The announcement was inevitable, but it is now finally official. On Friday morning, the much-maligned Orioles organization announced that Dave Trembley has been dismissed as the manager of the O’s. 3rd base coach Juan Samuel will inherit all of the problems Dave Trembley had during the gut-wrenching 2010 season.
Trembley’s bullpen management was often criticized.
His lineup cards were regularly derailed.
His stoic dugout and interview presence was chastised by a frustrated fan base looking for someone through whom they could channel their anger.
But Samuel, too, is sure to struggle mightily with this potentially historically bad team. He, too, will have to manage a rocky bullpen and a pathetic lineup. He, too, will be making tough decisions, like when to give Garrett Atkins or Lou Montanez playing time, where to hit a struggling Matt Wieters, and how to handle a confused Adam Jones. There are no easy answers to these questions.
Things will get worse for Samuel or whoever could potentially be brought in as a permanent manager before the Orioles play out the long 110 game string. He will likely lose some of his best players to trade, though for a team that will send Ty Wigginton to the All Star game, “best” is a term used liberally.
The true test for this club has nothing to do with Samuel. It has to do with whether or not they can bring in a suitable replacement, and whether or not they can improve this club mightily through trades and offseason free agent signings. Finding a big name manager and/or big name free agents to sign with this now-lowly franchise will not be easy. But Andy MacPhail’s efforts to build slowly through the draft, high volume-yielding trades, and free agents with “upside” have not produced results. Witness Mike Gonzalez and Garrett Atkins for evidence of free agent “diamonds in the rough” that turned out to be turds.
Make no mistake about it, Dave Trembley took the fall for the failure MacPhail’s “phase two” rebuilt club. It is MacPhail, though, who needs to be judged now in terms of wins and losses. Good luck, Juan Samuel. You’ll need it.