Buford reassigned within organization

By Will Lingo
December 11, 2002

An offseason of transition that will bring significant changes to the Orioles, both on the field and off, continued with the removal of Don Buford as farm director.

The club announced that Buford, who has been farm director since January 2000, will be reassigned within the organization and that it has already started the process of interviewing people to take his place.

Scouting director Tony DeMacio, on the other hand, got a vote of confidence as the Orioles renewed his contract. DeMacio has been scouting director since December 1998.

The Orioles also renewed the contract of special assistant Ed Kenney and fired special assistant Danny Garcia.

Jim Beattie and Mike Flanagan, the new leaders of the Orioles’ baseball operation, are taking a look at the entire organization as they take over a club coming off its fifth straight losing season with little talent in the majors or minors.

Orioles owner Peter Angelos named Beattie as the team’s new executive vice president of baseball operations and Flanagan as vice president of baseball operations last week. They will operate essentially as dual general managers and replace Syd Thrift, who had been GM since December 1999.

“I am pleased the Orioles will have the benefit of two highly respected baseball professionals to guide our destiny,” Angelos said. “I know that Jim and Mike are eagerly looking forward to this partnership, drawing on each other’s strengths and experience to better the organization.”

Beattie, 48, has been a GM before, holding the job with the Expos from 1995-2001. Before that he had been the Mariners’ farm director since 1989.

Like Beattie, Flanagan is a former big league pitcher. He was drafted by the Orioles, won a Cy Young Award for Baltimore in 1983 and is a member of the franchise’s hall of fame. He has been a pitching coach and a consultant to Angelos but has no front-office experience. Flanagan, 51, has been a broadcaster for the team for the last four seasons.