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Duquette: O's 2012 not a success quite yet

Duquette: O's 2012 not a success quite yet

Duquette: O's 2012 not a success quite yet
BOSTON -- Baltimore entered Saturday with a dozen regular-season games remaining and a chance to move into a tie with the American League East-leading New York Yankees. But Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette -- on hand for Friday's night game -- echoed the sentiments of manager Buck Showalter with his hesitation to deem this season a success just yet.

"Some years in baseball, everything seems to work -- and other times, no matter what you do it doesn't work," said Duquette, who has worked with Showalter to tweak the team's roster to the tune of 173 transactions this season. "A lot of things we've done this year have worked out for the team.

"But, we haven't really accomplished anything yet. Yes, we are going to win more than we lose. But we want to win the division -- and if we don't win the division, we certainly want to be in the playoffs."

For Duquette, who was out of baseball for a decade before being hired by Baltimore this winter, getting another chance in the front office has been "personally fulfilling," and he singled out working with Showalter and young players like Adam Jones -- who was signed to an extension earlier this season -- Matt Wieters, and J.J. Hardy as a rewarding experience.

"The challenge with the Orioles was to give the fans some hope, and provide them with a team that they can support," Duquette said. "And this team, the culture of the team, has transformed into a winning culture.

"I'm just glad to be working again -- and I'm really proud of the work that our whole group [has done]. These guys go out and give it their best every night."

Following the Orioles' 9-6 win on Saturday, they have won nine of their last 10 in Boston, including a 7-1 mark at Fenway Park this year. Duquette -- who was dismissed by the Red Sox in 2002 -- has downplayed any extra significance in this weekend's series for him personally. With the two clubs going in different directions, Duquette reiterated on Friday that the organization's sole focus is winning the division, an advantage that affords the team extra days of rest and an opportunity to better set up their postseason pitching.

How have they put themselves in this position?

Operating with a considerably smaller payroll than the Yankees and Red Sox, Baltimore, which has employed one of the best bullpens in baseball, has made good use of the waiver wire under Duquette -- signing Nate McLouth after he was released, Lew Ford out of independent ball and Friday's starter Miguel Gonzalez out of the Mexican Winter League.

"They've all taken full [advantage] of the opportunity," Duquette said of the wealth of comeback stories and lesser-known names contributing big time for the Orioles. "There's a common theme in players we've picked up along the way. They're alert ballplayers, they are hungry ballplayers, they have mental toughness. They are hard-working, and that's the type of culture we are trying to reinforce so that we can have a good team year in and year out. We have a core group of players, and we have recalled these other players that have persistence and mental toughness -- and that makes for a good team."

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