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Orioles had a better way to look for a manager


Orioles had a better way to look for a manager

The Seattle Mariners named Scott Servais as their new manager on Friday. There are four other teams, the Nationals, Dodgers, Padres and Marlins without a manager.

Those teams are using the traditional, relatively secretive way of choosing a manager, conducting interviews and not commenting on them.

Twelve years ago this month, the Orioles interviewed for a manager in a most transparent and innovative way. It was so different and seemed way ahead of its time.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t caught on.

It was October 2003, and the Orioles had co-general managers, Jim Beattie and Mike Flanagan. They decided to move on from Mike Hargrove after four years, and it was time for a new approach.

Beattie and Flanagan decided on a unique way of interviewing managerial candidates. They would announce who the candidates were, and after the formal interview, the prospective Orioles managers would be ushered into a conference room where the media would interview them.

The two co-GMs would look at the tape and see how each candidate did. It was a way of controlling the message for the Orioles. Unfortunately, they couldn’t predict how a manager would interact in a clubhouse or run a game.

Eight candidates were interviewed. Four had an Orioles background and were well known by Flanagan: Rich Dauer, Rick Dempsey, Eddie Murray and Sam Perlozzo.

Four had no Orioles connection: Tom Foley, Terry Francona, Grady Little and Lee Mazzilli.

Little wasn’t on the Orioles’ original list, but was a late addition after he was fired by the Boston Red Sox in the wake of losing the ALCS to the New York Yankees.

Foley’s was the most surprising name on the list. He had just finished his second season as a major league coach with Tampa Bay, and seemed stunned to even be considered.

Francona had managed the Philadelphia Phillies from 1997-2000, and hadn’t had a winning season while Mazzilli was Joe Torre’s first base coach with the Yankees.

Mazzilli wowed the Orioles, gave an upbeat interview to the media, and in early November, was hired as the team’s manager.

It was the Orioles’ last offseason managerial search.

Mazzilli managed until Aug. 2005 when he was replaced by Perlozzo, who despite being upset he was passed over for the job, stayed on as a coach. He was given the title of interim manager at first, then promoted a few weeks later

Perlozzo was replaced in June 2007 by Dave Trembley, who was also named as interim manager. Andy MacPhail, who was now running the team, tried to hire Joe Girardi, but was rebuffed. Girardi succeeded Torre a few months later.

Trembley was named the fulltime manager on Aug. 22, 2007, and promptly watched his team lose 30-3 to the Texas Rangers in the first game of a doubleheader.

When Trembley was fired in June 2010, MacPhail appointed Juan Samuel as the interim manager before settling on Buck Showalter eight weeks later.

There were no media interviews during any of those searches.

Foley is still with the Rays, and he’s coached for 14 seasons under four managers. He was not one of the 10 candidates interviewed by Tampa Bay when Joe Maddon left a year ago.

Little went to manage the Dodgers for two seasons before Torre succeeded him.

A few weeks after the interviews, Boston hired Francona to succeed Little, and he won two World Series there.

Before Little’s interview, which was the final one, Orioles public relations director Bill Stetka entered the room, and asked reporters not to quiz Little about his decision to keep Pedro Martinez in Game 7 of the ALCS. That was the move that led to his dismissal.

During the group interview, Little was bewildered that the incident didn’t come up, having been used to rough questioning by Red Sox writers.

It’s surprising that this kind of innovative approach toward interviewing hasn’t been widely copied. Handling the media is a bigger part of a manager’s job than ever, and instead of information dribbling out, this way would be easier.

It turned out that Mazzilli wasn’t terribly comfortable with dealing with the media, and after his dismissal never managed again. He’s currently an assistant to New York GM Brian Cashman.

Dempsey is a popular broadcaster and owns a restaurant that bears his name. Murray is out of baseball. Perlozzo is a minor league instructor for Minnesota and Dauer, who was a Milwaukee coach at the time of the interview, is now Houston’s first base coach.

Flanagan took his own life in Aug. 2011, and Beattie scouts for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Showalter is under contract for three more seasons. The hope is that the next Orioles managerial search is a long way off, but when that time comes, the open approach adopted by Beattie and Flanagan was a wise one to copy.


