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Syd Thrift

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By JOHN STEADMAN | November 1, 1994
There's nothing stereotyped about Syd Thrift. Individuality becomes him. He's an original, a king-sized iconoclast, free with opinions, an effective and dominating speaker with a voice that breaks the sound barrier. What comes out can be profound; also provocative.In Thrift, the Baltimore Orioles have made what could be one of their most significant signings in the history of the franchise. As he was introduced as the club's new director of player development, his persona suggested something akin to the second coming of Branch Rickey, who had an impact on baseball that few other executives have ever had.Joe Foss, the club's vice-chairman of business and finance, who made the announcement, said, "He has a passion for developing players, an innovator."
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Peter Schmuck | November 27, 2010
When Andy MacPhail said last week that he was "disappointed" the Orioles were not able to sign free agent Victor Martinez, you had to take him at his word. There are still a few cynical fans out there who don't believe the O's really are willing to spend big money to buy quality players, but the club reportedly outbid the Boston Red Sox and were pretty much side-by-side with the Detroit Tigers, who — here we go again — gave him a much better chance of playing in the postseason.
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By Dan Connolly and Dan Connolly,SUN REPORTER | September 20, 2006
Tim Donner and his radio partner, Syd Thrift, were walking into the All-Star FanFest in Pittsburgh in July when they were stopped by a memorabilia dealer. "There's Syd Thrift," the vendor bellowed. "The man who invented baseball." "It could have been about his age, his experience, his success or his knowledge," said Donner, who spent Sunday afternoons each of the past four seasons hosting the syndicated radio show, Talkin' Baseball, with Thrift. "Or all of it." Thrift, whose baseball career spanned almost 50 years, including three seasons running the Orioles, died Monday night in Milford, Del., hours after having his second knee replacement surgery in two years.
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By DAN CONNOLLY and DAN CONNOLLY,SUN REPORTER | September 24, 2006
Who are you?" The question hung in the air as Syd Thrift held my hand hostage in his big right meat hook. He said it again, ramping up the volume and authority of his slow Southern drawl, like Foghorn Leghorn meets Virginia state trooper. Frankly, I was confused. It was December 2001, after my first full year of covering Thrift, then the Orioles' vice president of baseball operations. I had spoken to the man at least on a weekly basis, and at times daily, for most of the past nine months.
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By JOE STRAUSS | July 2, 2000
Deadline intrigue -- DOWN -- July 7, June 26, July 5 - when does Scott Erickson really gain veto power over any deal? Major League Baseball told the Orioles two dates last Monday, then modified the stance two days later. Syd Thrift -- EVEN -- Eight months at the helm and VP of baseball ops. Syd Thrift has brought the Orioles Mike Trombley, Buddy Groom, Chuck McElroy, Mark Lewis, Alan Mills and Darren Holmes, assuming significant salary obligations for five relievers. Where's the youth?
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November 3, 1994
Orioles owner Peter Angelos, displeased by The Sun's coverage of the hiring of farm director Syd Thrift, attacked columnist Ken Rosenthal and the newspaper's reporting yesterday, issuing a press release that derided "moronic media malevolence."Though Angelos never mentioned Rosenthal by name, the owner was referring to a Tuesday column, which criticized Joe Foss, the club's vice chairman of business and finance, for interfering in baseball matters in making the hire and said that some club officials fear "Thrift's train-wreck personality."
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September 21, 2006
Television BaseballAtlanta@Washington (T)MASN8:30 a.m. Minnesota@BostonESPN27 Atlanta@ColoradoTBS8:30 Minnesota@BostonESPN23 a.m. College footballVirginia@Georgia TechESPN7:30 GolfLPGA Longs Drugs ChallengeGOLF3:30 PGA Valero Texas OpenESPN4 SoccerArsenal vs. Manchester United (T)CSN8 Radio BaseballDetroit@Orioles1090 AM4:05 ALL TIMES P.M. UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED NEXT QUESTION Question of the day Does the Ryder Cup hold more interest for you than individual golf events? Selected responses to today's question will be printed tomorrow on The Kickoff page.
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By Buster Olney and Buster Olney,Sun Staff Writer | February 23, 1995
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Fresh off his first season of professional baseball, Jason Hackett returned to Worton, on the Eastern Shore. Friends would stop and ask him about the experience, about his progress.Hackett suspected they already knew. The local paper trumpeted each appearance made by the Orioles' fourth-round selection of 1993, a left-handed pitcher.But Hackett told them anyway: He had a terrible, frustrating year.Hackett was winless in 14 appearances, compiling an 8.53 ERA for the Orioles' Gulf Coast rookie affiliate.
