By Matthew Taylor
With all due respect to Sam Perlozzo, whom we like and respect as a long-time member of the Orioles' growingly dysfunctional family, Roar from 34 is proud to announce the winners of the first-ever Sammy Awards.
Best Breaking News Coverage: To Mike Burke of The Cumberland Times-News for landing what may as well have been an exclusive interview with Sam Perlozzo.
Reporters couldn't get anywhere near their sources at Camden Yards yesterday afternoon, but Mike Burke from The Cumberland Times-News didn't need to. He landed the most thorough interview with Sam Perlozzo of any news outlet, drawing much more honesty from the former skipper than did the Associated Press.
Sometimes it pays to be the guy from the hometown paper (circulation: 32,000). Score one for the little guy.
Check out some of Perlozzo's comments to the Cumberland paper -
Of the fact that noone took a stand for him: "I'm going to be honest. Some people I have put a lot of work in for a lot of years never said anything. Yes, I think about it."
Of the team's handling of his job situation in recent weeks: "I told them they should have stepped up. When all this talk became public, and they didn't step up ... That would have resolved it. But they didn't step up, and no matter what, you don't do that to me. You don't do that to a guy who has been in the organization for 12 years and has done so many things for this organization. I told them they should have stepped up and said, 'Sam Perlozzo is our manager.' And then if they want to fire me two days later, fine. Just resolve it. But they didn't. You don't do that to me."
Of the manager being the team's scapegoat: "It doesn't matter how many right moves you make and it still doesn't work. The manager gets fired. But not with the Dodgers. They fire their hitting coach. Here, we keep reshuffling managers."
Read the full Cumberland News-Times article here.
Most Delusional Award: To Dave Trembley, for obvious reasons.
From The Sun:
"Trembley has been on the bench for every series except two, including the opener in Minnesota. He said he's in the mind-set that he's going to manage tonight's game in San Diego 'and every game after that.'
'I wasn't told that I'm the interim manager,' he said, 'and I'm not expecting that.'"
Rumor has it that Trembley's first order of business when the O's return from the West Coast will be to meet with the team's marketing department and discuss using 1989's "Why Not?" slogan again this season. (Note the sarcasm.)
"O" the Irony! Award: To the Birds brain trust, for naming their bullpen coach interim manager. I'm guessing they're going to put Danys Baez on the Orioles MVP ballot as well.
Déjà Vu Award: To Davey Johnson and Joe Girardi.
Stop me if you've heard this before: Skipper wins "Manager of the Year" award and immediately parts ways with his team because of a personality conflict with ownership.
Joe Girardi, meet Davey Johnson.
"15 Minutes of Fame ... or Less" Award: To the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx for celebrating their connection to interim manager Dave Trembley in a press release.
The "Taxi Driver" Award: To Terry Francona of the Boston Red Sox.
"Francona refrained from comment on the firing of Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo. He joked about Kevin Millar's declaration that he planned to call a players-only meeting for today, a meeting that probably won't be held now that Perlozzo has been cashiered. 'We're all laughing,' Francona said about Millar, 'but you guys know I love him to death. He does a good job in the clubhouse. I'll bet you if he said something in the room, it would be worthy of people listening.'"
Cue Kevin Millar doing his best knock-off of DeNiro's famous "What are you lookin' at?" line ... "What are you laughin' at? Are you laughin' at me?"
Best Fan Reaction Story: To Jonathan Pitts of The Sun, for capturing the big picture. It's not just about what happened this week; it's about what's happened this decade.
"As the fortunes of the Orange and Black dwindled over the years, fans kept a reluctant truce with the team, even as the winning template, the so-called 'Oriole Way,' seemed to unravel strand by strand. But yesterday, as the O's were announcing the firing of yet another manager, fans sounded distinctly like lovers who had been betrayed too many times ...
That was a common refrain: It's not even the losing they hate. What offends them is a franchise - and players - who appear to lack interest."