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Friday, June 4, 2010
Orioles finally tire of losses


Jeff Zrebiec on the firing (and hiring) of Dave Trembley:
Trembley, who took over as Orioles manager on an interim basis on June 19, 2007, after Sam Perlozzo was fired, compiled a 187-283 record guiding the club. The .398 winning percentage is second-worst of any manager in Orioles history, better only than Jimmy Dykes (.351 in 1954).

--snip--

Meanwhile, pleased with the way the 2007 Orioles were performing under Trembley, [Orioles president of baseball operations Andy] MacPhail removed the interim label Aug. 22 and rewarded him with a one-year deal, which included a club option for 2009. Later that day, the Orioles were beaten by the Texas Rangers, 30-3, at Camden Yards in Game One of a doubleheader sweep, the start of an 11-28 finish to the season.

On Sept. 5, the Orioles exercised their 2009 option on Trembley's contract and added another club option for 2010. That night, the Orioles were throttled, 11-2, by the visiting Oakland Athletics, who scored eight runs in the eighth inning on just one hit, and benefited from four bases-loaded walks in one of the most embarrassing defeats of the season. That loss spearheaded a 5-17 finish to the 2008 season.

The 2009 Orioles again collapsed down the stretch, losing 13 consecutive games in late September and going just 29-56 in July and later. However, MacPhail announced before the final home weekend of the 2009 season that he would pick up Trembley's option for 2010.

I'm not going to second-guess MacPhail for hiring Trembley.

Well, I will. But mildly. Trembley managed in the minors for a long, long time, which upon his hiring was considered (maybe even by me) a good thing. In retrospect, we might wonder why a manager would spend a long, long time in the minors. Don't most great managers force their way into the majors while still relatively young? I'm thinking about Joe McCarthy and Davey Johnson and Earl Weaver and Tony La Russa and Sparky Anderson and Gene Mauch and John McGraw and Joe Torre and ... well, just about everybody. Not to generalize or anything.

What bothers me more than Trembley's hiring is the apparently haphazard nature of his various rehirings. Was there any good reason to lock him up for 2008 before the end of 2007? Was there any good reason to lock him up for 2009 before the end of 2008? Was there any good reason to lock him up for 2010, at all?

Now it's all spilled milk. But you know that Juan Samuel's going to be pushing real hard for some wins over the next month or two. If he can somehow guide the Orioles to 28-24 record or something, he'll still be making out the lineups in 2012.