Agree with "Z": Cut Trembley a little slack
Just finished reading an extended blog entry by Jeff Zrebiec on Orioles Insider and I've got to chime in and back him up. There's no question in my mind that the arrival of Buck Showalter has been an elixir for this team -- though it's hard to pinpoint the exact reason -- but it's not like the Orioles never came back to win a game in the late innings.
They've had other junctures in this lost season when they delivered a quick burst of adequacy, but this is definitely the most dynamic indication that there is more talent here than has been reflected in the won-loss record.
I don't think it's necessary to use Showalter to support a turn-back-the-clock argument for hiring someone else to start the season. Obviously, the team didn't play well for Trembley during the first couple of months, but I don't think they were in a position to play well for anyone at that point. Suddenly, Brian Roberts is back and starting to play like Brian Roberts. Felix Pie is starting to look comfortable again, and Michael Gonzalez is a different pitcher since coming back from the disabled list.
Throw in seven straight quality starts and that 6-1 record wouldn't have been such a stretch of the imagination.
That said, I do believe that the hiring of Showalter has been catalytic for a number of possible reasons -- from an increase in overall intensity to a much higher level of confidence in what is going on inside the organization.
Trembley was at a huge disadvantage. It's tough to earn and maintain the respect of the players when the team is not having success...and Trembley never managed a team that had a legitimate chance to play .500 ball in the American League East. Showalter already earned that respect elsewhere, which makes a world of difference coming into such a difficult situation.
Let's leave it at this. Dave did what he was asked to do by the organization, but the poor results make it tough to measure his contribution. If you doubt that, I have to ask one question: Do you think that Showalter called all the young starters into a room last Tuesday and taught them how to pitch?
Associated Press photo