BALTIMORE — Dave Trembley was
fired Friday as manager of the Baltimore Orioles, who have the worst
record in the major leagues and are staggering toward a franchise-record
13th consecutive losing season.
Third base coach Juan Samuel was
appointed interim manager by president of baseball operations Andy
MacPhail, who hired Trembley to take over on an interim basis for Sam
Perlozzo on June 18, 2007.
The Orioles opened with 16 losses in
18 games, are 15-39 and coming off an 0-6 road trip in which they were
outscored 34-8 in Toronto and at Yankee Stadium.
"The results on the field were not
what any of us would have hoped for, and I understand that the
organization felt the time was right to move in a different direction,"
Trembley said in a statement. "While I am disappointed at the outcome, I
feel it was a privilege to wear the Orioles uniform each day."
Trembley is the second major league
manager to be fired this season. Trey Hillman was dismissed by Kansas
City on May 13.
The 58-year-old Trembley had a 187-283
record with the Orioles. As caretaker to MacPhail's massive rebuilding
project, Trembley never had much talent at his disposal, and his job was
made tougher this season an expansive injury list, a lackluster offense
and an ineffective bullpen.
"We're the ones that throw the ball,
we are the ones that swing the bats and catch the ball," designated
hitter Luke Scott said Thursday after Baltimore's 6-3 loss to New York.
"All the manager can do is put his best nine out there. I mean, it's not
his fault. What can you say? It's a very difficult game. It's unfair in
a lot of aspects."
MacPhail tried to reshape the roster,
but after that didn't work, Trembley was cut loose during the option
year of his contract.
MacPhail provided Trembley with his
first major league managerial job after Perlozzo stumbled in 2007.
Trembley started the season as the team's bullpen coach after spending
the previous 20 years managing in the minors. Upon taking the reins,
Trembley became the seventh man in baseball history to manage in the
majors without having played professionally.
In August 2007, the interim label was
The Orioles went 68-93 in 2008 and
64-98 last year, finishing in the AL East cellar both seasons. When
MacPhail announced last October that the club would exercise the 2010
option on Trembley's contract, the stipulation was that the rebuilding
Orioles must improve.
"You now change the criteria for
evaluating managers (to) wins and losses," MacPhail said at the time.
"That may not always be fair. Things happen, but at this point, going
forward, I like to think we're out of that first phase of what we hoped
Trembley never had a chance,
especially after early season injuries claimed leadoff hitter Brian
Roberts, outfielder Felix Pie, closer Mike Gonzalez and late-inning
relievers Jim Johnson and Koji Uehara.
Baltimore's 2-16 start was
second-worst in franchise history behind only the 1988 team, which lost
its first 21 games.
The Orioles have yet to recover from
that miserable April. They are 6-25 on the road, 6-21 within the
division and trail the first-place Yankees by 21 games.
Baltimore ranks near the bottom in
virtually every AL offensive category, including batting average, runs
and stolen bases. The pitching staff has allowed more home runs than any
team in the majors except for Arizona and ranks 12th in the AL with a
The makeshift bullpen has more blown
saves (10) than saves (9). Converted closer Alfredo Simon, who followed
Gonzalez and Johnson in the role, had six saves in seven tries before
being placed on the disabled list on May 25 with a strained left
Now it's up to Samuel to try to make
something of a season gone awry. He was to make his debut Friday night
at Camden Yards against the Boston Red Sox.
The 49-year-old Samuel was a
three-time All-Star during a 16-year playing career that ran through
1998. His only managerial experience came in 2006, when he led
Binghamton of the Eastern League to a 70-69 record and a second-place
Before that, Samuel served seven
years with the Detroit Tigers as a coach. This is his fourth season with
Samuel becomes Baltimore's sixth
manager since 1997, the last time the team had a winning season. He
follows Ray Miller, Mike Hargrove, Lee Mazzilli, Perlozzo and Trembley.
Gary Allenson, previously the manager
of the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate in Norfolk, was appointed interim
third base coach.
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