Does anyone else feel the paper walls in the Orioles castle are about to fall down? Not only have the Orioles lost some terrible games this year, their manager is being second guessed by just about everyone and now we have shouting matches between players on the field, while the game is still going on.
I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that things are not right. This club was not built to contend, but the Orioles have found ways to lose that almost seem impossible, and normally manager Sam Perlozzo’s decisions share in the blame.
I’ve always like Sam Perlozzo, but he has never given me the leadership vibe. I’ve spent 18 and half years in the military and grant it, I expect a lot from a leader, but Sam seems more like the coach in Bull Durham.
You know that guy. The scene where the manager starts talking about lollygaggers and the coach just basically repeats what he says. Well, Perlozzo’s that coach. He wasn’t meant to be a leader, he’s meant to be the guy that doesn’t make waves, hit fungoes, and when the skipper ask what does that make them, he replies “lollygaggers!”
Not only have we questioned his in game management, but his answers after the game almost defy logic. His latest was his explanation that he saw Guthrie shake his arm in the eighth inning, which indicated to him and supposedly Leo Mazzone that he was tiring. If that was the case, why in the world do you send him back out in the ninth anyways Sam?
When it’s almost impossible to defend the managers actions, you have to ask yourself if this is the guy to get the most from this team. The Orioles have been hurt by injuries to their starters, but Perlozzo has pretty much run through his bullpen by using them on extreme frequent basis. Instead of allowing a reliever to go two innings or more, he’s preferred to use three and four relievers for one inning a piece, meaning they are up and warming up frequently as well.
Right now, Perlozzo seems like the cop in front of the 12-story towering inferno that’s saying, “Keep moving folks, there’s nothing to see here.”
Over the years some on our message board have questioned the Sun’s coverage of the Orioles. Say what you want, but you have to give the Sun credit with their recent coverage of the team’s failures, especially those by Sam Perlozzo lately.
Sun blogger Roch Kubatko, a favorite of the Hangout and mine has been especially critical and on the money if you ask me. Although he seem to soften his stance in his latest entry his response to what Perlozzo should have done with Guthrie was right on,
“I'd rather have Perlozzo say: "I'm sending you back out there. This is your game. You've earned the right to finish it. You're my guy. Get 'em 1-2-3 and let's head to Toronto and kick some *ss there."
Then give him a pat on the backside and see what happens. If Guthrie gives up a couple hits or walks a batter, you take him out. But send him out there with a little more encouragement.
That's just me.”
It’s not just you Roch. I think there’s a whole bunch of us that would have handled that similarly.
I also have give credit to the Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec who did a good job covering all of this. His article on Perlozzo’s job security was well done and the player’s comments or lack there of spoke volumes to me on how the lockeroom is feeling right now.
I bit disappointing though was Sun columnist Peter Schmuck’s column where he basically took it to people who were questioning Perlozzo’s job security. Schmuck wrote that “It is the middle of May and, quite amazingly, one inning has created such a quantum shift in perspective that Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo's job security is suddenly a hot topic of conversation on all the fan Web sites and -- presumably -- in the club's front office. He then went on to bash the fan message board communities by saying if Perlozzo had left Guthrie in and he was hurt that they would still be upset, “I'm guessing all the same message board geniuses would be calling out Perlozzo for burning Guthrie up.”
I personally like Peter and although he has his detractors on our board, I generally enjoy his columns as well. But he’s way off base on this one. First off, it’s not just this one incident that has the fans and press riled up. He acts as though everyone was happy with Sam, but after one heart breaking defeat, the fans are ready for his head. Well, maybe Peter hasn’t been paying attention or maybe he needs to spend more time reading the Hangout, because I’m sure there’s a pretty long list of Sam’s actions that have the majority of the message board communities ready for change. Yes Peter, the “message board geniuses” are sometimes actually correct.
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Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.