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April 25, 2010

Mora defends Trembley. Really, he does.

Stay around baseball long enough and you’ll experience some strange things. A perfect example occurred this morning when the phone rang and former Oriole Melvin Mora was at the other end.

We talked for a while and then I asked Mora, now with the Colorado Rockies, what he thought about the Orioles’ horrendous start and the precarious situation of his former manager Dave Trembley.

Mora knew this part of the conversation was on the record. Mora has never been shy to voice opinions, no matter how critical. And Mora is not a fan of Trembley, saying publicly last year that he felt Trembley “disrespected” him and was not upfront about the reason Mora had lost playing time.

So I was waiting for Mora, whose family still lives in Maryland, to unload on Trembley and the team that didn’t re-sign him. And this is what he said:

“In my heart, I think they should put the best team they have on the field. But in the bottom of my heart, I don’t think this losing has (anything) to do with Trembley. … With this situation, it doesn’t have to do much with Trembley. But somebody needs to get fired or somebody needs to start winning. And if somebody needs to go, who is going to go? You aren’t going to change 25 players. But, for me, maybe I am different, but I don’t like people to get fired, anyone.”

Make no mistake, Mora still isn’t one of Trembley’s fans. But this losing stretch, he said, should be on the players and the front office, and not the field manager.

“If Nick Markakis and (Adam) Jones and those guys aren’t hitting, what does the manager have to do with it? They go into the offseason and sign a closer and he has (two) blown saves before May, what does the manager have to do with it? They bring in three free agents and if they don’t work, what does the manager have to do with it?

“Maybe Trembley will say tomorrow, ‘What? Melvin Mora is defending me?’ Yeah. I give Trembley credit. It’s a tough situation and he has to battle.”

Mora said he has watched a lot of the Orioles games this season in the Rockies’ clubhouse, where his teammates like to keep tabs on former Rockies infielder Garrett Atkins. Mora said he doesn’t feel vindicated that the organization for which he played 10 seasons has struggled so mightily.

“To say I am happy the Orioles are losing or to say I am sad the Orioles are losing or to say I am mad that the Orioles are losing, I can’t say any of that,” Mora said. “All I can say is Melvin Mora wanted the Orioles to win when he was a part of that. I wanted to be part of a winning team there, but now it doesn’t matter.”

Mora has played sparingly with the Rockies so far this year, getting just 25 at-bats in nine games while playing at second base, third base and first base. Heading into Sunday, he was hitting .280 with a double, two triples and three RBIs.

He said he’s content being a utility man, that he knew that would be his role in Colorado. Although he said he’ll always be an Oriole at heart, he said he has no regrets in signing with the Rockies (9-9), especially given the situation in Baltimore.

“I love the young guys there. I had a great relationship with them,” Mora said. “But I am happy here. I am happy I don’t have to deal with a 2-16 start because those fans are going to be yelling (at the Orioles’ players) and they are right. Because they are desperate to win.”

Posted by Dan Connolly at 3:05 PM | | Comments (14)


Said it before and I will say it again. By this logic of "Dave Trembley doesn't go out there and hit balls or pitch strikes," no manager or coach would ever get fired because no coach outside of Pete Rose ever hit. Stupid argument for keeping a manager. Melvin Mora clearly has not been watching Trembley's pitcher decisions and his continued inability to get the players to run the basepaths correctly.

I always thought Melvin was a great pickup for the O's.

nice article Dan - thanks

JAS, Trembley has nothing to do with the players not running the bases correctly. It's on the players to run the bases well. Trembley can't hold their hands while they're running the bases. And by the way, any fan would be mad at any manager's pitching changes. Doesn't matter who the manager is -- fans will ALWAYS find a way to criticize them.

well he's right of course.

and sticking with T is the right thing because he'll be stronger for it when the Team finally does emerge from this nightmare

firing him will only set them back further

Just wonder if McPhail has an announcement ready for after the game.They have to act like they care or attendance won't pay the bills this year.

It's tough call on trembely,he didn't order BRob getting hurt which probably cost us 6 gmes with him out. they're playing close game and the starters have been good. the problem is the back end of the bullpen and that can be fixed moving people around


I think the point is WHEN you make that switch. A 2-16 start is beyond pathetic, absolutely. But can you judge a manager and his ability to fix those problems in less than a month? I don't think so.

A month of bad baseball cannot be placed simply on the manager. That's not how it goes. Now, two months... half a season... a season. Sure, you can start to look at the manager. But 18 games? You can't say that changing Trembley will change anything so quickly.

Of course managers don't pitch or run the basepaths. But it's every managers job to communicate to his players how to do those things effectively. They don't play the games for the players but they better get the players to compete at an elite level, no matter the sport. It is also the managers job to make the appropriate moves at the right times with what he's given. It's chess, and Trembley is horrible at it.

They lost a guy with integrity when they gave away Mora. I still believe that Terry Crowley needs to go! The Orioles have a habit of keeping the "the good ole boys" to the detriment of the team. Why do we still have Luke Scott. Why did we keep Gibbons long past his usefulness? You figure it out.

I love Melvin Mora. He was there for Elrod when many were not.

He is showing class by not jumping on Trembley. He has shown class his whole career.

Melvin played center, left, right, 2nd, , DH, shortstop and finally 3rd. If Earl Weaver had Melvin Mora he'd never lost a world series.

maybe the hitting you can't blame the manager but some moves are sorry.with your team having no offense you try to get things going so what was up in seattle?double to start the inning and you don't bnt come on your not earl weaver.this has happened more then once for pitching changes you go with the hot hand he has not.


I'm not sure Trembly has done anything deserving of being fired yet, but he's not demonstrating why he should be kept around either. Just about any team can have this bad of a month, so he probably deserves until Memorial Day, but if they're going to give him the axe, they shouldn't wait much longer than that.

As for the Crow, Earl Weaver said it best, "Terry Crowley is lucky he's in f***ing baseball!" Fire him yesterday.

How many winning teams has Mora been on? I love the guy, but I don't think that he (or anyone on our current roster) is qualified to defend a manager that does not know how to win.

Can we fire the owner???

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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