Like it or not, Trembley could get fired Monday

Orioles manager might have seen his last game with team

May 23, 2010|By Kevin Cowherd

WASHINGTON — — Let's start with this: I've never seen Dave Trembley more frustrated than he was Sunday after the Orioles' 4-3 loss in 10 innings to the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park.

He looked as beaten as I've ever seen him, too.

Now you wonder whether the Orioles manager gets to keep his job. Oh, yes, the death watch is on for Trembley as the Orioles keep struggling and finding new ways to beat themselves.

Or maybe it's more of a perceived death watch because president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail keeps saying his main concern is upgrading personnel and making the team better rather than focusing on the manager.

But with a day off Monday before the Oakland Athletics come to Camden Yards for a three-game series, it's a logical time for MacPhail to evaluate everyone involved with the club.

It's also a logical time for MacPhail to get together with owner Peter Angelos to discuss his evaluation.

And you know what often happens when the owner and GM of a last-place ballclub sit down to figure out what's wrong.

Which is why there are whispers that Trembley could be fired as early as Monday.

And don't think Trembley, a class act, doesn't know he's on the hot seat.

Sure, he doesn't like to talk about it. What manager on the hot seat does?

It's not something you want to think about when you're losing and your players keep making mental mistakes (see Corey Patterson on the base paths Sunday) and dropping like flies (see Alfredo Simon and his strained hamstring, same game).

But Trembley's no fool, either.

He knows he's managing a team with the worst record in baseball, a team that's 14-31 and 18 1/2 games out of first place.

He knows he's managing a team that got off to a 2-16 start, a start that turned off God knows how many Orioles fans who thought this might be the season their team started turning things around.

(I took to calling the fan base Orioles Nation after all the excitement this team generated in spring training. But now it feels more like Orioles Village. We might be down to Orioles Closet by the time this season's over.)

So here we go again with this team, wondering whether yet another manager gets the ax.

Remember, Angelos tends to go through managers like he goes through Kleenex. Since he took over the team in August of 1993, there have been seven of them.

Let's go over the list just for old time's sake: Johnny Oates, Phil Regan, Davey Johnson, Ray Miller, Mike Hargrove, Lee Mazzilli and Sam Perlozzo.

If Trembley gets the hook, he'd be ex-manager No. 8 under Angelos.

And the way this team is playing, getting fired might come as sweet relief for the guy.

Look, I wrote in September that after their disastrous second-half collapse, the Orioles needed to start this season fresh with a new manager and a new direction for their young players.

But MacPhail brought Trembley back and said the manager -- along with everyone else on the team -- would be judged on wins and losses this season.

Well, guess what?

The wins and losses aren't working out so well.

Which is why another Orioles manager might spend Monday wondering whether he'll get a phone call telling him not to show up at the ballpark Tuesday.

Me, I'm not sure if it makes any sense to change managers right now.

This team isn't going anywhere this season. And how can you blame Trembley for Brian Roberts and Michael Gonzalez and Felix Pie and Koji Uehara landing on the disabled list?

How can you blame Trembley for the lack of clutch hitting that has killed this team all season?

How can you blame him for the bullpen blowing up time after time?

You ask me, the problems on this team run so deep you could bring Tony La Russa or Joe Torre in to manage and he would be running around with his hair on fire.

Trembley has done as good a job as anyone could keeping this team together when it looked like it could implode.

But we all know how the game works.

You can't fire the 25 guys on the team, so you fire the manager.

And when a team is playing this badly, sometimes you make a move just to make a move.

Sometimes you make a move just to shake things up.

We'll see whether the Orioles do that today.

Listen to Kevin Cowherd on Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with Jerry Coleman on Fox 1370 AM Sports.

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