The First Manager to Get the Ax?

Tom DubberkeCorrespondent IApril 23, 2010

After a 2-14 start, Orioles manager Dave Trembley has had it covering for his players when he talks to the media.  So he says in this AP article.  Sounds like Trembley knows his head is on the chopping block and is trying to shift the blame.

Usually, I would say that firing the manager is just an excuse by the general manager to shift the blame for putting together a lousy team.  Also, Trembley is understandably frustrated and may have been just blowing off steam.  However, no good manager anywhere, ever threatens to blast his players to the press.

If the team is playing like s*, a manager is entirely justified in calling a team meeting behind closed doors and letting the team have it with both barrels.  If he’s not happy with a player’s effort, he is entirely within his rights to call that player into his office and read him the riot act.

But you don’t threaten to tell the press that specific players aren’t doing their jobs.  You want to send a message, cool the player’s heals on the bench for a few games.   That speaks for itself.

The Orioles are a young team with a lot of talent that hasn’t jelled yet.  Young players are going to make mistakes.  If Trembley thinks that guys aren’t working hard enough or not learning from their mistakes as quickly as he thinks they should, he’s got every right to kick some ass — behind closed doors.

The problem with calling individual players out in the media, or even threatening to do it, is that you lose the team.  First, it breaks one of baseball’s long-standing unwritten rules: just like Las Vegas, what happens in the clubhouse, stays in the clubhouse.  If you blast a specific player in the media, you lose that player forever.  If it’s Milton Bradley, that doesn’t mean much, because all the other players know Bradley’s a pain in the ass.  For 90% of the players, though, the other guys on the team think that it could be them getting blasted in the media and they don’t like it.

Trembley’s comments were pretty stupid, and if O’s management is looking for an excuse after a 2-14 start, they’ve now got one.