BALTIMORE — Desperate to rejuvenate a team drained by losing, the Baltimore Orioles fired manager Dave Trembley on Friday.
The Orioles (15-39) owned the worst record in the major leagues entering Friday night's game against Boston. They had lost eight straight and were coming off an 0-6 road trip in which they were outscored 34-8 in Toronto and at Yankee Stadium.
Third base coach Juan Samuel was appointed interim manager by president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail.
"What you're hoping to accomplish when you make a change like this is, you're hoping to ignite a spark, give everybody a clean slate," MacPhail said. "Sort of get out of that drumbeat of what's going to happen day-to-day."
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After getting off to a 2-16 start — second-worst in franchise history — the Orioles appear to be staggering toward a 13th consecutive losing season.
"The results on the field were not what any of us would have hoped for, and I understand that the organization felt the time was right to move in a different direction," Trembley said in a statement. "While I am disappointed at the outcome, I feel it was a privilege to wear the Orioles uniform each day."
Trembley, who managed the Wichita Wranglers in 1993, seemed to know what was coming.
"When Dave came up to see me, I hadn't even gotten a sentence out, he just waved me off and said: 'Don't worry about it,'" MacPhail said. "He was fine. He was gracious. I didn't even need to go into any kind of speech."
Trembley is the second major league manager to be fired this season. Trey Hillman was dismissed by Kansas City on May 13.
"Dave has been a great guy," third baseman Miguel Tejada said. "He respected everybody, gave everybody an opportunity to speak. I'm sorry for him because he's a great man in and outside the room."
Starting pitcher Kevin Millwood said: "It (stinks) that we as a team didn't play well, and he takes the fall for it. In some ways, we have to feel somewhat responsible."
The 58-year-old Trembley had a 187-283 record with the Orioles. As caretaker to MacPhail's massive rebuilding project, Trembley never had much talent at his disposal; and his job was made tougher this season by an expansive injury list, a lackluster offense and an ineffective bullpen.
"This is a negative reflection on the entire baseball operations department, starting with me," MacPhail said. "Nobody believes the reason we have the record we have is somehow Dave Trembley's fault or that making this change is going to magically solve all the issues and problems we have.
"But we did reach a point where we thought this was the appropriate thing to do."
Samuel, 49, was a three-time All-Star during a 16-year playing career that ran through 1998. His only managerial experience came in 2006, when he led Binghamton of the Eastern League to a 70-69 record and a second-place finish.
"Alfredo Simon gets hurt and then you get to the tough part of your schedule, and things start to cascading down again," MacPhail said. "Which led to, in some respects, the announcement we're making today."