Why would anyone want to be O's manager?

New O's manager will have his work cut out for him

June 16, 2010|By Kevin Cowherd

Now that the Orioles have launched an intensive search for their new manager, let me address those brave individuals out there who might actually be interested in the job.

For weeks, I've been trying to come up with a reason anyone in his right mind would want to manage this team. I thought about it and thought about it.

And then it hit me: crab cakes.

Sure, if you take this job, your team will probably get pounded night after night for the foreseeable future.

And those nights will leave you knocking back fistfuls of Tylenol to ease the throbbing in your forehead and swilling Maalox to calm the burning in your gut.

But when your stomach's up to it, Baltimore has the best crab cakes you'll ever eat.

Tasty, fluffy, all jumbo lump, no filler. Oh, you'll absolutely love them.

OK, here's another reason someone might want this managing job: the fans.

After 29 years of living here, I can tell you that Orioles fans are some of the best in baseball.

They're passionate. They're knowledgeable. They don't spend the whole game yakking on their cell phones and waving to the TV cameras.

The problem is, there are only about 27 of them left.

You won't have any trouble recognizing them, either. They all look like they've done three tours of duty in Afghanistan.

You've heard of the thousand-yard stare of combat veterans? Orioles fans have that one down pat. You could launch a Saturn 5 rocket in front of them and they wouldn't blink.

This is what happens when your team racks up 12 straight losing seasons and is a cinch for No. 13 this year.

It's what happens when the club tells you year after year that things will get better soon, and they only get worse.

Now let's talk about what kind of manager the Orioles are looking for.

From all indications, they're looking for a strong leader who's also dedicated, patient, principled, a good communicator and an excellent motivator.

Think St. Francis of Assisi in an orange and black uniform.

Oh, and Andy MacPhail, president of baseball operations, also wants someone with managerial experience and postseason success.

So, if you have all these qualities and this sort of experience, why not drop off your resume at the Warehouse? There's still plenty of time to get an interview.

Yes, MacPhail has already sat down with former managers Bobby Valentine and Eric Wedge. But he seems in no hurry to replace interim manager Juan Samuel, who replaced former manager Dave Trembley, who is now sitting on a beach in Florida with a pina colada, happily toasting everyone who walks by.

Valentine, it must be said, was not exactly Mr. Sunshine talking about the Orioles job.

He told a New York radio station that he sat down with Orioles owner Peter Angelos and MacPhail "and they have a whole lot of problems and they seem like they're really putting their heads together to try to solve them somehow, some way, but I'm not sure how."

Ouch.

The chatty Valentine also said of managing the Orioles: "It's a big challenge. I like big challenges, but I like to have some reward, too. And the reward is in the standings, and the standings don't look like they're going to turn around anytime soon."

So that tearing sound you just heard might be MacPhail running Valentine's resume through the shredder.

As for Wedge, he hasn't gone public with his thoughts about the Orioles or about how his interview went, which is probably a smart move.

Maybe MacPhail made him take an oath of omerta, like in the mob, after Valentine started singing to that radio station.

In any event, if you're still interested in managing the Orioles, the good thing is that if you're any kind of an impressive candidate, they'll probably overpay you to take the job.

Let's face it, Baltimore is not exactly the garden spot of baseball right now.

Players are not exactly breaking down the doors to sign here. And managers don't lust to come here, either. Not with a last-place team and a front office that seems powerless to overcome the negativity that has shadowed this team for 13 straight seasons.

So good luck to all of you managerial candidates. We wish you the best of luck.

And remember: world-class crab cakes in this town.

But don't forget to pack the Tylenol and Maalox.

If you get the job, you'll definitely need them.

kevin.cowherd@baltsun.com

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

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