Big doings here in Baltimore where Dave Trembley was fired last night and replaced on an interim basis by third base coach Juan Samuel.
Orioles president Andy MacPhail was quite candid about the poor showing of the team to this point but didn't blame Trembley for the team's poor record. Samuel, considered tougher than Trembley was scheduled to have a meeting with the team at 3 p.m. where he would discuss what's expected in terms of effort. MacPhail indicated that he promised Samuel no timetable and that he is interviewing two other candidates for the job, Speculation surrounds Bob Melvin and Eric Wedge, but there are no less than a dozen possibilities.
Some of MacPhail's comments:
"This is never an easy or a pleasant task in making a manegerial change. In my experience it's a negative reflection on your entire baseball operation starting with me, to our scouts, player development. Nobody beleives that the reason we have the record we have is Dave Trembley's fault and making this change is going to solve all the problems and that this will be the magical thing to do.
"Like any poor season it's generally more than one thing. We brought in several new players this offseason to prevent this type of calamity, but we haven't gotten production from a couple of those guys to this point. The second issue is the entire back end of our bullpen is on the disabled list for almost the entire season. Our offense is last in the league in runs scored. We are going to play 72 of 162 games against the best offenses in the game. We can't afford to have the last ranked runs-scored team in the league. We are last among 30 clubs in batting average, slugging percentage and RBIs. It's difficult to run the table on those but we're last in all of those categories.
"Most disapppointing and distressing to me is we've had some of our young players go backward where a year before they were important to us and that certainly hasn't helped things. In my estimation, too many unforced errors, whether it be base-running or where we're throwing the ball.
"What you're hoping when you make a change like this is you're hoping to ignite a spark, a clean slate, get out of that drum beat of what's been going on and just give everybody a fresh start. It's a crazy game. I've spent my entire life in it. You can go back to last year when Colorado was 18-28, changed managers and the next thing you know they're in the postseason. We felt we had to give our team that opportunity."
"I told Juan just as I mentioned to Dave Trembley three years ago, it could be amatter of days, weeks, I don't know whether it's going to be a matter of months or three years. We will be talking to two other people while Juan manages. How it goes will depend on how the team goes, but I'm delighted to have someone who commands the respect that Juan does. My observation is Juan isn't someone who will go lightly on those mistakes we're making."
"Unfortuantely we have to meet under these circumstances, " Samuel said. "We know, as Andy mentioned, the manager can only do so much. At some point the player has to be accountable. Believe me those guys do not want to be playing the way they're playing. There's going to be a lot of trying to get the most out of these guys.":
MacPhail said the only coaching change was elevating Triple-A manager Gary Allenson to third base coach. It was expected, based on the team's poor offensive showing, that another former Sox coach, Terry Crowley, would also be replaced, but so far has kept his position. The Triple-A hitting coach is former Sox hitting coach Richie Hebner, but there's been no mention of him coming up to this point.
MacPhail said he was disatisfied with some of the moves he made to help Trembley and thought he had one possible move the team may make soon to help the cause, but wouldn't elaborate.