Curse of Davey Johnson?

Davey Johnson dropped by to see his old buddies Sam Perlozzo and Frank Robinson at their game yesterday. Johnson says he and the Orioles have patched things up. I remember that day where he won the manager of the year award and was fired the same day (Orioles say resigned, he says fired…I believe the latter).
After these numbers
98 wins 64 loses and FIRST place in the AL East

The Cubs have their curse of the goat, the Red Sox had the curse of the Babe. I’m wondering if we have the curse of Davey Johnson. Since he was fired, we haven’t had a winning season. There’s been some epic collapses and bad stuff in general. I don’t believe that stuff, but it’s interesting in this case. Maybe we should have gave him that extension back then, he did deserve it.

Apparently Sam Perlozzo is a very likable guy. Johnson drops by to see him, Bill Parcells does too, I think Lou Pinella did (who, if Dusty Baker doesn’t win this year will be the next manager of the Cubs…write it down). I think Sam’s going to the best manager we’ve had since Davey. Though those that followed Davey didn’t exactly set the world on fire.

*Ray Miller managed two season going a combined 157-167 and a pair of 4th place finishies to show for his two medicore seasons as manager. I thought the two seasons that Ray ran the show, the team could have done better. Most of the same players were there and the final records were 79-83 and 78-84. Miller was the Orioles pitching coach, a job he would resume after his firing until this season hiring of Leo Mazzone, a hiring he gave his blessing to as he fights cancer.

*Mike Hargrove followed Miller. He was coming off managing Cleveland to five straight AL Central titles and two World Series appearences. This was a no-brainer hire and I loved it.That would turn out to the only thing I loved about Grover’s four years with the birds. Hargrove’s career numbers with the O’s were 274-372.

His “best” season was his first going 74-88, by contrast Miller’s worst was 78-84.
Then in 2001 the bottom fell out and the O’s dropped to 63-98 which is also the year Mussina left for the Yankees. I think Hargrove got a rotten deal in Baltimore, the front office, led by Syd Thrift, did not give Hargrove a competitive by any means.


2000 was the only year that he really had a decent team. The other three years, no manager could win with those teams. I think if Hargrove had follow Johnson and managed he would have done better.

In the end, Hargrove led the Orioles to four 4th place finishes and last year took over the Mariners leading them to a 69-93.

*And lest we forget Lee Mazzilli? Lee came from the New York Yankees and took over in 2003. He did break Miller and Hargrove’s streak of 4th place finishes by getting 3rd in the East. He did have the Orioles in the AL East lead for several glorious months last season. He also preceded over the biggest crash and burn in the second half in recent memory. The clubhouse was in turmoil. There was Raffy and his steriods, Sidney Ponson and his numerous infractions and release from the team, there was Sammy Sosa and his attitude, Steve Kline and his mouth, Miggy and his B-12 decline in the aftermath. The clubhouse was in shambles, but Lee apparently had no control. When he was fired, he didn’t even address his players.
Lee’s final numbers were 129-140 in less than 2 seasons of work and finishes of 3rd and 4th in the AL East.

Here’s hoping that Sam can have better success in Baltimore than the last three in his shoes.

That went longer than I thought.

Javy caught yesterday and the latest of the outfield battle. I have to think the outfield is going to be Gibbons in Right, Patterson in Center, and Markakis in Left. There’s no question that Gibbons has his spot in right down. I’d rather see him at first, but maybe that’ll happen next spring. Patterson, as hot and cold as he has been this spring, will be given every opportunity to succeed in Baltimore. He’ll be the opening starter in Center, thus starting I’m sure the love/hate rollercoaster relationship I’m sure I’ll have this season with Patterson. Markakis has had a great spring with the exception of a few games that he was in a hitting slump. I don’t see how he CAN’T make the team. Luis Matos is good for a 4th outfielder and he’ll have some trade value that we can use around the break. Conine/Millar would be best used at first and DH and sparingly in the OF. The outfield has potential. I think Gibby and Markakis will be good this year. It’s time for Jay to have a breakout season and Nick is a player that has franchise potential. We’ll see.


One Response

  1. very insightful read, thankyou.

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