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August 1, 2010

The Juan Samuel managerial era in Baltimore ends in fitting fashion

The Oriole players, who have so much respect and admiration for Juan Samuel, wanted so badly to send the interim manager off with a victory. Instead, they did the same things that they've done all year and lost 5-4 to the Kansas City Royals to fall to 32-73 on the season. They are now on pace to finish with a 49-113 record.

Kevin Millwood allowed three first-inning runs among five runs total over 5 2/3 innings. The offense went just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and had men on first and second in the ninth with no outs against All-Star closer Joakim Soria. Nick Markakis promptly swings at the first pitch and then grounds into a double play. Two batters later, Royals second baseman Chris Getz makes a diving stop of Luke Scott's potential game-tying single and throws him out to end the game, and Samuel's tenure.

He finished with a 17-34 record.

“You wish it would have ended differently with a few more wins here, but we have nothing to be ashamed of,” said Samuel who will be replaced by Buck Showalter. “These guys played hard. All these games came down to the last at-bat and that’s all you can hope for.”

Well, you can hope for a few clutch hits, a few more early zeroes being put up in the early innings and a few more shutdown relief appearances, but I guess that's asking for too much.

“It’s tough, but we busted our butts. We gave him what we got,” said Markakis. “We just came up short. That’s baseball.”

Samuel will meet with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail tomorrow morning and he's expected to inform him that he's stepping down, rather than staying on Showalter's staff as the third base coach. It's not impossible that MacPhail or Showalter could convince him differently, but it will take quite an effort as Samuel's mind appears pretty well made up.

“I enjoyed my time here," Samuel said. "It was nothing but a good experience. It puts [my name] out there a little more knowing that I can do this. I appreciate the opportunity that I got here. There’s nothing but positives out of this.”

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 7:08 PM | | Comments (6)


nothing wrong with 333 baseball with this pretty much clueless bunch. Proven talent and improving youngsters, both in short supply around here, might have won the guy some games.

Jeff, a question to your reply on an earlier thread? Do you think that AM, the head honcho, sees this thing as fixable given the current org structure and the people in it?
Or does he think he needs to make drastic changes because the results of 3 years of work throughout the organization have resulted in the fiasco called 2010?

Jeff Z's reply: I think this has proven to be a much, much harder job than Andy had ever imagined and yes, I do expect some significant changes. But it will be interesting to see what Andy does because there's no getting away from the fact that he has one year remaining on his deal.

That's funny, I don't see how they "busted their butts" to win this game. I see that they played bad fundamental baseball, didn't hit well w/runners in scoring position, and KC gave them 4 outs in 3 innings that I can think of offhand.

"nothing but positives out of this."

Maybe for him but for the starving fans I would say nothing but negatives. I guess since KC is in such a huge market and has so much money we can't compete with them either. Please Orioles at least split with the other horrible teams.

I'm happy Buck Showalter is finally taking over this team but I do not envy him in the least. This team has made an art form of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

come on-give the guy (Samuel) a break. He's trying to go out with class and dignity. Of course he's going to say all the positive stuff, like "busting out butts" etc. What do you want him to say-that the Orioles are a classless, clueless organization? which they are. Remember, Juan, is shopping himself for his next major league team which he deserves to get. so cut him a break- He managed much more effectively, both tactically and otherwise-far better than Dave Trembley ever did.

"That's baseball."

This quote really bugs me. This shrug-your-shoulders attitude. Dude, hae some pride. Show some fire. You all are losers on a historical level and all you have to say is "That's baseball".


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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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