Posts Tagged 'Dave Trembley'

Loving the Orioles Right Now

Have you been watching the Birds lately?? I know it can be hard to do so with football season now in full swing, but I encourage you to follow this team to the finish line. They are REALLY fun to watch. And they are beating the big dogs of their own division.

The O’s have been playing some outstanding baseball since new manager Buck Showalter arrived. The way they have been able to flat-out win in this final third of the season has been nothing short of remarkable. So with the help of the Orioles sections of baltimoresun.com, baseball-reference.com, and espn.com, I did a little bit of research…and the numbers are amazing.

They had a great August, going 17-11. Only one A.L. club, the Twins had a better record than the O’s. And at 12-7 this month, they are well on their way to producing the club’s first winning September since 1999 when they went 20-8.

Not surprisingly, the have gone hand in hand with a drastic change in the performance of the pitchers. During each of the first four months, Baltimore never ranked higher than 12th out of 14 A.L. teams in team ERA. In August they ranked 3rd, and this month they rank 5th

Here a few more notes to think about:

The Orioles have won 12 of their past 16 games. 10 of those 16 games were against either the Yankees, Red Sox, or Rays (all have appeared in the last three World Series’)

-They are 32-31 since the All-Star Break.

-Since Showalter took over, they are 29-17 overall and 13-7 on the road. (Road record under Trembley and Samuel? 14-40!!).

-And If the O’s can get a victory tonight, it would be their first three-game sweep of the Sox in Boston in 16 years.

Time For Trembley To Go

Ok let me preface this little rant by saying that I rarely call for a coach to be fired. To me it just doesn’t make much sense. I usually defend the coaches of my local teams tooth and nail. I can’t explain it, maybe it’s because I would want the same from my fan-base if I were in the position of leading a team.

A few local examples have been former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick and current University of Maryland men’s basketball coach Gary Williams.

I defended Billick because I liked his attitude and because he brought the city of Baltimore a championship. Many did not like his attitude, he rubbed people the wrong way. People didn’t like that he was an “offensive guru” and couldn’t improve the offense of a team built on defense. But he was unique. He always defended his players even if it meant offending the media. He didn’t care what others outside the team thought, he just wanted to win. I admired that about him.

And I defend Gary Williams, every season it seems like, because a monitory of Terp “fans” are clueless and want him out. I defend Mr. Williams because he is Maryland basketball (with all due respect to the likes of Lefty Driesell and the late Len Bias). He took over a program that was having a hard time recovering from the whole Bias incident, and went on to win a national title in 2002. He has always done more with less talent compared to the Duke’s and the UNC’s. Just like Billick was, Gary is a players coach. Gary is a hard worker, a grinder. You always hear about how hard his guys play for him. They do it because they know he has their back and he believes in them.

I really could go all day talking about how great Gary is and how moronic it is to ask for him to be fired, but I’ll save that for another day. This post is about Orioles manager Dave Trembley.

For a while I’ve always taken his Trembley’s side, given him the benefit of the doubt. After all, he is managing the Orioles.

Last year the Orioles had more than their fair share of base-running miscues. My dad, whom I always vent my Oriole frustrations to, blamed it on Trembley. He said there are some things you cannot control: things like whether the guys are hitting well, or whether pitchers are throwing strikes. But mental lapses on the base paths? He put that one on Trembley and said he should be gone. I wasn’t as ready to cut him loose.

NOW I AM.

As of this morning the Orioles are 2-14. A civic embarrassment. They have lost every series they have played so far in this young season, including three sweeps. They have the worst record in the major leagues. It really is unbelievable.

The final straw for me was Tuesday evening. In the second inning Julio Lugo grounded to short and jogged is way down the first base line and was out easily (See my piece on Derek Jeter). That isn’t Dave Trembley’s fault. It was Lugo’s decision to do that. However I was waiting for Dave to chew him out on the bench or even take him out of the lineup, because that is not how you play that game. That is NOT the Oriole Way. Instead we got nothing…absolutely nothing. Trembley sat there, stone faced, and the game went on. Oh and the team lost…AGAIN!

Hold all the closed-door meetings you want, Dave. But I need to see that you care. The fans want a manager who has pride. I need to know that during a game it bothers you that one of your guys isn’t giving 100%. Cause you know what? It’s a reflection of YOU when that’s happening. I’m not a major leaguer. But if I was and I knew my manager was going to humiliate me and remove me from the game like it’s freaking little league, maybe I’d give 100%. As if being paid $9.25 million (Lugo’s 2010 salary) isn’t enough of an incentive to give it your all.

Yesterday when asked about the fans calling for Dave’s head, right fielder Nick Markakis said, “I don’t think you can blame Trembley, we’re the ones out there pitching and hitting. I think he’s done a good job overall. There’s only so much a manager can do. The rest of it is up to the players. If you’re going to point fingers, you can put it on my shoulders. I’m not swinging the bat the way I’d like to.”

God bless Nick, he’s my favorite Oriole, but what else can he say. It’s not like he’s gonna blame his boss. I feel bad for him because he has to answer these questions in the first place. All the guy wants to do is play ball.

Why was Mr. Trembley brought back for 2010? And why do I have a feeling it is going to take a while before his time as the O’s skipper is up? Earlier this week WNST’s Nestor Aparicio made an interesting point that I keep thinking about. He noted that president of Orioles baseball operations Andy MacPhail is most likely in no hurry to can Trembley because as soon as the manager is fired, blame for the losing will turn to him. Because whoever the next guy is, will be MacPhail’s guy. That could be stretch, but it makes sense to me and very well could be true.

So we shall wait and see. I’m horrible at predictions, but I’m going to say his days are numbered. I’d be shocked if he was still in charge by the All-Star break.

