Friday, June 4, 2010

Trembley fired, Samuel made manager

Dave Trembley is OUTTA HERE!!!

Well, it's about time the Orioles did something.

After their dreadful start to the season -- the second worst in franchise history -- the Orioles finally made a drastic move in response to the lost season and fired manager Dave Trembley.

I'd been calling for a drastic move since the 2-16 start to the season, and it included firing Trembley, among others. But now that it's happened, I have mixed feelings about the whole thing.

First off, Trembley is a good guy, and I appreciated his honesty and bluntness in interviews. It was refreshing to hear an Orioles manager openly speak his mind, even when things were at their worst. But at the same time, it was painful to watch him continue to manage the club. He looked beaten at times in the dugout and when he argued with umpires he didn't even have the energy to get thrown out of the game and rally his players.

I am not happy that Trembley has been fired but I am glad that the Orioles finally made a change to address the horrible season. They just couldn't avoid it any longer.

But firing only Trembley is not going to change a damn thing. I think Terry Crowley, the hitting coach, should also be given his release. Crowley has been the hitting coach for the Orioles since 1999, and over that time, the Orioles have been at the bottom of the league in hitting. I don't blame Crowley for the poor offense -- just look at the rosters he's had to work with over that time -- but, like Trembley, I just don't see how the Orioles can allow someone to continue holding down a position when they are getting zero results.

Young potential stars like Adam Jones and Matt Wieters have looked awful at the plate in 2010 and I do hold Crowley responsible for their regression. These were both great hitting prospects in the minors and since Crowley got a hold of them, they have drastically regressed. The same can be said of Nolan Reimold.

It's time for a new perspective when it comes to hitting. We can't allow Jones and Wieters to falter any longer. Crowley must go too. But it looks like he is still safe.

Moving on, third base coach Juan Samuel takes over for Trembley as the O's manager. And while I wish Samuel the best of luck, excuse me if I am not exactly thrilled by the news. For one, the Orioles desperately need a manager from outside the organization. Maybe Andy MacPhail couldn't get the guy he wanted mid-season, and that is fine, but I expect -- and demand -- a full house-cleaning this offseason. It's time to fill out the coaching staff with guys who have no experience in the Orioles system. It's time for a new perspective in pretty much every aspect of this organization.

As for Samuel, he looks like he could be a firey manager -- and a welcome change from the docile managers of the past: Trembley, Sam Perlozzo, Lee Mazzilli and Mike Hargrove. Samuel has been openly critical of the team in the past and it will be refreshing to have a manager who won't take sloppy play from his team without saying something about it.

And the most important thing: Samuel was a player in the major leagues. While I have always thought that mention of Trembley having never played professional baseball was an unfair slight against him, I do believe that Samuel's established career will garner respect from the players. So at least there's that.

But, in the end, it's the same old story. The Orioles made a change because they had to, and failed to do enough to make an impact to what has been a disaster of a season. There are still some people in the organization and on the roster who have no business being here.

Until that happens, color me unimpressed.

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