Orioles created the problem with Dempsey, now they need to fix it

August 04, 2010 | Drew Forrester

Somehow, even though the Orioles have hired a manager — and a qualified one at that — Rick Dempsey can’t seem to let it go.

On the night Buck Showalter made his debut, Dempsey once again — he’s beefed about the manager-deal more times than the Orioles have won games this year — took an opportunity to usurp the real story and complain about how he was overlooked during the recent managerial search.

We know, Rick.  We know.

“I’m very, very disappointed,” Dempsey said before last night’s win over the Angels.  “I’ll always feel that I know more about the ballclub than anyone else.”

And so it went.  “Blah, blah, blah…I didn’t get the job…blah, blah, blah, I’ve wanted this forever…blah, blah, blah, I bleed orange and black.”

We know all of that Rick.  We’ve heard you say that time and time again.  We know.

Breaking news:  Rick Dempsey was NOT the best candidate for the Orioles managerial job that was just filled.  In fact, the guy who got the job was the best candidate.  That’s why he was hired.

Now, I’ll defend Dempsey for just a second before I call for his dismissal from the MASN broadcast team.

This — “The Dempsey Saga” — is what the Orioles get when they interview someone without any REAL intention of hiring the guy in the first place.  Call it dumb, call it disingenuous, call it avoiding the inevitable (and all of those apply here), but this is what happens when you’re not honest with someone from jump street.

And that’s become an Orioles specialty over the years.  They did it to the fans earlier this year when they launched the asinine “day of game ticket surcharge”, shut down the scalp-free zone, and then tried to say the City of Baltimore actually closed the scalp free zone due to some little known policy they “just discovered”.

Being disingenuous to Dempsey is par for the course.

Rather than string him along, the Orioles should have just said from the start:  “Rick, we’re looking for someone with extensive managerial experience.  We value your relationship with the club and we want you to be involved, but you’re not a candidate for the manager position.”

That was the right thing to do.

Shockingly, the Orioles did the exact opposite.

As expected, Dempsey — and this is HIS fault for bellyaching for two weeks about not getting an interview — wouldn’t let it go, basically forcing the Orioles’ hand and arm-twisting them into granting him an interview.

This also goes back to another theme  I wrote about a month or so ago:  Andy MacPhail had ZERO interest in hiring Dempsey — and ZERO interest in interviewing him, for that matter — but the big boss stepped in and said, “Let’s go ahead and sit down with Rick to hear what he has to say…it’s only fair.”

What Rick “had to say” was the same thing he always says.  “I love the team.  I know the players.  I want this organization to win.  I hate watching this downward spiral.  I want to manage the team. ”

Memo to the Orioles:  I feel the same way, but I didn’t ask for an interview.  I love the team.  I’ve watched the games too.  I know the players –  (Markakis is good.  Jones COULD be good if he tried harder.  Pie’s a liability.  Bell can’t hit major league pitching.  Roberts is good if he’s healthy.  Luke Scott’s been surprisingly OK at first base.  Wieters looks more comfortable at the plate over the last 3 weeks after his swing change.  Matusz needs a better fast ball.  Simon’s not a closer). I’m tired of the downward spiral.  I’d like to manage the team.

In other words…WANTING the team to win isn’t reason enough to get the managerial job or maybe Drew would be considered.

Buck Showalter was the right guy to hire and that’s that.

And the last thing the organization needs now — on the verge of perhaps a record-setting season for losses — is for a team broadcaster to be fanning the flames because he was by-passed for the fourth time.

If I’m the Orioles, I bring Dempsey in today for the proverbial “Come to Jesus meeting” and lay down the law one final time:  “Rick, the next time you mention not getting the job, you’re fired.  Is that clear?  Mention your disappointment again, and how you feel wronged, and you’re done.  Thanks.”

It’s a shame that Dempsey’s employment with the Orioles has to be tarnished by this charade, but you’re dealing with a proud man and an organization that just can’t do the right thing.

The right thing from the beginning would have been for the Orioles to tell Rick the truth:  “We don’t want you to manage the team.”

When they didn’t, that gave Dempsey the opportunity he wanted — to campaign for the job.

And when they teased him with an interview, Rick once again thought there was a chance he’d get the gig.

It was never going to happen.

They should have just told Dempsey that from the beginning.

Instead, they’ve created a distraction that Buck Showalter doesn’t deserve.

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