11/04/11 10:00 PM ET
Orioles' search for GM not without obstacles
Former Red Sox GM interviews as candidate list dwindles
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
Baltimore's request to interview Radcliff was reportedly denied by the Twins and Baird -- who was given permission to pursue the opportunity -- chose to remain with the Red Sox, becoming the latest executive to decline a potential chance to turn around a beleaguered Orioles team. A former Kansas City Royals GM, Baird is a big fan of O's manager Buck Showalter, but he chose to remain in Boston despite the Red Sox's shakeup, which included the departure of GM Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona.
"I was honored that the Baltimore Orioles expressed interested in me for their GM position," Baird said. "The opportunity to possibly work side by side with Buck Showalter made this very attractive. At the end of the day it came down to my loyalty to the Red Sox [and GM]m Ben Cherington."With Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava declining the Orioles' offer on Tuesday, Baltimore was forced to go back to the drawing board and bring in more candidates to go along with two from the first round: Dodgers assistant GM DeJon Watson and Baltimore's director of player development, John Stockstill. Neither Watson nor Stockstill appeared likely to get the position, based on the club's decision to open the search back up, and Watson withdrew his name from contention on Wednesday night. The Orioles interviewed former executive, and current Phillies assistant GM Scott Proefrock on Thursday, and they have contacted the New York Yankees in regards to scouting director Damon Oppenheimer. A separate source confirmed that the Yankees have granted permission for Oppenheimer to interview although -- similar to Baird -- there hasn't been anything scheduled and he could opt to remain with New York. The preference within the Orioles organization was to conduct several interviews this weekend and have a decision reached by Monday. But given the difficulty they've had luring candidates, the process of bringing a qualified GM to Baltimore could take much longer. The Orioles are the only team in Major League Baseball without a GM, and baseball's free-agency period is under way, making a speedy -- but not hasty -- hire all the more important.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.