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By Joe Strauss | March 8, 2000
Highlights and lowlights from the Orioles' 5-4 loss to the New York Mets in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. DOWN -- Calvin Maduro: Two-out woes in the second inning prevented fifth-starter contender from second straight unblemished appearance. DOWN -- Get-tough front office: Sidney Ponson gets renewed for $400,000. Syd Thrift's a tough guy with a hammer. UP -- Javier de la Hoya: No relation to Oscar, he gave the Orioles a fighting chance in relief. UP -- Official scoring: Thank heavens these numbers don't really count.
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September 21, 2006
Television BaseballAtlanta@Washington (T)MASN8:30 a.m. Minnesota@BostonESPN27 Atlanta@ColoradoTBS8:30 Minnesota@BostonESPN23 a.m. College footballVirginia@Georgia TechESPN7:30 GolfLPGA Longs Drugs ChallengeGOLF3:30 PGA Valero Texas OpenESPN4 SoccerArsenal vs. Manchester United (T)CSN8 Radio BaseballDetroit@Orioles1090 AM4:05 ALL TIMES P.M. UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED NEXT QUESTION Question of the day Does the Ryder Cup hold more interest for you than individual golf events? Selected responses to today's question will be printed tomorrow on The Kickoff page.
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By Jeff Zrebiec and Jeff Zrebiec,Sun Reporter | September 20, 2006
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. -- For just the sixth time in the past 37 years, the Orioles will start a season on the road. The 2007 schedule, which will be released later this month, has the Orioles opening the season against the Minnesota Twins at the Metrodome on April 2, a team official confirmed. The Orioles haven't been scheduled to start the season on the road in a non-strike year since 1980 when the club got things started in Chicago. In 1990 and 1995, the Orioles also opened on the road, but the schedules in both of those seasons were altered due to strike situations.
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By Dan Connolly and Dan Connolly,SUN REPORTER | September 20, 2006
Tim Donner and his radio partner, Syd Thrift, were walking into the All-Star FanFest in Pittsburgh in July when they were stopped by a memorabilia dealer. "There's Syd Thrift," the vendor bellowed. "The man who invented baseball." "It could have been about his age, his experience, his success or his knowledge," said Donner, who spent Sunday afternoons each of the past four seasons hosting the syndicated radio show, Talkin' Baseball, with Thrift. "Or all of it." Thrift, whose baseball career spanned almost 50 years, including three seasons running the Orioles, died Monday night in Milford, Del., hours after having his second knee replacement surgery in two years.
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By Laura Vecsey | December 5, 2002
IT DID SMACK OF ageism the past few months when the prescription for fixing the Orioles called for "new energy" in the front office. In other words, no more Syd Thrift. At 73, with 50 years in baseball and having forgotten more about the game than other general managers might ever know, Thrift did not lack for energy or knowledge. However, there was something flawed with Thrift and the Orioles. That became particularly apparent this past season when the pain threshold throughout the organization reached an intolerable level.
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By Roch Kubatko and Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF | October 29, 2002
In two weeks, general managers will convene in Tucson, Ariz., for their annual meetings. Syd Thrift, the Orioles' vice president for baseball operations, intends to be there. Until he's told otherwise, his hands will be used to reshape the roster. Thrift has no plans to relinquish hold, despite rumors that he's going to retire. The Orioles' plans aren't nearly as evident. Their season concluded on Sept. 29, and they still haven't made a formal announcement concerning Thrift and other members of the front office and scouting department whose contracts expire at the end of the year.
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By Joe Christensen and Joe Christensen,SUN STAFF | September 30, 2002
Syd Thrift gave strong hints yesterday that he might step aside as Orioles vice president for baseball operations, as he discussed his future before the team's season finale at Camden Yards. The Orioles completed their worst stretch in franchise history with a 6-1 loss to the New York Yankees, giving them 32 defeats in their final 36 games and setting the stage for what could be a tumultuous offseason. Orioles owner Peter Angelos has said manager Mike Hargrove and the coaching staff will be invited back for next season, but the owner has not addressed Thrift's status.
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By Joe Christensen and Joe Christensen,SUN STAFF | September 22, 2002
Other Orioles officials had tears in their eyes. Syd Thrift had his eyes on the future. It was July 31, 2000, and Thrift had just traded B.J. Surhoff, completing a flurry of deadline deals that revamped the roster, moving six high-priced veterans for a list of minor-league prospects. "Somebody is going to be able to sit up here three years from now," Thrift said, "and say how smart they are." The words were meant to be reassuring for a disenchanted fan base and a clubhouse in a state of shock.
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By Roch Kubatko and Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF | September 9, 2002
Of all the visits the Orioles have made to Yankee Stadium, this one will be different. This one won't be forgotten. The three-game series that begins tomorrow will put the Orioles in New York one year after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. It has given the players and coaches a chance to reflect on the tragedy and the emotions that will stir within them. "It means a lot for us to be there and honor all the people who were killed and the families that are left," said reliever Buddy Groom.
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