When a team is 13-27, the first person everyone wants to blame is the manager. Some people may argue that the manager isn’t on the field and he shouldn’t be blamed for the inability of the players to perform. I say the reason why teams are as bad as the Orioles are this season is because of both the manager and the players. But I do think that if the O’s had a more capable manager they would have a better record than 13-27.
I understand that when the O’s are winning, which hasn’t quite been the theme lately; nobody says anything about Trembley’s decision-making. Well, the O’s aren’t winning so every bad decision he makes is going to be scrutinized. This is how it should be when you get to the major league level. As a big-league manager, you need to be able to make crucial decisions, sometimes several, over the course of a game. It seems like most of the time Trembley makes the wrong decision in these situations.
One of the more popular mistakes, at least in blog land, was the decision to pull Koji in the eighth inning in Saturday’s game against the Indians after he got out a jam he didn’t create. Instead of letting Koji start the ninth, Trembley put Alfredo Simon in and he blew it. Simon was five-for-five in save opportunities, but at that point in the game you have to let Koji start the ninth and see what happens. No matter what anyone says, Simon is NOT a proven closer and Trembley didn’t HAVE to put him in. We aren’t talking about a Mariano Rivera or Jonathan Paplebon here. We are talking about a guy who throws hard and lucked out a couple games in a row.
Anyway, back to the point. I said before that the blame for the O’s dismal start to the season should be placed on both the players and the manager. While this is true, it all starts with the manager. Let’s face it, the O’s aren’t starving for talent so there shouldn’t be any reason why they only have 13 wins 40 games into the season. So the missing piece in the equation is a manager who can mend all this young talent and form a team that can make a run toward the postseason.
I don’t want to hear all this stuff about it not being Trembley’s fault. If you look at almost any team that has won a championship in their respective sport, they all have at least one thing in common – discipline. Discipline starts with coaching and it ends with championships. It’s not a big surprise. The Rays are a perfect example. They were at the bottom of the league every year for the first decade of their existence. Meanwhile, they were piling up top draft picks, much like the O’s are doing now. So, they had all these talented young players but needed a leader, or manager, to point them in direction and get the most out of each and every one of his players – enter Joe Maddon. It took him a couple years to mold the individual players into the team he wanted, but after 10 straight losing seasons Maddon led the Rays to a 31-game improvement from 2007 and a World Series appearance in 2008. This was no fluke as the Rays are still one of the best all-around teams in the major leagues. This remarkable turnaround is the result of good managing and good decision-making.
The O’s front office needs to take a page out of the Rays’ book and hire a manager is capable of doing the same. I know it’s not the easiest thing to just pick a guy who can turn a team around in a couple years. But maybe the front office should use this season to do some research and bring a manager in here next season that is not just a replacement, but a guy they truly believe can get the job done. They need to actually put some thought into who the next manager is going to be. They shouldn’t just fire Trembley in the middle of the season and hire an interim manager from within the organization because that hasn’t seemed to work in the past. Let’s bring a guy in who can do what the past few managers haven’t been able to do in Baltimore, win.
Submitted by Steve Giles