In every Orioles game, there's at least one managerial move made by Dave Trembley that confounds intelligent baseball fans, a move that causes observers everywhere to smack their palms into their foreheads and unleash a string of curses.
Sometimes the move is based on some ridiculous notion of "old school" baseball which ignores how the game has changed over the years. Other times, it's based on an obsession with "small ball" or late inning matchups. But most often, it's simply a move that leaves O's fans confused and speechless, unable to do anything except turn to each other and say: WTF!?!
These are some of those moves.
There were two moves in last night's game that made me say WTF? One came in the bottom of the 9th inning when the Orioles had runners on first and second with none out and Trembley ordered Corey Patterson to bunt the runners over. Not only had Patterson been on base three times in the game and scored all three runs, but the next batter in the lineup was Nick Markakis, one of the team's only hot hitters. Patterson is fast enough that anything other than the most tailor made of double play balls would probably be beaten out, but still he bunted. It took the bat out of the hands of Patterson who, granted, isn't great, but who has been hot. It also took the bat out of the hands of Nick Markakis and let's face it, only Nick and Ty Wigginton are hitting lately. And don't you want BOTH of them getting a chance in the bottom of the 9th?
But that wasn't the biggest WTF moment of the night. That moment came in the 6th inning when the Orioles AGAIN intentionally walked the bases loaded. You might remember when the Orioles did this last Tuesday with David Hernandez on the mound. It didn't work then, and it didn't work now. The fearsome Mitch Maier was intentionally walked. Maier, he of zero home runs and .679 OPS. The result of course was a run scoring on a ground ball to third one batter later. Well done, Dave Trembley. All I can say is WTF?