Monday, June 18, 2007


Sam Perlozzo was fired as manager of the Baltimore Orioles today, and in my humble opinion, it was a move that could have been made 2 weeks ago, if not a month ago.

It's been crystal clear that Perlozzo was not the man for the job early on this season by assigning players to roles regardless of the outcome. Simply put, Perlozzo was costing the O's wins with his questionable moves and the players didn't like it.

And after the infamous Mother's Day Massacre in Boston, Sam Perlozzo has been a dead man walking. So in many ways, the Orioles did him a favor by letting him go.

Now don't get me wrong. Sam Perlozzo seems like a great guy. Despite the losing culture that the O's have been mired in during the last 10 years, Perlozzo remained loyal to the team and deserved a shot to manage it.

Sadly, he just wasn't cut out for the job.

Dave Trembley, the interim manager, has a reputation that makes him sound like the anti-Perlozzo. He demands that players show up on time and take practice before each game, something that Perlozzo clearly didn't emphasize.

If Perlozzo let the players run the team, Trembley will at least do his best to make sure this anomaly ends. After all, the players have done nothing to deserve special treatment.

That said, Trembley will probably only be the manager for a few days or weeks at the most as the Orioles have started to negotiate with former Florida Marlins manager Joe Girardi to become the next O's manager. The rumors of the O's trying to court Davey Johnson are still swirling as well.

But where there's smoke, there's fire and right now it looks like the smoke signals indicate that Girardi could be the next permanent Orioles manager, and for good reason.

Girardi, if you remember, took a Marlins team full of prospects who were expected to easily lose 100 games in 2006 and whipped them into a surprisingly competitive team before spats with the owner forced Girardi out.

Sound familiar? We all know what happened with Davey Johnson under Peter Angelos. So one wouldn't be crazy to think that the same could happen with Girardi.

But this is a good thing.

For too long, Angelos has hired "yes men" who will do whatever he says to earn a paycheck.

Girardi will not.

If Angelos does something that pisses Girardi off, Angelos will hear about it. Whether or not that will work remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, the Orioles need someone like Girardi. And hopefully a line of communication will be open between Angelos and Girardi and a professional relationship can form, thus ending the decision-making monopoly that Angelos has wielded over the organization for years.

Even more promising, Girardi won't take shit from anyone, much less players who have acted like prima donnas for years with no excuse. He'll whip them into shape or get fired trying.

So hiring a new manager was a move that needed to be made. Hiring a manager from outside the organization was even better. But going after someone like Girardi speaks volumes, not only for the Orioles but for Angelos' state of mind as well. Maybe after 10 years of losing he's realized that his way isn't working.

That remains to be seen of course, because Angelos still needs to understand that this isn't all that needed to be done. Changing the manager won't change much, if anything, at all. There are still about a million steps that need to be taken to change this losing culture to a winning culture.

And wile the Oriole Way may never come back to exist the way it did in the 60's and 70's, hiring Girardi is a baby step in that direction.


Anonymous said...

Harsh, but fair.

Anonymous said...

you smell