In deep thought the other day, my usual abnormally high level of concentration was destroyed by the cackles of an Orioles fan on g-chat.
“I saw Joe Jordan is your new director of player development,” he sneered with all the boldness he certainly would have done so in real life. “That’s worse news than Howard’s Achilles.”
I didn’t have to know if he had a point, but sadly, there is no small “X” on the future of the Phillies’ farm system that I can click to get rid of the whole mess. His taunts stayed with me, as taunts always do, but instead of sealing myself in my bedroom and sharpening a machete for three or four days, I thought perhaps some research was in order.
Because as often as I say things here, I very rarely know a ton about them. And Joe Jordan is a very normal-sounding name. Is he a very normal director of player development? Let’s ask the most exhaustive source of information we can find.
So clearly Joe’s made a name for himself.
If we can’t get an answer from Wikipedia, why not ask the Orioles of the Last Seven Years (the ones in which Joe was employed by them)?
“If Joe Jordan left here tomorrow, would you still remember him? Lord knows, he can’t change.”
“He can’t change…”
My god. What does that mean? He has some horrible problem, doesn’t he? No one say “Yeah–it was the Orioles.” This is serious.
The guy is at the controls of the development of our younglings; our future. When these age 30+ mainstays have shifted into the twilight and post-twilights of their careers, we will be left with a clutch of eggs. The man tasked with not breaking them, or picking the wrong ones in the first place, seems to be cursed with an as yet unnamed affliction.
“I was given plenty to be successful.”
“Successful” is not the word one would use to describe the Orioles from 2004-2011. Now, come on, you can’t blame the performance of the team on the head of scouting. But such sustained failure does indicate Joe’s gambles, and even his recommendations and sure fires, were… wrong. At least somewhat. Guys get injured, guys freak out, guys don’t work and play well with others–all losses that resonate even louder in the shadows of the AL East.
But for it to happen so many times in a row… just feels less than promising. Especially with the farm system he’s inheriting not being starving, but certainly in need, of a boost.
None of that, however, answers my initial question of “Wait; who in the fuck is Joe Jordan?”
By the time he was hired by the Orioles in 2004, Joe’s baseball playing career had been long over. A 1985 draftee of the Giants, he spent a year being slightly more useful than no one with their Class A affiliate in Everett. Then he was injured and gave up forever.
Seven years later, he was “Joe Jordan, Some Financial Investments Guy from Oklahoma” when he was hired by the Expos as a scout. Seven years after that, he was brought onboard a sputtering Orioles machine where he did this:
“Here are Jordan’s first-round Orioles’ picks:
2005 – Brandon Snyder, 13th overall
2006 – Billy Rowell, ninth overall
2007 – Matt Wieters fifth overall
2008 – Brian Matusz, fourth overall
2009 – Matt Hobgood, fifth overall
2010 – Manny Machado, third overall
2011 – Dylan Bundy, fourth overall”
–Steve Melewski, Baltimore Sun
Wieters is great. I’ve heard great things about Machado, and Matusz keeps almost being this great guy if it weren’t for the limits of human injuries.
No one can predict the future, and who knows what Joe will do with a fresh batch of athletes in a far more recently successful franchise.
No one can predict the future. I know said it already. I’m saying it again. No matter what we’re going to get out of Joe, you can rest assured that we will get it in increments of seven years.