- 2006 Baltimore Orioles season
MLB yearly infobox
name = Baltimore Orioles
season = 2006
current league = American League
y1 = 1901
division = East Division
y2 = 1969
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
y4 = 1992
city = Baltimore,
y5 = 1954
Jim Palmer, Jim Hunter, Buck Martinez, Fred Manfra)
Fred Manfra, Jim Hunter, Joe Angel) |The 2006 Baltimore Oriolesseason involved the Orioles finishing 4th in the American LeagueEast with a record of 70 wins and 92 losses.
Front office changes
Following the disappointing 2005 season, it was clear major changes needed to be made within the Orioles. In the front office, Executive VP
Jim Beattiewas not re-signed, allowing Mike Flanagan to become the sole GM of the Orioles. Shortly after, Jim Duquettewas hired as Vice President of Baseball Operations, which was Flanagan's previous position. Duquette made it clear at his signing that he reported to Flanagan, so the "two-headed GM" will not exist anymore. The Orioles also fired assistant General Manager Ed Kenneyand asked for the resignation of Dave Ritterpusch, Director of Baseball Information Systems.
Coaching staff changes
There were also drastic changes in the Orioles coaching staff. Perlozzo was named the new manager, and unlike Mazzilli, was given full freedom to name his coaching staff.
Sam Perlozzoled off strong by convincing Atlanta pitching coach Leo Mazzone, who had revolutionized the careers of many pitchers in Atlanta, to become the pitching coach for the Orioles. He retained hitting coach Terry Crowleyand first base coach Dave Cash. Former base coach and 1983 World SeriesMVP Rick Dempseyreplaced the late Elrod Hendricksas the bullpen coach, with Tom Trebelhornresuming third base coach. Perlozzo rounded out his staff with former Cubs and Phillies manager Lee Eliaas the bench coach.
The roster changes of 2005 were prefaced with Peter Angelos' comments: "We are coming back strong next year. I know you have heard that tune before, but this time it will literally come true." The Orioles allowed
Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, and B.J. Surhoffto become free agents. They also set their wishlist: An everyday first baseman, an experienced starter, a closer, a defensive catcher, outfield help, more defense, and more speed. However, their offseason moves showed no differences from past years. The Orioles were not able to re-sign closer B.J. Ryan, who signed a landmark deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. They were also locked out in bids to sign first baseman Paul Konerko, outfielder Johnny Damon, and starter Paul Byrd. The Orioles chose not to enter the bidding for players like A.J. Burnettand Kevin Millwood, whose asking prices were far beyond what the Orioles were willing to pay, but they did sign catcher Ramon Hernandez.
Locked out of pursuits to sign top-tier players, the Orioles decided to make several moves to allow minor league prospects more time to develop. This led to bringing in players like
Jeff Conineand Kevin Millar, both of whom are known for their positive presence in the clubhouse. On February 4, 2006, Ricky Bottalico was signed as a Free Agent with the Baltimore Orioles. [ [http://www.baseball-reference.com/b/bottari01.shtml Ricky Bottalico Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com ] ] The Orioles also made several trades to bring in needed players. They first traded disgruntled reliever Steve Kline for LaTroy Hawkins, then traded for outfielder Corey Patterson, who brought speed and defense to the outfield, and traded former closer Jorge Julioand John Mainefor experienced starter Kris Benson. [ [http://www.baseball-reference.com/b/bensokr01.shtml Kris Benson Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com ] ] The Orioles also addressed future free agents by extending the contract of outfielder Jay Gibbonsand third baseman Melvin Mora, and recently signed a contract extension with second baseman Brian Roberts. The team's Opening Day roster featured top prospect Nick Markakis, a potential A.L. "Rookie of the Year", the best young position player the Orioles' farm system has produced since Brian Roberts. Markakis represents the revival of the Orioles' farm system, which features four players listed in Baseball America's 2006 list of the top 100 prospects in minor league baseball.
Farm system[Baseball America "2007 Directory"]
* Class AAA:
Ottawa Lynx( International League; Dave Trembley, manager)
* Class AA:
Bowie Baysox(Eastern League; Don Werner, manager)
* Class A:
Frederick Keys( Carolina League; Bien Figueroa, manager)
* Class A:
Delmarva Shorebirds( South Atlantic League; Gary Kendall, manager)
* Class SS-A:
Aberdeen IronBirds( New York-Penn League; Andy Etchebarren, manager)
Bluefield Orioles( Appalachian League; Gary Allenson, manager)
* [http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/BAL/2006.shtml 2006 Baltimore Orioles team page at Baseball Reference]
* [http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teamstats/roster.php?y=2006&t=BAL 2006 Baltimore Orioles season at baseball-almanac.com]
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