With a 1-7 start to the 2010 MLB season, most critics would say this is “business as usual” for the Baltimore Orioles.
Not so fast.
2010 was slated to be the end of the rebuilding process for the Orioles, as frequently stated by head honcho Andy MacPhail and manager Dave Trembley. And for good reason, considering the significant core of young talent, combined with a handful of talented veterans.
Expectations were starting to return to the Charm City – and while they were not dreams of World Series titles just yet, there was a certain buzz and renewed energy by the fanbase clad in orange and black.
That is, until the actual season started.
While only 8 games (of 162) are in the books, it’s safe to say that in the minds of many – the season is already taking a familiar downward spiral.
No better hint can be displayed than the record-low 9,129 fans that ‘littered’ Camden Yards on Monday April 12th – and this is one reason why the O’s need to make a change.
Somebody has to take the fall – and that man needs to be Dave Trembley.
Now, bear in mind – I understand that the team hasn’t exactly hit the cover off the ball in the opening week of games. That, and the bullpen has been abysmal – serving up meatballs that only Emeril could present better.
I get that Mike Gonzalez has blown two games and that maybe he was a little distracted thinking about his wife, who was about to give birth (and did recently – a baby girl).
It’s also clear that the Orioles have flubbed multiple chances to blow open games with runners in scoring position.
Baltimore players have hit the ball hard – just straight to opposing defenders.
I also get that the Orioles have been right there in a number of games – losing three one-run contests and one last night in extra innings to Tampa Bay – a legit World Series contender.
I get it all – but the word that needs to be placed out there is simply this: accountability.
While Trembley himself can’t head to the mound or take a few swings in a live game – he can find a way to stop the bleeding. This franchise has seen similar occurrences under the Trembley regime. When the Orioles start to hit a losing streak, they really hit a losing streak.
We’re talking for a few weeks, here.
So don’t go and tell me that there isn’t something that they aren’t good at.
The red alarm is this: These skids have occurred in August and September, but not in April. That’s why this start raises a lot of eyebrows.
Someone needs to be accountable for this dismal April start in Baltimore.
A few more blown saves and a few double play balls – and maybe that plague of losing could start to infect some of the younger guys in the clubhouse.
Hell, maybe it already has – not that that any player would ever admit to such a thing.
A team usually can’t compete without good starting pitching. To the naked eye, it may appear that’s where the Orioles have fallen victim yet again – but that’s simply not the case. Jeremy Guthrie has been much improved, Kevin Millwood has been serviceable and Brian Matusz has displayed moments of brilliance.
What’s left to show for it?
One measly victory – and closer Mike Gonzalez almost blew that one, too.
So again, you ask… why Dave?
Perhaps I look at one clear-cut example – the 2009 Colorado Rockies.
The Rockies were a team heading into last season with a lot of hype and promise, only to hit a brick wall in the season’s opening two months. Colorado decided it was time to light a fire – removing Clint Hurdle as skipper after a dismal 18-28 start.
Jim Tracy replaced Hurdle, with the season not even reaching the month of June.
The result: Colorado went on a tear, reaching the playoffs and vaulting Tracy to National League Manager of the Year honors.
So that’s my point here, friends.
Life isn’t fair – it never is. Someone has to take the fall.
Players will feel bad… for not doing their jobs, for not getting that key hit, or key ground ball out in the latter innings.
Sometimes a team just needs a change.
And today, the city of Baltimore needs a change. It needs something that could maybe – just maybe – put this proud baseball franchise back on the map.
Something that can take Orioles baseball off ‘repeat’ – and away from what only appears to be a gag-worthy mixture of Groundhog Day and the first half of the movie Major League.
Sorry, Dave – you seem like a good guy – a player’s manager and a friend. In fact, I see quotes of that fact via players in the clubhouse. But the fact of the matter is, we all have plenty of good guys in our work lives. That doesn’t mean we’re out having beers with them every night.
It’s time to pull the plug on the Dave Trembley regime in Baltimore. Bring in some new life that can potentially boost this team towards the .500 mark.
Because plain and simple, there’s just too much talent in Baltimore. Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Nolan Reimold, Brian Matusz, Brad Bergesen and Brian Roberts – just to name a few.
Now where’s that Emeril character – I am craving a good meatball.