Look out, league. The Orioles have won 2 in a row, and are coming for your team next. Mothers, lock up your daughters!
Okay, that might be a bit extreme. But when the most exciting thing happening to your team is a fabricated slight against your almost 10 years retired favorite son, followed closely by “Manager Death Watch 2010” (it has been so bad that MELVIN MORA came out and defended Trembley. If that doesn’t make how perilous the situation is clear [looking back on their history], I don’t know what will) it is easy to get lost in the smallest piece of hyperbole.
As far as the Dave Trembley talk goes, I still think he is gone after this season, but I don’t think you can put all that much of this on his shoulders. To wit:
- Brian Roberts injures his back in December, and doesn’t inform the club until a few weeks before spring training.
All of the offseason moves that Andy MacPhail made were made in the mindset of Brian Roberts playing 140+ games. He is one of the top lead off hitters in the game, and is a doubles machine. You always have to plan for the possibility of injuries, but you cannot make your roster around them. In other words, there was always a chance that Roberts would get hit with a line drive and wind up missing significant time, but you can’t make roster decisions while playing out every “what if” scenario, or you will be frozen by fear and never make ANY moves. And if Roberts had been hurt IN spring training or early in the season, you chalk it up to bad luck and go with Plan B (or next man up, if you will). But if one of the cornerstones of your franchise injures himself when there would have been time to make a backup plan, but doesn’t tell you until a couple of weeks before spring training starts, it puts the team in a position that it could have avoided. And it causes the team to make a last minute trade for Julio Lugo. Bad decision making on the part of Roberts hurts the team.
- The bullpen continues to be a sieve.
Again, you can only go into battle with the bullets that the quartermaster puts in your gun. Mike Gonzalez is damaged goods (which I put on the medical staff / training team as much if not more so than I do Trembley or MacPhail). Jim Johnson seemingly cannot get last year’s failures at the end of the season out of his head. Koji Uehara gets injured when he blinks wrong (maybe he is breathing through the wrong eyelid?)
Again, Trembley had absolutely no say in who he was getting. As to if he is using them properly, well, when all you have is a pair of threes it doesn’t really matter when you decide to fold, does it?
- Hitters ain’t hitting
If there is anything that Trembley could be held responsible for it is that he hasn’t petitioned MacPhail to fire Terry Crowley, because as much as I love “The Crow”, and remember fondly his playing days here in Baltimore, he is not getting the job done as a hitting coach. The Orioles are below .200 with runners in scoring position, and if memory serves they were recently 1 for 15 or 1 for 20 with runners in scoring position and 2 outs. No team can win with those kinds of stats. And again, Trembley can only play the cards he was dealt. I hear calls for Trembley to be fired. Hell, I even hear people saying that MacPhail needs to go. Where is the ire for Crowley. The team is not hitting. HE is the hitting INSTRUCTOR. Seems pretty straightforward to me.
I have mentioned on more than one occasion how brutal the schedule was/is for the first month of the season. It should get a good bit more manageable in May (I don’t think a team that is 4-16 after 20 games can call any games winnable, but the odds on victory have to improve at least a bit). Also, by that time Gonzalez should be back, and Uehara should have been on the roster for a few weeks before hurting himself again. At this point I don’t know if we will see Roberts again this year. I am beginning to think that if we do, it won’t be until after the All Star break.
So what does all of this add up to?
If this team is not AT LEAST 5 games better in regards to W-L record by June 1st, then I think Trembley is gone as of the All Star Game. It might need to be closer to 10 games closer to .500 in order to save him. If they are a little more respectable, he lasts the season.
And THEN he gets fired.
About the Author
Written by Ron Burr
Ron is a lifelong resident of Maryland and has been a passionate player and fan of sports for as long as he can remember. When he is not watching the games or explaining to his lovely wife why he is cursing at the television, he runs an improv/sketch comedy troupe, Drop Three. He can't hit a curveball or run a sub 4.5 40 yard dash, but he knows the games and loves talking about it with anyone. Differing opinions are welcome and encouraged!