Tough call on Mora — but it’s time to move (him) on…

August 02, 2009 | Drew Forrester

It was bad enough that Melvin Mora launched into a pre-game tirade when manager Dave Trembley didn’t start him for the 3rd time in 4 games. 

Mora’s a proud man and he’s been here for the duration of this decade of failure — I’m not sure what the counts for, but it should get him a merit badge of some sort.

By day’s end, MelMo produced and released “Lash Out 2″, the sequel, once again barking and bellowing about not getting any respect from Trembley and making it sound awfully personal when talking about “playing for him” and going after the manager in both style and substance.  

That word – “respect” – is especially important to Mora, as he has always been underappreciated in Baltimore.  He hasn’t played an important game this decade – not one, mind you – and has watched the club’s annual off-season expenditures rival something you’d buy at The Dollar Store.  True, he’s made a helluva living…but fair’s fair.  Mora’s done more for the organization over the last 10 years than anyone else — mainly because he’s been here longer than anyone else.  

OK, that’s the defense for Mora’s blow-up earlier today.  If it’s about respect, Mora has a right to gripe.  But he has to know the limits of that griping.  Spilling your guts about the manager to the manager:  OK.  Spilling your guys to the media about the manager:  Not OK.  Not in the least. 

It’s a dicey situation because Mora is a sure-fire Orioles Hall-of-Famer who’s making the last two months of his O’s career a memorable-for-the-wrong-reasons final chapter.

Now, then, let’s deal with the real matter at heart.

Based on what he said today, Mora’s value to the team has diminished to the point that it’s no longer reasonable to keep him around.

It won’t go over well and more daggers will be thrown, but Mora should be released by the Orioles when business opens on Monday.  

He’s not going to be here next year anyway.  

Yeah, they’ll have to pay him a couple hundred grand to not report to work, but they’ve paid plenty of players silly money in 2009 to do nothing.  It’s not only “hush money”, it’s “stay away money”.  And it would be well spent.

And any chance that existed for a graceful exit and a well-deserved “Melvin Mora Night” where the club gives him a 10-passenger van and other gifts went out the window when he vomited all that respect-stuff to the media prior to Sunday’s game with Boston.

“Time for me to move on” is what Mora said.

He’s right.

Dave Trembley is in the worst position possible, because he might be joining Mora in the unemployment line in November.  So, with that in mind, what the hell does Trembley care if Mora flips out and whines about not playing?  The manager’s job is shaky enough WITH Mora — it’s certainly not going to get worse WITHOUT him, right?

Like Ramon Hernandez did last year when he became disgruntled with Trembley, the poison stream of discontent running through the locker room could be squirted by Mora if he decides to quietly campaign amongst his teammates.  Hernandez became miserable and aggravating — and he did his best to make life edgy in the locker room.  Mora’s rants and raves could quite possibly do the same thing.  And the team stinks enough right now without a guy roaming around whispering about how the manager sucks. 

This all goes back to losing.  Mora’s production – or lack thereof – has contributed to the losing.  Dave Trembley has contributed to the losing.  So has Brian Roberts.  And Adam Jones.  And Luke Scott.  And Felix Pie.  And Aubrey Huff.  In other words, they’re ALL to blame.  

Losing is one thing.  Not being good enough is one thing.  Having someone disgruntled creating a disturbance before and after games…and making it tougher to win.  That’s another thing.  And it shouldn’t be tolerated. 

It’s time for the Melvin Mora era to end in Baltimore.

He said as much earlier today.

The club would have rather had it end more favorably, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.  

The club would have also liked more hits and less base running blunders from Mora.  

In fairness to both parties, they will survive without the other.  Mora’s life will go on and so will baseball in Baltimore.

Melvin Mora has been an outstanding representative of the Orioles franchise over the last ten years.  Nothing he can say about Dave Trembley will take away from his contributions both on and off the field.

But if Mora truly loves the organization, as he says he does, he’ll quickly come to grips with the fact that his words and actions against Dave Trembley aren’t good for the players in the locker room, particularly the younger ones who are watching the world through the eyes of the veterans this summer.

And the O’s should realize that Mora can be a distraction if they allow him to be…and with two months left in another disaster-of-a-season, they must do whatever they can to make the locker room pleasant, not ripe with strife.

Letting Mora go on Monday is the right thing to do.

For both parties.

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