Monday, August 9, 2010

In Defense (Sort of) of Rick Dempsey

OK, given the name of this blog, I feel like I have to comment on this...

"I think it is probably the biggest mistake made here in a long time, and I'm not talking just today, I mean over the years," Dempsey said. "Not being given an opportunity to manage this ballclub. Every organization in baseball would like to have someone who has won, who has played in the World Series for the organization, who has learned to manage from A ball up and come back here. I think with the relationship I have had with the fans and this city, I should have been a slam-dunk years ago. Someone dropped the ball a long time ago."

This comment led to these reactions:

It’s time for Rick to take it like a man and walk away with a shred of dignity intact. He’s had a four interviews for the Orioles managerial position and has come up empty. The latest interview only came after Rick openly campaigned publicly for the position. Rick, they’re just not that into you.

Or this:

These days, Dempsey is an “analyst” on the pre and postgame shows on the MidAtlantic Sports Network. He offers little insight and allows his cohost to smooch his arse for a half hour before and after every game.

But here’s the bad news for Demper: MASN is owned by the Orioles. Thus, when Dempsey whined to the paper in the middle of the happiest day at Camden Yards in a long time, he crapped all over his bosses. Where I come from, that’s enough to get you canned.

Or this:

Jesus, Rick, just shut up already. You've just demonstrated once again why you shouldn't be hired.

First, we can't wait for athletes (former or current) to speak candidly. But when they do, what are they told? Shut up! We can't have it both ways. Dempsey is being as real as a guy can get about a situation where he feels wronged. He said it, for better or for worse. I don't want the guy to pipe down because of that.

Secondly, he not totally wrong here. Would Dempsey have been a worse choice than Lee Mazzili, Sam Perlozzo or Dave Trembley? Probably not. If Dempsey ever had a shot, (or should have been given a shot) it was when Dave Trembley was named interim manager in 2007. That would not have been a bad time to give Dempsey the interim tag and let him show what he could do. However, Dempsey probably would have lost just like Trembley and been bitter when he was fired. At least he's still in the family now but I can understand the disappointment.

Thirdly, I don't think I can call out Rick. I don't come into this unbiased and I understand this. Is Rick wrong about getting passed over this time around? Yes. Absolutely. Buck Showalter is far more qualified and Dempsey, from a logical point of view, doesn't really have a leg to stand on here.

But this is Rick Dempsey. A member of the Oriole Hall of Fame. One of my childhood idols. The 1983 World Series MVP. A man who was once described by The Sporting News as "indestructible". And in the few encounters I've had with him, he's been a prince of a guy.

I'm not calling out John Rikard. All is forgiven. I just hope Rick can move on from this; it's not becoming of him to beg.


Steve G. said...

Has Rick managed at all in the minors, or served as a hitting or pitching coach? I'm not familiar with his background at all.

DempseysArmy said...

He managed in the minors but that was 10 years ago now. He was a coach for the big league team as recently as 2006.