Dave Trembley's first 93 games as skipper of the O's in 2007 weren't exactly what you'd call successful, but the organization is committed to him anyway. He even got to pick his own staff, choosing pitching coach Rick Kranitz over Leo Mazzone and opting, inexplicably, to keep Terry Crowley on as hitting coach despite the complete lack of success O's hitters have had in his tenure here.
He went 40-53 after taking over for Sam Perlozzo, and Sam's firing was a move we all applauded. But is Trembley really the guy to right the ship?
Obviously, the first and foremost thing is he'll need players. We all understand that. But be honest: What list do you think Dave is more likely to join?
Manager, Years Games W L Pct.
Earl Weaver, 1968-82, 85-86 2541 1480 1060 .583
Davey Johnson, 1996-97 326 186 138 .574
Hank Bauer, 1964-68 726 407 318 .561
Joe Altobelli, 1983-85 379 212 167 .559
Johnny Oates, 1991-94 561 291 270 .519
The Earl, of course, will always be the King of Baltimore Managers. No one will ever come close to what Weaver achieved with the Orioles. A World Series title (1970), four AL pennants (1969, 1971, 1979), and six division championships. Earl's worst season, prior to the poor idea that was his last one in Baltimore, was an 80-74 campaign in '72.
I think, had he come along earlier in his life and not when Angelos owned the team, Davey Johnson could've been the one guy to really approach Weaver's greatness. An Earl disciple who played for the man years earlier, Johnson and Weaver were well ahead of the pack in terms of understanding advanced theories of the game.
Hank Bauer was the first great manager in Baltimore Orioles history, winning a World Series in 1966, when the Birds "upset" the Dodgers. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- that was no upset. People just perceived the Dodgers as the better team. It was not true.
Joe Altobelli won the Series in '83, the last time the O's have been there. But that title and team was really Earl's. As for Johnny Oates, his teams laid the groundwork for Davey's, with that Phil Regan buffer in '95.
Manager, Years Games W L Pct.
Cal Ripken, 1985, 1987-88 169 68 101 .402
Mike Hargrove, 2000-03 649 275 372 .425
Sam Perlozzo, 2005-07 286 122 164 .427
Frank Robinson, 1988-91 516 230 285 .447
Lee Mazzilli, 2004-05 269 129 149 .480
As successful a player as Cal Ripken, Jr., was, that was how unsuccessful a manger Cal Ripken, Sr., was. What more can you say about Senior? 67-95 in 1987, and then fired after an 0-6 start in '88.
Grover came over from Cleveland (where he had a .550 winning percentage, 1991-99) and his teams flat-out stunk. Those teams, unbelievably, may have had even less talent than the current player-deprived Orioles. I liked Hargrove.
Then we come to Sammy Perlozzo. Another nice guy who was just an awful manager. He couldn't manage a bullpen to save not just his life, but anyone's life. And he lost the team.
Frank Robinson is the most talented player to ever put on an Orioles uniform. He led the amazingly competitive '89 Orioles to an 87-win season following the 54-107 disaster of 1988, then they stunk in 1990 and he was replaced after a 13-24 start in '91.
Lee Mazzilli didn't seem so bad after we got a load of Sam Perlozzo, if you ask me.
If I had to Dukes of Hazzard a guess, I'd put Trembley in the latter group. He is a lame duck manager in charge of a crap team. He spent umpteen years traveling around the baseball world, and never once landed a Major League managerial job. And given some of the schlubs that have, I think that says something.
The best part? The last three managers (pre-Trembley) are all among the five worst. It does deserve an asterisk, though: Jimmy Dykes managed the first Orioles team after the move from St. Louis, in 1954. His team was 54-100.