Samuel perseveres as Baltimore’s interim manager
During the first full week of Juan Samuel’s tenure as interim
manager of the Baltimore Orioles, the man who gave him the job
interviewed Bobby Valentine and Eric Wedge as full-time
It wasn’t exactly a vote of confidence from president of
baseball operations Andy MacPhail, who tapped Samuel as manager
after firing Dave Trembley on June 4.
“To be honest, that’s not on my mind,” Samuel said Sunday.
“When I spoke with Andy, it was explained to me it could be two
months, it could be three years.”
Samuel said MacPhail warned: “We are going to talk to some
Samuel, 49, was Baltimore’s third base coach before being handed
his first managerial job in the majors. The change occurred after
the Orioles lost eight straight to fall to 15-39, the worst record
in the big leagues.
Since taking over, Samuel was 2-6 before Sunday’s game against
the New York Mets. In his defense, under his watch the Orioles have
faced Boston, the New York Yankees and Mets.
“For me right now, my job is to get these guys going,” Samuel
said. “I’m going to enjoy this experience. I just want to push
these guys a little bit, continue to work, continue to see some
progress from these young players. That is my main goal.”
He has demanded that the Orioles play fundamentally sound
baseball. Working with the worst offense in the AL, Samuel has
attempted to manufacture runs by calling for sacrifice bunts, using
the hit and run and running the bases with caution.
Yet it’s a bit early to call them Samuel’s Orioles.
“I don’t know if you can leave an imprint over a short period
of time,” he said. “You can probably say that when you have more
time; two or three months or a year.”