In Fla., Orioles focused on future

Club's meetings center on scouting, player development

Baseball

October 09, 2007|By Dan Connolly | Dan Connolly,SUN REPORTER

The Orioles began their four-day organizational meetings in Sarasota, Fla., yesterday with dozens of scouts and members of the front office breaking down the long-term future of the team and its affiliates.

Short-term decisions, such as the fate of manager Dave Trembley's coaching staff and who will become second in charge to president Andy MacPhail, will not be made while the group is gathered in Florida.

"Nothing is going to happen this week," MacPhail said. "This is the time to download information from those that have been out in the field and to make the needed institutional changes that we feel will help us."

Yesterday's meetings lasted from 8:30 a.m. to about 5 p.m. and will continue with a similar schedule for the next three days. The group analyzed the Orioles' Triple-A club in Norfolk, Va., Double-A Bowie and part of the high Single-A affiliate in Frederick before breaking for the day. The officials will resume where they left off today until the entire organization is covered.

Before the meetings are concluded, the pro scouting division will analyze each of the other 29 organizations, too.

"It gives us an idea of things we need to focus on, things we want to emphasize in the system," MacPhail said. "We have a few more [days] to go, but I am pleased with the information coming back. Today was productive."

Trembley attended, but his major league coaching staff did not - though that apparently is not an indicator of its status for 2008. MacPhail said, "there was no reason to drag them down here" when the focus is on the amateur and pro scouting process and player development and only "briefly" on the big league club.

The concept of leaving Baltimore for days-long meetings might be new to the Orioles, but it is protocol for MacPhail, who held similar conferences when he ran the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago Cubs.

"I think it is an important component for any organization," said MacPhail, who was hired by owner Peter Angelos in June. "You don't have to do it every year necessarily, but certainly you have to do it on a frequent basis."

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

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