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August 3, 2010

Dempsey 'very, very disappointed,' but supports Showalter

We'll have more on this online tonight, but Rick Dempsey talked to us about not getting the Orioles' managerial job, which went to Buck Showalter.

It's the fourth time Dempsey has interviewed for the post, which the former Oriole catcher and current MASN broadcaster considers his dream job.

Here's some of what he said:

“I’m very, very disappointed, to tell you the truth,” said Dempsey, the longtime Orioles coach and player who was the 1983 World Series MVP. “I don’t begrudge Buck getting the opportunity. He is going to be a hell of a manager. He has been a hell of a manager. But I will always feel I know more about this ballclub than anybody else.”

Based on his knowledge of the club and his success as a minor league manager, Dempsey said, he believes he should have gotten a chance to lead this team by now.

“I think it is probably the biggest mistake made here in a long time, and I’m not talking just today, I mean over the years,” Dempsey said. “Not being given an opportunity to manage this ballclub. Every organization in baseball would like to have someone who has won, who has played in the World Series for the organization, who has learned to manage from A ball up and come back here. I think with the relationship I have had with the fans and this city, I should have been a slam-dunk years ago. Someone dropped the ball a long time ago.”

That said, Dempsey said he is supportive of Showalter, who has managed 11 seasons in the big leagues and won two American League Manager of the Year awards. He said he feels much better about this choice than he has the other three times he has lost out -- to Mike Hargrove, Lee Mazzilli and Sam Perlozzo.

“The fact that Buck got the job is a good thing,” Dempsey said. “Of all of the managers I have gone up against in the interviewing process, he is probably the highest-qualified of all of them. No doubt in my mind he can turn this around, but he still doesn’t know what I know about this ballclub. But I am at least happy to lose out to someone so qualified for the job.”

Posted by Dan Connolly at 8:11 PM | | Comments (14)


Would Rick be open to coaching for Buck or stay out of the way like Juan?

Open, depending on situation

I can sympathize with how Rick feels -- you can't blame him a bit for being disappointed. He would have been a fun/exciting manager to have the dugout/clubhouse, and I bet he could have won as many as anybody else given some talented players. He certainly knows the club and the town, and he had some success in the minors.

After three failed neophyte managers, the Os needed someone with a great Major League resume, and Buck was without a doubt the best available. Sorry, Rick, life isn't fair. Stay classy.

The Os big misteak was hiring Lee Mazilli on the strength of an interview. Anybody can talk a good game, but Maz never won over the players to his side.. They interviewed Rich Dauer, Eddie Murray and Dempsey -- and went with a Yankee. That was a major Flanagan/ Beatty blunder, if I recall directly. Maz brought us Perlozzo, and Perlozzo brought us Trembley. And here we are, with the worst record in baseball.

"... I will always feel I know more about this ballclub than anybody else.” - Rick Dempsey

Knowing this club isn't the point. There are parts that need to improve and/or develop. There are parts missing. There are parts currently on this team who need to be replaced for the parts needed.

While no one can say for sure whether Dempsey can identify those things and unify the parts when (and if) those parts gathered together, the fact he identifies knowing what's here rather than what's needed perhaps shows best he is not the right person for this job at this time.

Based on his knowledge of the club and his success as a minor league manager, Dempsey said, he believes he should have gotten a chance to lead this team by now.

Funny how his success as a Dodger and Met minor league manager led him out of that organization and only the Orioles even entertain keeping him around in any capacity. If Dempsey really, really wanted to put his ducks in a row, he should have campaigned and still be campaigning to manage at Norfolk.

If Dempsey feels he would have been a better choice than Mazzilli and Perlozzo, fine. But let's make no mistake, his "winning" was 27 years ago. The players needing the most influence weren't born yet. While those two managers certainly didn't distinguish themselves, the Orioles needed -- and still need -- more than just be shown how to win.

For Dempsey to be taken seriously, he should leave Hargrove out of it. Hargrove actually did the best imaginable job of managing given what he had.