There you have it. I’m now on the ever-growing “Fire Trembley” bandwagon. And you know what? I’m happy I am.

The Freefall Continues, Athletics 4 – Orioles 3

Oakland's Ryan Sweeney is mobbed by teammates after his game-winning hit against Baltimore on Saturday afternoon



Associated Press – Ryan Sweeney hit a game-ending two-run single with one out in the ninth inning, giving the Oakland Athletics a 4-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

Adam Rosales singled leading off the ninth and advanced to second on a sacrifice. Rajai Davis struck out but reached base on a wild pitch before the Orioles opted to intentionally walk Daric Barton and load the bases. Sweeney, who earlier extended his major league-leading hitting streak to 12 games, singled to right to drive in pinch-runner Eric Patterson — he took over for Rosales at second base — and Davis, who easily scored ahead of the throw from Baltimore right fielder Nick Markakis.

Jerry Blevins (2-0) pitched an inning for the win. Oakland has won nine straight home games against Baltimore. The A’s are 9-4, their best start after 13 games since 1992. They also moved five games over .500 for the first time since July 19, 2008.

The Orioles fell to 1-11, their worst start since opening the 1988 season with 21 consecutive losses, and lost third baseman Miguel Tejada to a possible leg injury in the sixth inning.

The Orioles scored a pair of unearned runs off Oakland starter Justin Duchscherer in the sixth inning then took a 3-2 lead on Ty Wigginton’s sacrifice fly in the eighth.

So I was following the conclusion of this game online with MLB Gametracker since there was no telecast. And staring at the screen, watching the little animated baseball diamond fill up with Oakland baserunners in the bottom of the ninth, I just had the feeling that the result wasn’t going to be good. And your boy was right haha!

Really, I mean at this point in the O’s losing streak, which is now nine, you begin to expect things to go wrong. Having a lead in the ninth inning seemed to good to be true…and it was! Jim Johnson had two wild pitches in the inning, and sure enough his lack of control ended up blowing the game.

Listen, they are doing things well, let’s not forget that. Those good things by no means make up for losing. But it is so frustrating to see yet another solid pitching performance go to waste.

Jeremy Guthrie gave up two runs and only walked one in 6.2 innings pitched. I’ll take that kind of line any day of the week from this starting unit. Although I would have liked some more runs from the offense, the fact is they scored three and Guthrie gave up two. In relief, Will Ohman, Matt Albers, Mark Hendrickson, and Cla Merdith were solid in giving up none! Johnson couldn’t finish the job and the end result is another W when in fact this is a game that Baltimore should have won.

I can only imagine how difficult it must be for Dave Trembley and his players to have to explain all of these defeats before and after every game. It’s tough watching these performances, it must be a nightmare to be living them.

Weekend Recap

Loved the final round of the Masters yesterday. Great golf, great drama. Personally I was cheering for Tiger. He’s my favorite and I thought it would be cool for him to go out there and win it all after going through a tumultuous winter of shame and disgrace. I know there were quite a bit of folks who just couldn’t bring themselves to cheer for the man, but you got to respect his game. CBS’ Peter Kostis made a great comment during yesterday’s telecast: “Say what you will about Tiger the person or Tiger the brand. Tiger the golfer is still exciting.” It looks as if viewers agree. Preliminary Nielsen  estimates indicated CBS’ rating for Saturday’s third round was 33 percent higher than 2009’s third round coverage.

And although it was who Tiger drew the ratings, it was Phil Mickelson who finished atop the leaderboard to earn his third green jacket in seven years. Mickelson has always been “the peoples champ” and it was so enjoyable to see him win the tournament given the circumstances surrounding his wife Amy, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last summer. He played tremendous golf, shooting 67’s on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Sunday’s final round was also bogey-free for Mickelson, what a great way to finish.

Now on to a topic slightly less heartwarming. The state of the 2010 Orioles after 6 games.  They own a record of 1-5, their worst start since 2002. Like I always do because I’m a homer, I’m going to look at this situation with the glass half-full.

The starters have for the most part done their job, through six games they rank 13th in the league with a 3.89 ERA. I know it’s early to be referencing stats but they really do not lie and the starters have held up their end of the bargain, plain and simple.

The run support was one run short in the first four losses. But on Saturday and Sunday scoring zero and two runs respectively is just not enough. Garrett Atkins is hitting .350 and Matt Wieters .409, however they bat towards the bottom of the order. No one else on the roster owns an average higher than .300.

Mike Gonzalez has now blown two saves and people are calling for his head. I was fine with the first one on opening night in St. Petersburg, and pretty frustrated when he did it again in the home opener on Friday. I’ve given him the benefit of the doubt but now my leash is short with him. He better rattle off a few solid scoreless innings before his next blown save. If he can’t, its time for Dave Trembley to make some changes at closer.

So it’s a new week of what is still a very young season and grabbing two out of three or dare I even say sweeping  this upcoming series against Tampa Bay is critical for the team’s confidence. After these three upcoming home games they hit the road for a seven game trip on the west coast against Oakland and Seattle. Then they have to face the Yankees and Red Sox for twelve consecutive games! The Birds went a combined 7-29 in ’09 against the two powers of the A.L. East.

And a very interesting and unexpected move in the NFL last night. The Steelers have traded wide receiver and Super Bowl 43 MVP Santonio Homes to the Jets for a fifth round pick in this month’s draft. Holmes will be suspended for the team’s first four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Well this is good news if you are a Ravens fan. Holmes has always been a dangerous weapon at receiver and has made big plays against Baltimore several times in his career, most notably in the 2008 AFC Championship Game when he scored on a 65 yard catch and run.


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