Friday, June 4, 2010

Orioles Fire Trembley; Name Samuel Interim Manager

The Baltimore Orioles have fired manager Dave Trembley.

Frankly, I'm surprised he held on for as long as he did.

The Orioles' 15-39 record is the worst in MLB. They are 21 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East. They got off to a 2-16 start but then went through a three week stretch where they played above .500 ball. However, since May 15th, they have gone 3-15 and are in the midst of an eight game losing streak.

Injuries to key players such as Brian Roberts haven't helped. But players like Nick Markakis and Adam Jones are underachieving and their pitching staff is awful. It isn't all Trembley's fault but the O's have gone as far as they were going to go under him. Trembley took over as Orioles manager in June 2007 after Sam Perlozzo was fired.

Meanwhile, third base coach Juan Samuel has been named interim manager. Samuel played in the big leagues for 16 seasons mostly with the Philadelphia Phillies. He also played with the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Kansas City Royals (twice), Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers and the Toronto Blue Jays.

Samuel was a second baseman who could hit. He was runner up to Dwight Gooden for NL Rookie of the Year in 1984. Early in his career, Samuel could run. In his rookie season he would steal 72 bases. His best season came in 1987 when he hit .272 with 28 home runs and 100 RBI. Like many Dominican players, he did not walk much. He also struck out a lot and led the NL in strikeouts for four consecutive seasons.

When Samuel's hitting declined he became a dependable bench player who could play a variety of positions. With more time on the bench, Samuel developed an interest in coaching. He was a part of the Tigers coaching staff from 1999 to 2005. His only managerial experience came in 2006 when he managed the Binghamton Mets of the Double AA Eastern League. He would join the Orioles organization the following season.

I'd like to see Samuel given a chance to become the O's permanent manager. Maybe he can give them some new energy. With a third of the season behind them if Samuel can manage to get the Orioles not to lose 100 games this season then he certainly deserves a chance to lead them in 2011.

Tonight, the O's host the Boston Red Sox at Camden Yards and I will be watching.

UPDATE: Well, let's just say that Samuel's managerial debut is one he would rather forget. The Red Sox clobbered the O's 11-0. Clay Buchholz tossed a complete game five-hit shutout. The O's have now lost nine in a row.

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