With all that said, there wasn’t much else to do. This team is awful to watch, as the hitters go quietly through the motions and put up a run or two a game and the bullpen implodes at the worst possible times and the defenders make careless and crushing mistakes and the talented starting pitchers have lapses in concentration and “off nights” and the base runners take themselves right out of innings…
You can’t get rid of all 25 of them, nor would I want to in most cases. So if anyone goes, it’s the man directly in charge. Dave has never endeared himself to this fan with his questionable personal tastes (Diet Coke and Notre Dame? Ugh!) and his droning, cliché-filled interviews. But he was a generally inoffensive manager whose greatest flaws – bullpen mismanagement and subpar batting order construction – were not uncommon. Of course, these are the primary strategic duties of a manager, so that doesn’t exactly reflect well upon him. And as the O’s spiraled out of control this year, his gaffes were more glaring. Brian Roberts’ absence left a gaping hole in the leadoff spot, but almost ANYONE would have been a better replacement than Julio Lugo. Same goes for Corey Patterson, who has reliably regressed to his usual level of performance. As far as the bullpen, Diamond Dave plays hot potato with his relievers, especially on those rare occasions when the team has a late lead. Overly obsessed with lefty-lefty and righty-righty matchups, he increases the wear and tear on his relief arms and flirts with disaster. He often removes pitchers regardless of their effectiveness in order to “play by the book” and use his guys in their designated “roles”. It just stands to reason that if you use five or six pitchers in a game, the odds of one or more of those guys having a bad night are going to be pretty high. Witness last Wednesday’s eighth-inning meltdown against Oakland (in which he brought young Jason Berken in with two on and none out, allowed him to retire a single batter, and then removed him for the less-effective Mark Hendrickson because ‘you have to have the lefty’ and ‘he’s a veteran who has been in those situations’ – never mind the fact that the righty Berken has much better numbers against lefties this year and that the ‘situation’ was actually more favorable then than when Berken was called upon…but I ramble).
Ultimately, Trembley’s supposed selling points were an emphasis on fundamentals and a knack for working with developing young players. All of the up-and-coming players on this team have taken a big step backwards this year, and the team has consistently been plagued by mental and physical blunders in the four seasons with Dave at the reins. That’s pretty damning.
Look, I hate the fact that the O’s are about to appoint their 13th manager in the 28 years since Earl Weaver retired for the first time. Stability breeds success in baseball. But Dave Trembley wasn’t working out, and if nothing else, the new guy will provide a fresh voice and possibly a better approach. So who’s going to take over?
I need to lay down for a minute.