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September 27, 2009 at 8:43 pm ET
I don’t like his chances.

Though it seems like a million years ago, it was only last month that Orioles poobah Andy MacPhail declared that he wouldn’t fire manager Dave Trembley during the season. “Whether we pick up the option or not, it probably won’t be rsz_trembleydecided until the last weekend of the season,” MacPhail told the Baltimore Sun on August 14.  That weekend is next weekend.

Does Trembley have a chance to stay? Would it be unfair to fire him, given his team’s meagre talent? The O’s were buried in April and the tiny specks of fan enjoyment in 2009 have come from watching a handful of rookies who represent hope for a return to glory. Or at least .500. But the season has been plagued with weird mistakes; errors, baserunning gaffes, mental lapses – really, many of the things that Trembley was supposed to have stressed.

No one expected Baltimore to win anything this year. And winning got even tougher when MacPhail dealt away some of the paltry big-league talent they had. First baseman Aubrey Huff and closer George Sherrill were small plugs in the dam. Since MacPhail removed those plugs, the Orioles season has been completely underwater, pulled to the bottom by a lack of pitching, a lack of offense and a lack of concentration. And no one’s seen any bubbles on the surface for weeks.

So what’ll happen when the season’s over? Will Trembley be asked back for 2010? If everything is as it appears, the answer has to be no.

MacPhail claims he’s made no decisions about next year and that the second half of the season would determine a lot about who stays and who goes. He told fans that among his priorities for 2009 was a respectable second-half finish. It’s become an autumn tradition for the Orioles to slide into the crapper in August and September. MacPhail told us that was unacceptable this year.

“I don’t want to see us have this horrific last six weeks of the season again,” MacPhail told The Sun. “It’s not just the record; it’s how we get there. I know that’s a tall order because the schedule is tough. But it’s a function of how we’re playing and of avoiding the issues that we’ve had the last couple of years.”

Well, there’s a week left in the season and the Orioles have those issues again. Horrific last six weeks of the season? Check. How’s 34 games under .500? Horrific enough for you? They’ve lost 10 straight and have gone 6-17 in September. That’s following a 10-20 August and a 9-16 July.

I’d love to write that I’d be outraged if they fired Trembley after presenting him with a stinkbomb of a team to manage. I really should be stumping for the guy and I’m not sure why I’m not. Numb, I guess, after 12 losing seasons.

Maybe this is why: Baltimore came to Cleveland Friday for a series against the Indians, themselves losers of 11 straight games – one short of the franchise record, set in 1931. And the Indians swept Baltimore, including today’s 9-0 shutout that featured six Cleveland runs in the first inning.

So, keep Trembley or fire him. I don’t care. Because right now, it feels like the losing will never end, no matter who writes the lineup card.

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2 Responses to “I don’t like his chances.”
  1. Nato says:

    I heard that Trembley finally lost his players after he instituted the cardboard cut out of Peter Angelos in mid August a la Major League.

  2. stevo says:

    Heartbroken by 12 straight losing seasons, (is this the 13th? does it matter?), I’m trying to feel like more of a casual observer to this car wreck. I’m guessing that MacPhail will fire him, so he can then take casual swipes at Trembley as the reason for the problem. “well, I feel like there’s been a problem of leadership” or some such nonsense.

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