So, aside from Erik Bedard pitching yet another stellar game on Wednesday, the big news for the Orioles is that manager Sam Perlozzo is officially coming back in 2007, according to assistant general manager Jim Duquette. (Well, it's relatively big news. How much can you expect to get out of a team that's 20 games under .500 and 25 games out of first?)
I guess it's hard to blame Perlozzo too much for the team's poor performance this year; it's not as if this roster was projected (at least not by me) to be any better than this. And I guess there's something to be said for stability and continuity; shuffling managers every year is just a recipe for chaos and confusion, and without fixing the roster, what's the point? Still, a day after the Orioles clinched their ninth straight losing season, extending the worst streak since the St. Louis Browns moved east, it's not exactly a decision designed to fire up the fan base, now is it? And no matter what his excuses are, so far Perlozzo is hardly distinguishing himself in the annals of Orioles managerdom:
Manager W - L Pct Luman Harris 17 - 10 .630 Earl Weaver 1480 - 1060 .583 Davey Johnson 186 - 138 .574 Hank Bauer 407 - 318 .561 Joe Altobelli 213 - 168 .559 Johnny Oates 291 - 270 .519 Billy Hitchcock 163 - 161 .503 Phil Regan 71 - 73 .493 Paul Richards 517 - 539 .490 Ray Miller 157 - 167 .485 Lee Mazzilli 129 - 140 .480 Frank Robinson 230 - 285 .447 SAM PERLOZZO 86 - 114 .430 (Through Wednesday's game) Mike Hargrove 275 - 372 .425 Cal Ripken Sr. 67 - 101 .399 Jimmy Dykes 54 - 100 .351
Yes, that's right: for all the talk of Oriole improvement and a promising future, the team's record under Perlozzo is significantly worse than it was with his recent predecessors Lee Mazzilli and Ray Miller, and on par with Mike Hargrove's. (Gee, wouldn't it be nice if Peter Angelos hadn't run Davey Johnson out of town?) And if we're not going to blame Perlozzo, then I think it's time to start pointing fingers at the other culprits: Angelos, Duquette, and pitching-coach-turned-broadcaster-turned-pitching-coach-turned-broadcaster-turned co-general manager Mike Flanagan.
(Finally, for all you nitpickers, let me note that I know that the line "Play it again, Sam," was never actually said in Casablanca. Ask me if I care.)