Can Anyone Save the Orioles?


Can Anyone Save the Orioles? The Orioles fired Dave Trembley on Friday — but was he really the problem in the first place?

The past five years have proven that managing Baltimore is a somewhat impossible task. Trembley becomes the sixth Orioles manager fired since 1997 — and 1997 was the last time the Orioles had a winning season.

If the five men before him couldn't do it, how much hope is there that interim manager and former third base coach Juan Samuel can restore the franchise? 

To be fair, it is very unlikely that the Orioles' struggles this season can be attributed to Trembley's managerial skills (or lack thereof). 

The Orioles are fast approaching a franchise-record 13th losing season and started 2010 with 16 losses in 18 games. In their recent road trip through Toronto and New York, they went 0-6 and were outscored 34-8. Do they need a spark?  Maybe — but a spark may be hard to come by with half the roster either injured or slumping.

Offseason acquisitions such as Garrett Atkins and Mike Gonzalez have failed to make any splash at all. In 39 games, Atkins — a career .285 hitter — is batting .209 with one homer and eight RBIs. Gonzalez, a career National Leaguer prior to 2010, is 0-2 with one save and an 18.00 ERA in three appearances. After his rough start, he was promptly put on the 60-day DL with a strained left shoulder.

Furthermore, the guys who provided some punch in last year's Orioles lineup haven't performed at all. Last year, Adam Jones hit .277 with 19 homers and 70 RBIs. This year, he's hitting .249 with six homers and 16 RBIs. Brian Roberts, a career Oriole who has batted .283 in just over nine seasons, played in just four games in 2010 before landing on the disabled list.

The acquisitions? Not Trembley's fault. The injuries? Not Trembley's fault, either. The underperforming? Definitely not Trembley's fault.

Trembley kind of has history on his side here. There's no way he could have been worse than the six guys who came before him. So why assume that Baltimore's 15-40 record is his fault? And furthermore, why assume that Samuel will fare any better?

The Orioles are a team that has recently relied on young talent like Jones and Matt Wieters to find success. Many of the veterans who have come through in the past are out of commission. The bullpen has more blown saves than saves.

Yes, finding a spark in a new manager could help this team. But maybe sticking with one guy and achieving some stability could work while the franchise weathers this season's storm.

Should Baltimore have stuck with Trembley? Will the team be better off with yet another new manager?

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