I know it is football season, but we’re going to talk baseball today.
We are going to talk baseball lots of days, no matter what the temperature is outside. We won’t abandon the Ravens, but I have to stick with my so-called expertise on occasion.
And that’s baseball, and those battered and beaten birds of Baltimore.
Before I get to them, though, a quick scouting report on the Jason Isbell concert for those that care (and based on the e-mails I’ve gotten about my lack of music discussion recently, some of you, a vocal/typing portion anyway, do).
Isbell put on a heck of a show, one that would make all Drive-By Truckers fans proud. He played for about two hours, did several of his most recent solo tunes as well as covers of The Talking Heads and Tom Petty and mixed in some of his Truckers stuff (“Outfit,” “The Day John Henry Died,” “Decoration Day.”) There were some technical difficulties at the venue, but Isbell and his band, the 400 Unit, fought through it and sounded great.
The only disappointment was the size of the crowd. I wasn’t expecting a Truckers’ audience, but thought there’d be more people out. Of course, as an old guy, I’m much more comfortable with gatherings versus crowds these days.
Two Baltimore notes from that night: The opener was Charm City’s own J Roddy Walston and the Business, a fun band that’s energy is only matched by its volume of hair. The drummer is Steve Colmus, who is one of the Warning Track Power guys that created “How Bout Dem O’s?” which we have featured here before. Steve came up and re-introduced himself to me before his gig, which was cool.
Also, I discovered after Isbell’s show that one of the guys in his band, keyboardist Derry deBorja, is from Towson. He’s a McDonogh grad, and this old Calvert Hall guy didn’t hold it against him. I swear.
So, yeah, Baltimore’s music scene was well represented in Pa. last week. Good to see.
OK, back to something you care more about: the Orioles.
As I wrote today, Dave Trembley has brought back all of his coaches except bench coach Dave Jauss. I guess that’s somewhat of a surprise from a team that lost 98 games in 2009. But if you believe that Trembley deserved to return despite the record, the same can probably be said about his staff.
The fact that the only one to get the ax was the bench coach isn’t surprising. The manager and the bench coach have to have a special relationship and if that doesn’t develop – or if it slips some over time -- it’s an easy spot to make a change. Don’t worry about Jauss, who has been in the game forever. He’ll surely find a job somewhere else.
I know some were disappointed that Juan Samuel stayed. A bad team’s third base coach is always a target for fans. It’s by far the easiest coaching position to criticize and, in the time I have covered this club, fans wanted the heads of Sam Perlozzo and Tom Trebelhorn, too. Yes, Samuel made some mistakes in 2009. But a third base coach is only noticed when he makes a questionable decision. The other 700-plus times when the team scores, no one gives him any credit for waving his arm.
Here’s what you need to know about Samuel: He is arguably the most respected person in the Orioles' clubhouse – players and coaches alike. A former all-star, he’s unafraid to tell a player when he did something wrong or isn’t acting professionally. And, at 48, he’s still has the muscle (and resume) to back it up. I would have kept him, too.
In fact, I’m OK with the returning of these coaches; there is something to be said for continuity, But are you?
Daily Think Special: Should the Orioles have brought back most of their coaching staff?