The Baltimore Orioles finally put Dave Trembley out of his misery yesterday, removing him as manager after a 15-39 start this season. The O’s responsded under new interim manager Juan Samuel by getting creamed 11-0 by Boston. Awesome.
While there was no indication that Trembley was a good manager, he’s far from the only problem. The decay in this franchise from top to bottom is well known, and I won’t repeat it here, if only for my own sanity. I will note something that one would think is easily fixable, but shows how misguided this organization truly is.
Terry Crowley became hitting coach in 1999. This was his second stint as hitting coach in Baltimore. He also was hitting coach in Minnesota for most of the 90s, was a former utility man, and if you believe Earl Weaver, is lucky to be in fucking baseball. This was make the 2010 season Crowley’s 12th at the helm. In that time, the O’s have been below .500 all of those years (and certainly will this year), and have gone through five managers. Yet somehow Crowley stays on. Maybe it’s misguided loyalty, maybe he has dirt on Angelos, but otherwise I don’t get it. Crowley certainly hasn’t done anything to prove he’s worth keeping. Since he came back on, these are the Orioles’ rankings in runs scored and OBP.
1999: 8th in runs, 5th in OBP
2000: 11th in runs, 10th in OBP
2001: 13th in runs, 13th in OBP
2002: 13th in runs, 13th in OBP
2003: 10th in runs, 11th in OBP
2004: 6th in runs, 4th in OBP
2005: 10th in runs, 8th in OBP
2006: 10th in runs, 8th in OBP
2007: 9th in runs, 9th in OBP
2008: 8th in runs, 8th in OBP
2009: 11th in runs, 8th in OBP
2010*: 14th in runs, 14th in OBP
*through games played on June 4th
I remind you all that there are 14 teams in the American League, meaning during Crowley’s tenure, the Orioles were an above average offensive team once, in 2004. Part of this is certainly personnel, but the trend is there. This year, things have bottomed out, with a team ranking last in the AL in both runs and OBP. It’s a lineup of hackers, and even more damning to Crowley, the young hitters that are supposed to be the future have struggled. Matt Wieters is hitting .236/.310/.331 for a 74 OPS+. Adam Jones also has a 74 OPS+. Nolan Remiold is in AAA. Only Nick Markakis of the young players in hitting well, but his excellent .391 OBP is blunted by a mere .417 slugging percentage. Crowley’s #1 job right now should be developing the young hitters, and by all accounts he’s failed miserably.
Firing Terry Crowley will not fix the Orioles by any means. However, a team can’t rebound until it realizes what it’s doing wrong and change its ways. For the Orioles, that means finally realizing that Earl Weaver was correct about Terry Crowley.