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Trumbo homers twice, drives in 5 as Orioles beat Rangers 9-6

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Trumbo homers twice, drives in 5 as Orioles beat Rangers 9-6

 Mark Trumbo could have looked around the diamond at his Orioles teammates and wondered, "Who are these guys?"

With veterans Adam Jones and Chris Davis out of the starting lineup, Trumbo alone represented experience on a young, struggling team.

The slugger homered twice and drove in five runs, and Baltimore beat the Texas Rangers 9-6 in a back-and-forth game Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep.

"There's a few of us guys that have been around a little longer than most," Trumbo said. "The production comes and goes, but the mindset is the big thing, and I think these guys are doing a good job."

Entering the series, Trumbo hadn't gone deep since July 9. He completed the four games 7 for 16 with three homers and nine RBIs as Baltimore totaled 21 runs.

Austin Wynns and Jonathan Villar also homered for the Orioles.

Trumbo singled home a run in the first inning. His two-run homer in the third put Baltimore ahead to stay at 6-5 against starter Drew Hutchison (1-2), who was making his Rangers debut.

"Just pitch execution, poor command, too many balls up in the zone," Hutchison said. "When you do things like that, those are the results that you're going to have."

Both of Trumbo's homers came with two strikes.

"I've been getting to two strikes a lot lately and still getting some hits," he said. "I hit a changeup (from Hutchison), and I put some good wood on it."

The teams had scored in every half-inning before that, with the lead changing hands in four of those.

Trumbo left the game after his two-run homer against Matt Moore in the seventh.

"(Trumbo) almost didn't play today," Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "His knee's been a little sore. I noticed running around the bases on the second home run."

Another difference was Baltimore's beleaguered bullpen, which allowed only one run and one hit in 7 1/3 innings.

Tanner Scott (2-2), the second of six Orioles pitchers, shut out Texas for 2 1/3 innings, which tied his longest major league outing. He relieved starter Yefry Ramirez with the bases loaded and two outs in the second and struck out Ronald Guzman.

Mychal Givens retired the final four batters for his second save.

Jace Peterson led off the game with a single and scored on Trumbo's single for a short-lived 1-0 lead.

Ramirez retired the first two Rangers hitters but gave up a triple to Elvis Andrus. After two walks loaded the bases, Robinson Chirinos singled home two runs.

The Orioles regained the lead at 4-2 in the second on a three-run homer by Wynns, the No. 9 batter.

The Rangers scored three runs in the bottom half on Shin-Soo Choo's sacrifice fly, Andrus' groundout and a broken-bat single by Joey Gallo for a 5-4 advantage.

Gallo and Rougned Odor homered in each of the first three games of the series, but their streaks were stopped on Sunday.


Orioles: Davis didn't play for a second straight game. Showalter said, "He's banged up a little bit. We're going to give him the benefit of another day and the off day Monday." ... Showalter said it's likely that OF Craig Gentry, who has missed six weeks because of a fractured rib, will begin a rehab assignment Tuesday at Double-A Bowie. ... INF Steve Wilkerson (strained left oblique), who hasn't played since July 1, could go on a rehab assignment Thursday.


To make room for Hutchison on the roster, the Rangers optioned RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx to Triple-A Round Rock for the third time this season.


Andrus extended his hitting streak to 16 games, equaling a career best. It's also the longest current run in the majors.


Orioles: Begin a three-game series at Tampa Bay on Tuesday. Alex Cobb (3-14, 5.83 ERA) will start against Rays newcomer Tyler Glasnow (1-2, 4.27).

Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (2-4, 6.50) pitches Monday as Texas hosts Seattle and LHP Wade LeBlanc (6-2, 3.95) to begin a three-game series.

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Adam Jones helps Little League team with $8.5K donation

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Adam Jones helps Little League team with $8.5K donation

Adam Jones continues to be one of baseball's Good Dudes. 

Jones, who's been recognized before for his philanthropic efforts around Baltimore, made headlines recently when he donated $8.5 thousand dollars to the Mamie Johnson Little League team. 

Mamie Johnson are headed to the Mid-Atlantic Finals of the Little League World Series qualifying tournament but needed $10k in travel assistance to get there. That's where Jones, who orginally learned of the team on Twitter, stepped in: 

When asked about his donation, Jones said, "I want to see the next generation get an opportunity to succeed. Me being a black man trying to integrate more African-Americans into baseball, this was a no-brainer.''

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