Before one can feels safe Rick can take stock with the players he vows to know so well, he probably should take better stock in himself. It's nice to have self-confidence. It's pitiful when other supportive voices are becoming a fading memory.

Let's be real. Rick managed in Albuquerque 1994-95 and Norfolk (ironically enough) 1997-98. He was demoted from third base coach to the bullpen while here, and now mans a microphone. Even if Rick turns his cap backwards and starts kicking dirt, it is hard to sympathize with him 12 years later.

Dempsey is right, of course.
He's a fighter, upbeat, positive, likeable, lot of enthusiasm, projects energy,
and he's been there. He knows both sides of the battery. He knows the Weaver system and winning strategy.
And he's a World Series MVP from '83.
If he's open to it, he should take a coaching position and put the uniform on again. Showalter won't stay forever. You live once - go for it.
Unless he's content with his current gig.
But we love Dempsey in Baltimore. He will always represent and symbolize the O's and the spirit of 33rd Street. No small thing, that.

I love Demper, but that kind of rhetoric right there is why is not the manager of this team. They don't look for knowledge alone. They look for personality, and Demper just doesn't have it. Can anybody blame the O's for not hiring him after that interview? I don't.

I will always wonder what might have been if Dempsey were given the opportunity to manage the ball club. However, now that Showalter has the job, I hope that he is able to turn things around. I have always liked Dempsey and I would love to see him directly involved with the organization again in some way.

When I first heard these comments, my reaction was adverse. But, after reading them, I think what he is mostly saying (and is right about) is that he should have gotten a shot before Perlozzo or Trembley (and perhaps Mazilli). Hard to argue with that, especially Trembley. MacPhail's decision to keep Trembley (which he decided to do twice) was the biggest mistake of his tenure so far.

Rick Dempsey is delusional.There is no way that idiot would ever be a capable major league manager. It's bad enough to have to put up with him on MASN. A brain damaged monkey in a coma would make a better manager than Rick Dempsey.

Why does Rick Dempsey have this unwarranted sense of entitlement? I appreciate what he did for the team during his 10 years as a player here, but he is 60 now and needs to adopt a little grace. I've seen him out of the public eye when he has acted like a crass tool, and it is not a pretty sight.

Sorry, Rick: what you said about your not getting the mananager's job may be true, but it was ***tactless*** (and political death) of you to say it. One prevailing good trait of a manager or a managerial candidate is not publically to criticize ownership. You, Rick, just broke that cardinal rule, leaving you "in the booth," not on the field. How long will you remain in the booth? Ingratiates tend not to last very long. Sad result to a fond Oriole memory.

I was a kid in '83. I liked Rick Dempsey. But as an adult I've watched him use the media to weasel his way into interviews to manage, I've watched him undermine managers (why else was he sent out to the bullpen-- a demotion-- when Elrod died), and I've watched him again use the media to undermine the new manager. He's loved in this town because of his past, but he comes off to me as an ambitious weasel. I'm glad he didn't get the job, because he lacks experience, and I have a feeling that he'd create drama as he already has shown. The Orioles don't need that or him.

One: There's no clear correlation between MLB success as a player and as a manager. Red Schoendienst and Joe Torre produced as players, Earl Weaver and Casey Stengel didn't. (I'm old.) And if success as a player were important, Mr. Dempsey would be a marginal candidate to become a manager. Every time his name is mentioned, it says "WS MVP" because that's his only real distinction other than longevity.

Two: Sometimes an employer insists on experience. May not be fair, but it's a common and legitimate way to do business.

Three: There is no secret "Orioles Way" of doing things, like the secret Masonic hanshake or something. (Squeeze with thumb and pinky.) The best baseball manager, period, is the best manager for the O's. The fact that Mr. Dempsey shared a locker room with Len Sakata is irrelevant.

the best thing the Os could is ask Rick dempsey what coachig job he wants and give it to him . this orig should be glad to have him involved in the on field action

Rick Dempsey would have been a poor choice for manager because he is too closely tied to the Orioles of the past decade. I hope Showalter cleans house and brings in his own team of coaches next year.

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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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