstop Deivi Cruz and pitchers Omar Daal and Kerry Ligtenberg before the 2003 season. They were more successful the next year, signing Tejada and catcher Javy Lopez, but they couldn't upgrade the rotation last winter and scrambled to complete a trade for Sammy Sosa - at the urging of Angelos - after first basemen Carlos Delgado and Richie Sexson rejected them.

Hampered by foot injuries, Sosa hit .221 with 14 homers and 45 RBIs and didn't finish the season.

Among the other signings under Beattie's watch, relievers Mike DeJean and Steve Reed were released before completing a full season, and Steve Kline struggled for most of 2005. Beattie also received industry-wide criticism for failing to complete a significant trade during this year's non-waiver deadline, while the Orioles were in contention. They were close to acquiring Florida Marlins pitcher A.J. Burnett, but couldn't agree on his worth or whether to accept third baseman Mike Lowell as part of the package.

"To be able to call Camden Yards your office for three years, that was a great opportunity," Beattie said. "The only part that I feel remorse about is you weren't able to do everything as well as you wanted to."

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