Say NO to Dempsey!!!

June 29, 2010 | Keith Melchior

As the search for yet another Orioles’ manager continues, I see Rick Dempsey is going to be granted an interview. Why? Supposedly he actually has passion for the team and WANTS the job.

Well, Rick, maybe you want the job, but I sure don’t want you to get it.

A few years ago, Dempsey was  a bench coach or coach in another capacity. I know he was brought in to help the catchers during spring training. I seem to recall vaguely the Oriole catchers led the league in passed balls that year. So much for his coaching ability.

He was a fairly successful manager in the minors prior to his appointment to the Orioles. I am not sure why he was let go and why the Dodgers didn’t promote him further within their organization. To me that is an immediate red flag.

Dempsey will live in the hearts of the Memorial Stadium Oriole fans forever because of 3 things; he was the 1983 World Series MVP (a vote which could have easily gone to Rich Dauer or Todd Cruz), his quote to President Reagan about the Russians, and his rain delay antics when he stuffed a pillow under his uniform and pretended to hit a HR and slide around on the tarp.

Are you serious?

Yeah, maybe he had fun and provided entertainment for the crowd during those rain delays, but something like that doesn’t mean the guy should be taken seriously when managing a baseball team.  He’s one of those flaky guys who didn’t have an outstanding career with the bat or glove.

Dempsey was a coach during the Lee Mazzilli tenure. No, Mazzilli was not given the authority to choose his coaching staff.  He had to settle for what he was given,  two guys who wanted his job, Sam Perlozzo and Rick Dempsey. Talk about an uneasy situation. Mazzilli was set up to fail the minute he signed his contract.

How can you be an effective manager when you might not be able to trust the guys who supposedly work FOR you? Dempsey and Perlozzo didn’t work for Mazzilli, they worked for the Baltimore Orioles. Every move Mazzilli made was second guessed and it was rather obvious that there could have been some secret undermining going on behind closed doors.

Mazzilli was let go midway through his second season and Perlozzo was named interim and eventually permanent manager. We all know how that worked out. Trembley fell into the bench coach spot and eventually took over for Perlozzo. When Trembley failed miserably, he was fired and 3rd base coach Juan Samuel was named interim manager. Question is, why was Gary Allenson promoted from managing the AAA Norfolk team to 3rd base coach, instead of remaining there to finish out the season?  Allenson has done a decent job in Norfolk and unless they reassign him back to Norfolk, chances are, he won’t have a job with the Orioles after October 4th. That is a travesty that is the Baltimore orioles organization. Allenson has tried his best to groom all the young talent the Orioles are touting as the future and they take his job away. Now, Andy McPhail is going through the interview process, having brought in Bobby Valentine,  Eric Wedge and is supposedly going to talk with Buck Showalter and eventually Dempsey.

I think the Dempsey interview is mainly set up to appease the fans. Dempsey has been doing the post-game show on MASN for at least the last 2 seasons(and doing a terrible job in my opinion) and hasn’t actually been on the field since he left to become a broadcaster. The team is 22-52 by far the worst team in the league and Dempsey is drinking the orange Kool-aid and sugar-coating everything  to give you the impression they are in 1st place and 20 games up instead of being in last place 25 games out.  If they were serious about Dempsey in the first place, then why not install him as the 3rd base coach after naming Samuel the manager, instead of jeopardizing Allenson’s future with the club?

If McPhail is as smart a baseball guy as we’ve been led to believe, he will clean house of all the current Oriole coaches come October 5th. They are the last common thread that can be tied to a majority of the last 13 losing seasons here in Baltimore  (not counting the owner, because he isn’t going anywhere) Dempsey has been a part of that losing while a coach with the team. If hired as manager, Dempsey would no doubt keep a majority of the current coaching staff around because he bleeds black and orange and would feel he has allies in the clubhouse and they’d have his back should anything go wrong.

The only bad thing about hiring a former Oriole hero or loyal employee to manage the team is that eventually he will lose his halo and be relieved of his duties if things don’t go well.  We saw it with Frank Robinson, Johnny Oates, Cal Ripken Sr,  Ray Miller,  Sam Perlozzo, and Dave Trembley.

If you want to change direction and move forward, say NO to Dempsey.