Notes: No rush in managerial search
MacPhail doesn't appear in hurry to replace Trembley
BALTIMORE -- It wasn't a vote of confidence as much as a vote for caution. Andy MacPhail, the Orioles' president of baseball operations, met the media on Thursday and said the Orioles will progress slowly in their managerial search. That's good news for interim field boss Dave Trembley, who has posted a 4-3 record since taking over for Sam Perlozzo.
MacPhail said he'd take his time composing a list and doesn't expect to conduct interviews until early August.
"It's incumbent upon me to try to collect as much information and help us make the decision as to which way to go, and then custom-fit the manager to whichever way that is," he said. "I'll do my due diligence, but I won't be doing interviews until -- I would imagine -- at least the trading deadline. You guys can stand down from any kind of search, because there is no search that's going to take place for a while. We're going to let Dave manage and we're going to see how things go."
MacPhail said several times that he has quite a bit of work to do to assimilate all the information at hand, and he repeatedly confirmed that his familiarity with Trembley will allow him to work more deliberately. Pointedly, MacPhail compared the current situation to one he had with the Minnesota Twins, who went on to win two World Series titles under his command.
"The last time I was in this spot, we had an interim manager by the name of Tom Kelly, and it was so clear that the energy and enthusiasm level had picked up," he said. "It wasn't really somebody that I thought was in the top two at the time. A lot of these decisions become self-evident over time. If you give it time, they'll become self-evident over time."
The Orioles tried to sign Joe Girardi as their full-time manager, a move MacPhail termed a "pre-emptive strike." After coming up short, he's determined to give it more time and come up with a more comprehensive list of candidates.
"I've got a lot of people calling in names. I've been in the game 30 years," he said. "I've got agents representing clients. I've got friends of friends. I've got a guy that coached for somebody, so compiling the list is not something that's difficult."
Another topic that came up was the current structure of Baltimore's front office. MacPhail was asked point blank how his presence would affect current executives Jim Duquette and Mike Flanagan, who called the shots before he arrived. He said he understood the curiosity regarding their positions but tried to make it clear that he needs help for the foreseeable future.
"Right now, they're helping me, so I don't know that their day-to-day stuff really changes much," he said of Flanagan and Duquette. "In addition to that, they've got to answer my questions. And they've got their hands full bringing me up to date. There's so little I know right now. I've watched a grand total of one game in person. Their responsibility is to help me."
Feeling short: The Orioles recalled shortstop Brandon Fahey from Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday and optioned outfielder Jon Knott back to the Minor Leagues. The move was made to protect utility man Chris Gomez, who has moved into the starting shortstop role now that incumbent Miguel Tejada is on the disabled list for at least the next month.
"I think that's a direct result of the time Miggy's going to be out of the lineup," Trembley said. "We could've gotten by if Miggy had come back within the 15 days, but he's going to be out longer than that. We're bringing up Fahey to kind of solidify the defense in the infield and gives us more options. I think what you'll see now is [Freddie] Bynum getting more time in the outfield."
Fahey, who hit .235 with the Orioles as a rookie last season, is expected to split time with Gomez and also provide insurance around the infield. He even played the outfield last year, but isn't expected to reprise that role this time around. In 76 games for Norfolk, Fahey was batting .227 with a .296 on-base percentage and a .315 slugging mark.
"I know we're coming up to the All-Star break," Trembley said. "We've got 11 or 12 games to go. [Second baseman] Brian Roberts has been a warrior for us, [and] he's played an awful lot of baseball. Three weeks ago, he was playing on less than 100 percent with his legs. He's another guy that might be able to get a little bit of rest. We'll move people around."
Talking point: Starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie approached a group of reporters Wednesday to get one point across. The right-hander wanted to make it clear that he was joking when he said the Camden Yards crowd was more supportive of the Yankees on Tuesday night, and he stressed that he was thankful for the applause he's gotten as a first-year Oriole.
Guthrie said he got multiple phone calls from people who thought his comments may have been serious, and he wanted to head off any impression that he had been disrespectful or unappreciative in his postgame interview.
Quotable: "It's way too early to make any judgments. I hate to repeat this ad nauseam, but again, listen, read, watch. I can't come out here after a day-and-a-half and make pronouncements." -- MacPhail, on how the Orioles compare to the last two organizations -- Minnesota and the Chicago Cubs -- he's taken over.
Coming up: The Orioles and Yankees will face off in a series finale Thursday at 7:05 p.m. ET that pits Daniel Cabrera against New York's Chien-Ming Wang. After the Yanks leave town, Baltimore will play host to the Los Angeles Angels.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.