Orioles new approach makes 2019 Spring Training the most exciting in years

Yes, you read that headline correctly.

The Baltimore Orioles are coming off a historically poor season that accumulated 115 losses. It’s very possible that the Orioles will lose 100 games again in 2019. Even though no one expects the Orioles to come anywhere near the playoffs this year, the brand new, technology-driven approach introduced to several young players by General Manager Mike Elias, Assistant GM Sig Mejdal, and Manager Brandon Hyde makes this year’s Spring Training the most exciting Orioles camp in years.

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Astros assistant GM Mike Elias set to become Orioles general manager

BALTIMORE — After weeks of speculation, it appears that the Baltimore Orioles have found their next general manager. 

Update 11/16/18:

The Orioles have officially announced the hiring of Mike Elias as their new executive vice president and general manager. Elias will be introduced in a press conference set to take place on Monday, November 19, at 11:00 am.

Original story:

Just after midnight on Wednesday morning, Bob Nightengale of USA Today revealed on Twitter that Houston Astros assistant general manager Mike Elias is set to become the Orioles’ next general manager. 

The Orioles parted ways with former general manager Dan Duquette following a 115-loss season that saw the Orioles finish with their worst record in franchise history. Duquette’s tenure as Baltimore’s GM lasted just over seven seasons, with the 2014 American League East-winning Orioles highlighting his reign.

Along with Duquette, manager Buck Showalter was also let go as the franchise undergoes a full rebuild. Showalter had been Baltimore’s skipper since July 2010, winning the American League’s Manager of the Year award in 2014. 

Elias arrived In Houston in 2012, where he handled both scouting and player development as the assistant to general manager Jeff Luhnow. Elias, 36, has worked in Major League Baseball since 2007. He graduated from Yale University, where he was a pitcher on the baseball team. 

Along with Elias, it’s rumored that Sig Mejdal, who served as a special assistant to Luhnow up until a few days ago, could be on his way to Baltimore. Mejdal is a former NASA Engineer that orchestrated an analytics team that worked under Luhnow.  

The Astros have openly credited Elias as the man who pushed for the organization to draft All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa with the first pick in the 2012 draft. Elias oversaw the next six Houston drafts and, under Luhnow, had a helping hand in the Astros winning their first ever World Series championship in 2017. 

If Elias’s exit from Houston becomes official, he will be the sixth front office member to leave the Astros this offseason. 

Take: The Orioles have yet to make this news official, but this is great news for a fan-base that’s desperate for a glimmer of hope. In recent months, there’s been a transition of power in the ownership of the Orioles from Peter Angelos to his sons John and Lou Angelos. The Angelos family has not made any public statements, but it’s assumed that the kids are heavily involved in deciding the next general manager and manager.

It would be quite a stamp for John and Lou to bring in a young mind who just helped rebuild the Astros, who five years ago were among the worst teams in baseball. If Mejdal follows Elias to Baltimore, that sounds like a solid pickup for the analytical department that’s currently being developed. 

Image Credit: Houston Chronicle 

Podcast Episode 20: The Ravens lay an egg in Cleveland

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The Charm City Bird Watch Podcast is brought to you by Seven Sports Bar & Grille in New Freedom, PA. For a limited time early on behalf of Charm City Bird Watch, you can get a 10% discount on any entree at Seven by staying the promo code ‘Charm City’ to your server! One possible entree combination above – Crabcake, Sweet Potato Fries, and side vegetable! 

Welcome to Episode 20 of the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast with site owner Jake McDonnell, editor Nolan McGraw, and author Ian Schultz.

Unfortunately, we have to open up the show by dishing out our initial reactions to the Ravens’ heartbreaking 12-9 defeat in overtime to the Cleveland Browns from this past Sunday (4:46). We do our weekly Who’s Trending segment (21:42) and dive into some things to watch for in the Ravens’ next game – a third straight road test against the Tennessee Titans (33:22).

Since Nolan and Ian’s portion of Episode 19 was recorded before the official Orioles departures of Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette, the baseball portion of this week’s show gives the guys a platform to voice their thoughts on this huge development in Birdland (39:55).

To wrap up the show, we dive into our weekly numbers segment, taking a look at the best Baltimore sports athletes to wear the number 20 (46:22).

You can find the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast on SoundCloudiTunes, and Google Play. Please leave us a review on iTunes, we love to hear your feedback and may read it on a future episode. Thank you for listening!