Perlozzo out as skipper; MacPhail hired as COO

BALTIMORE -- Sam Perlozzo was fired as manager of the
Orioles on Monday, the result of his inability to bring last-place
Baltimore out of a lengthy funk culminated by an eight-game losing

Bullpen coach Dave Trembley will be the interim manager when the
Orioles begin a six-game trip in San Diego on Tuesday. One of the
leading candidates to fill the position on a full-time basis is former Florida Marlins manager Joe
Girardi, voted NL manager of the year in 2006 before being fired
after a dispute with ownership.

Sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney that Baltimore has arranged a Tuesday meeting Girardi to discuss the job. It is expected that he will be given a chance to accept or reject the job.

When asked by Michael Kay on 1050 ESPN Radio whether he will interview for the Orioles job Tuesday, Girardi said: "I'm not going to comment."

Meanwhile, the same sources said Andy MacPhail has reached an agreement to be the Orioles' chief operating officer, a job left vacant since Joe Foss resigned earlier this

MacPhail and Girardi overlapped in Chicago during MacPhail's tenure as Cubs president and CEO of the Chicago Cubs, which began in 1994 and ended in 2006. Girardi was a Cub for two stints totaling six seasons, the last from 2000-02.

MacPhail won two World Series championships as general manager of the Minnesota Twins in 1987 and 1991.

Perlozzo was victimized by an underachieving bullpen and an
unproductive offense that ranks last in the AL in home runs.
Baltimore was 27-27 and second in the AL East on May 31 before
losing 13 of 15 in June, including the last eight games of a 1-8
homestand that ended Sunday.

"We felt Sam was prepared, we felt the club was prepared to do
battle every night," executive vice president Mike Flanagan said
in a news conference. "For whatever reason, it just wasn't

Baltimore's 29-40 record is the fifth-worst in the major
leagues. The Orioles started the day trailing first-place Boston by
15½ games in the AL East.

Perlozzo joined Ray Miller, Mike Hargrove and Lee Mazzilli as
Baltimore managers since Davey Johnson in 1997 who have failed to
have a winning season.

"It's always based on results," Flanagan said. "It really
gets down to wins and losses and expectations, and believing that
this club is better than it looked."

Perlozzo became the first major league manager to be fired this

The 56-year-old Perlozzo was told of the decision during a
20-minute discussion Monday with Flanagan and vice president Jim
Duquette. Perlozzo did not return several phone calls in the wake
of the dismissal.

"As you might imagine, today has been a very difficult one for
me and my family," Perlozzo said in a statement. "I am very
disappointed that I will no longer be managing the Orioles. That
being said, I wish them nothing but the best. I have been with the
team for 12 seasons and I consider myself an Oriole. I believe that
I have represented the club well during my time with them and I
hope that the fans believe that, too."

Trembley, 55, spent the last four of his 20 years as minor
league manager in the Baltimore organization. He served as bench
coach on occasion this season while Tom Trebelhorn returned to
Arizona to tend to his ailing wife.

"We think Dave deserves a chance," Flanagan said.

The coaching staff will remain intact. Pitching coach Leo
Mazzone, who joined the Orioles last year because of his tight
friendship with Perlozzo, will continue his effort to right a with
a 4.27 ERA and a league-leading 276 walks.

"Leo expressed disappointment, but at the same time believes in
this pitching staff and is excited to see it go forward," Flanagan
said. "He feels like we can turn this around."

After Sunday's 6-4 loss to Arizona on Sunday, there was talk in
the clubhouse of Perlozzo's imminent dismissal. Several players
publicly defended him, including Kevin Millar, who called for a
players-only meeting in San Diego on Tuesday.

"Sam Perlozzo doesn't throw the ball and doesn't catch the
ball. We know that for sure, right? He doesn't hit the ball,"
Millar said. "He doesn't play. We play. And we've got to find a
way to play better."

Flanagan inferred that Millar's call for a team meeting was a
factor in the team's decision to fire Perlozzo.

"Those are the sort of things that indicate that things aren't
going well with the ballclub," Flanagan said.

Perlozzo is the second straight Baltimore manager to be fired in
midseason. He took over on an interim basis after the Orioles
dismissed Mazzilli on Aug. 4, 2005. After guiding Baltimore to a
23-32 record that season, Perlozzo signed a three-year contract in
October 2005.

He finished 122-164, including 70-92 last season.

Perlozzo grew up in Cumberland, Md. and rooted for the Orioles
during his childhood. Before being hired as manager, he spent 10
years on the team's coaching staff. He still has 1½ years left on
his contract, and was invited to stay with the organization in a
different capacity.

Flanagan said Perlozzo wanted some time to consider the offer.

Perlozzo began the season hopeful of ending a franchise-record
run of nine straight losing seasons. The team spent $42 million to
overhaul the bullpen, signed free agent hitters Aubrey Huff and Jay
Payton, and added Jaret Wright and Steve Trachsel to the rotation.

The additions did not provide the desired results.

Danys Baez, who signed a $19 million, three-year contract, lost
his job as setup man and was 0-4 with a 6.52 ERA before going on
the 15-day disabled list Saturday. In all, Orioles relievers were
0-5 with a 6.00 ERA during the homestand.

Huff and Payton have been adequate, but the offense is batting
.260 with a mere 50 homers in 69 games.

Wright was removed from the rotation in April with shoulder
stiffness and could be lost for the year, and Adam Loewen underwent
season-ending elbow surgery last week.

"We do feel like we have a very good team, we do feel like we
have a very good organization," Flanagan insisted. "We've changed
a lot of things in the last three or four years to head in the
right direction. And we still feel that way about the organization
in spite of what happened today. We believe that everything else in
place is working well."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.