Well, a manager does have to live with his won-loss record. For Dave Trembley, he is saddled with 15 and 36.
It’s clear some of you feel he has earned every bit of that.
If you look deeper at how the Orioles, a team on the rise according to many experts over the winter, got to this point, much that has happened has been out of Trembley’s control. For the most part.
It’s not his fault that:
*Brian Roberts, Felix Pie, Mike Gonzalez, Brad Bergesen and Jim Johnson got injured. So have Alfredo Simon and Luis Lebron.
*Some of the core group of young players have not only been unable to match last year’s stats, but have not come close to taking a step forward.
That still could happen but right now players like Reimold, Jones, Bergesen and Matusz have not duplicated last year’s performance.
*The Orioles are a terrible team hitting in the clutch and terrible at situational hitting.
*The Orioles have blown lead after lead this year. They are now 11-6 in 2010 when leading after seven innings. They went 52-5 in those games last year with the same manager calling the bullpen moves then.
*Garrett Atkins has been completely unproductive at first base, Chris Tillman failed to win the fifth starters job out of spring training, Nick Markakis has just three homers and Matt Wieters’ extra-base power has been slow to materialize.
Some will say all of this is his fault. That everything that happens on the team happens on his watch. I get that point to a degree, but should he really take the fall for all of the above?
Here are two things that I feel Trembley can be criticized for.
*Mis-management of the bullpen at times. Anytime the O’s lose a lead some blame Trembley even if he put the right pitcher in the right spot and that pitcher failed.
But he still can go too much with the left-left and right-right thing. Like the other night when Jason Berken faced one batter and was pulled even though lefties were hitting under .200 against him. He pulls pitchers sometimes when they look really sharp and clearly have more outs in them. The use of three pitchers to get three outs sometimes is just not necessary and uses up too much of the pen too fast.
*He has failed to bench players. The Julio Lugo “episode” comes to mind and others have jogged to first on grounders or made mental mistakes that probably should have earned them “pine time.”
I think Dave felt his players would get the message. But sometimes sitting out is the only way a Major League player gets the message.
He did indicate last year that he would be harder on the players this year. Behind the scenes that could be true, but publicly we have not seen it.
Dave Trembley loves the Orioles, baseball, Camden Yards and Orioles fans. He is a man of principles and cares about people.
Night after night as the players fail him, he is the only person in the entire organization who must deal with the media twice per game day - before and after the game. His press conferences after tough home losses air on live television.
You can say don’t feel bad for him and he would be the first to say that. I still do.
This season had so much more promise and was supposed to be the beginning of a brighter future. Instead it his turned into the nightmare on Camden Street.
Soon the part of the film with Dave in a starring role could be over. If it happens, I’ll thank him for his class and professionalism and hope somehow he can stay in this organization and maybe help in another role.
If it happens, it will also fall under that baseball premise that says “you can’t fire 25 guys, but you can fire the manager.”