Doomed at the start
A four game road sweep teases
Fans hit season low
The Juan Samuel Era began on June 4, 2010 with the Orioles owning an MLB worst record of 15-39. Samuel was promoted from 3rd base coach to ineterim manager replacing much maligned Dave Trembley. Samuel was doomed from the start as the Orioles’ front office began a managerial search that did not even consider the likes of Rick Dempsey, much less Samuel himself. And just in case any fans were unsure if he would be successful, the Orioles promptly lost 11-0 in Juan’s first game with the help of an epic Chris Tillman meltdown (~60 pitches to garner 4 Red Sox outs).
The downward spiral continued as the Orioles lost 13 of Samuel’s next 17 games falling to a horrific 19-57 on June 23, 2010. Some will argue that at this point the Orioles faithful hit an all season low. I was not a rock bottom yet. Samuel’s fortune changed over the next three weeks as the Orioles entered the All Star break on a 10-8 run, highlighted by a four game sweep of the Texas Rangers in Arlington. Aren’t arbitrary end points great! The series in Arlington marked the first time the Orioles had completed a four game road sweep since 1995. Fans hopes were buoyed. Spirits were lifted with a break from watching Orioles games. Ty Wigginton was an All-Star. Anything was possible.
The good times would not last though. The O’s lost 13 of their next 16 to close out July and fell to 32-78. I hit rock bottom. I even turned on Koji’s sideburns. August arrived with one final Samuel loss and Showalter fever boiled over. Buck took the reigns on August 2nd and the season dramatically changed. Pro-rating Samuel’s 51 game record of 17-34 to 320 games would qualify him as the 3rd worst manager of all time. For comparison, Trembley’s record of is 187-283 is 13th worst ever. But it wasn’t all bad for Juan. I challenge any BSR reader to find anything less than greatness in these two photos of Wacko Juan. The first captures his high stepping ability while second catches him demonstrating his pass blocking ability on the O’s own Ty Wigginton. Take notes Michael Oher, take notes.