- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 15, 2003

The Baltimore Orioles took their first step toward rebuilding a downtrodden farm system yesterday when they named Darrell "Doc" Rodgers director of minor league operations.
Rodgers, 40, signed a two-year contract. He had served as an assistant to the general manager for the Cincinnati Reds, overseeing player development and scouting, for the past five seasons.
"His combination of experience, personality, energy and passion for teaching baseball" were among Rodgers' distinguishing qualities, Orioles executive vice president Jim Beattie said. "His experience was outstanding."
The Orioles are looking to overhaul a farm system that has become among the worst in baseball. Last season, the Orioles' top three minor league teams (Class AAA Rochester, Class AA Bowie and Class A Frederick) combined to finish 109 games under .500, and Rochester had the worst record in Class AAA for the second consecutive year. Baltimore's previous farm director, Don Buford, was removed from his post last month and reassigned after nearly two years on the job.
Beattie wants to create a more cohesive relationship between the departments of scouting and player development, and Rodgers has worked in both areas with the Reds. Rodgers pitched in the minors with the San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds in the late 1980s, served as a pitching coach in the Reds' organization in the early 1990s and has been on scouting and selection committees for USA Baseball.
The issue Rodgers and the Orioles must address now is staffing throughout the minors. Beattie, Rodgers and scouting director Tony DeMacio will form the core of the group that will decide a number of positions, such as manager and coach positions for all levels, including the Orioles' new Class AAA affiliate, Ottawa. Beattie said he hoped to make decisions on some of the positions by the end of the week.


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