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Dan Duquette

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Daniel F. Duquette (born 1958) is a former front-office executive in Major League Baseball and currently serves as director of baseball operations for the new Israel Baseball League. Duquette was the general manager of the Montreal Expos from September 1991 through January 1994 and for the Boston Red Sox from 1994 through February 2002. He was fired from his general manager post in 2002 when John W. Henry bought the team from the JRY Trust, headed by John Harrington.[1]

Dan Duquette oversaw quick turnarounds during his tenure as GM of the Expos and Red Sox, expanding fan interest in both markets. As farm system director of the Expos from 1987 to 1991, Duquette helped build the player development operations.

CareerEdit

A native of Dalton, Massachusetts, Duquette attended Amherst College, where he was a catcher on the varsity baseball team. Duquette got his start in baseball as a scouting assistant with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1981 after a fellow Amherst alumnus, Harry Dalton, the Milwaukee general manager, saw his letter seeking employment in the game. During his seven seasons in Milwaukee, the team drafted future major leaguers Dale Sveum, John Jaha, BJ Surhoff, and Gary Sheffield.

Montreal ExposEdit

In 1988 he became Montreal's director of player development. In his three years in that role, the Expos drafted Marquis Grissom, Cliff Floyd and Rondell White. Duquette replaced Dave Dombrowski as Expos' GM on September 19, 1991. Under Duquette the Expos acquired elite pitcher Pedro Martínez from the Dodgers for second baseman Delino DeShields. After two seasons in Montreal Duquette became the general manager of his hometown Red Sox.

Boston Red SoxEdit

The Red Sox went 656-574 in the 8 seasons under Duquette, setting attendance records and winning the AL East once and finishing 2nd in four other seasons. The Red Sox won the AL East pennant in 1995 before bowing to the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS and made the playoffs as a Wild Card in 1998 and 1999, only to lose to the New York Yankees in the ALCS. Duquette's tenure in Boston was often marked by controversy. His administration was viewed as very intolerant to criticism by the infamous Boston sports media. In an attempt to bypass the attacks in the media, he utilized the Internet to communicate directly with fans. He continually disputed with former Red Sox manager Kevin Kennedy (who was abruptly fired in 1996) about the direction of the team and manager Jimy Williams over the coaching staff and center fielder Carl Everett. Under Duquette, the Red Sox made exceptional strides in improving their dismal history of poor race relations as an organization in the hiring of both coaching and administrative personnel with minority candidates. The Minor League facilities and coaching availability were upgraded at every level during his tenure, and Red Sox favorites such as Nomar Garciaparra and Kevin Youkilis were drafted into the system. Other notable draftees in his Red Sox term were future MLB shortstops David Eckstein, Adam Everett and Hanley Ramirez as well as second baseman Freddy Sanchez. In 1996 Duquette traded pitcher Jamie Moyer for outfielder Darren Bragg. Despite being only 66-77 at the time of that trade, Moyer went on to win 139 games in just over 9 seasons with the Mariners and achieved over 250 wins in his career. Duquette is also famously known for his quote about Roger Clemens in which he said that "we had hoped to keep him in Boston during the twilight of his career" in 1996 after Clemens left as a free agent following a 39-40 record over his last 4 seasons pitching in Boston.[2] Clemens would go on to win the Cy Young award and the pitching Triple Crown in both of the next 2 seasons. The free agency losses of Clemens and first baseman Mo Vaughn were major points of discontent amongst some Red Sox fans with regards to Duquette. At present, Clemens remains under allegations that he used performance enhancing drugs (PED's) beginning in the period immediately following his departure from Boston to Toronto. He has appeared before Congress to deny those allegations in statements that are being currently investigated.

Duquette is also noted for several major acquisitions that would ultimately play a part in the Red Sox 2004 World Championship, including acquiring knuckleballer Tim Wakefield in 1995, Pedro Martínez in 1997 from Montreal, the 1997 trade with Seattle for both pitcher Derek Lowe and All-Star catcher Jason Varitek and the free agent signings of Manny Ramírez in 2000 and Johnny Damon in December, 2001. After being fired in 2002 Duquette started a sports academy for children in Hinsdale, Massachusetts. The academy is described by its website as "a sports training center for boys and girls ages 8–18 who are interested in learning baseball, softball, basketball and life skills from distinguished high school, college and professional coaches."

After BostonEdit

Duquette worked to start the Israel Baseball League after being appointed director of baseball operations, but the league had financial difficulties and folded in 2008 after one season. He had a role in a Western Massachusetts community theatre production of Damn Yankees.[3]

Duquette is also the president and owner of the Pittsfield Dukes, a summer collegiate baseball team in the New England Collegiate Baseball League. He purchased the team, formerly known as the Thread City Tides of Willimantic, Connecticut, after the 2003 season, and moved the team to his Dan Duquette Sports Academy in Hinsdale. After negotiating a deal with the city of Pittsfield, he moved the franchise again in 2005 to historic Nokona Stadium at Wahconah Park. In the fall of 2008, Duquette partnered with Chairman Buddy Lewis and CEO Jerry O'Connor from Nokona and Terry Allvord, founder of the U.S. Military All-Stars "Red, White and Blue Tour" to acquire a new Can-Am independent professional team called the American Defenders of New Hampshire and rename his NECBL team the "Pittsfield American Defenders" featuring top collegiate prospects alongside players currently enrolled at our nations service academies and military institutions.

Duquette's cousin, Jim Duquette, is a former executive of the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Mets. Dan Duquette resides in Acton, Massachusetts. He also owns a summer camp located in Hinsdale, Ma, The Dan Duquette Sports Academy.

HonorsEdit

Duquette was twice honored as the Major League Baseball Executive of the Year, first by The Sporting News in 1992 with the Expos,[4] and later by the Boston Baseball Writers Association in 1995 with the Red Sox.

ReferencesEdit

  1. New Owners of Red Sox Quickly Fire Duquette New York Times Retrieved on 10 December 2007
  2. Silverman, Michael. Baseball END OF AN ERA Boston Herald Retrieved on 14 February 2008
  3. Damn Yankees Berkshires Week Retrieved on 3 December 2007
  4. Sporting News Executive of the Year Baseball Almanac Retrieved on 11 December 2007

External linksEdit

Template:S-sports
Preceded by:
Dave Dombrowski
Montreal Expos General Manager
1991 - 1994
Succeeded by:
Kevin Malone
Preceded by:
Lou Gorman
Boston Red Sox General Manager
1994 - 2002
Succeeded by:
Mike Port (Interim)
Awards
Preceded by:
Andy MacPhail
Sporting News Major League Baseball Executive of the Year
1992
Succeeded by:
Lee Thomas

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