Players around MLB talk Juan Samuel
Baltimore announced on Friday that Dave Trembley has been dismissed from his role as manager, tasking former third base coach Juan Samuel with the reins to an underperforming and injury-plagued Orioles team that is a Major League-worst 15-39.
Here are some reactions from guys around the League who have played under Samuel…
“The last time I played against the Orioles I went to him and say, ‘Hey, when are you finally going to be a big league manager?’,” said Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez, who played for Samuel in the Minors. “I’m happy for him. He’s a good man.”
“I learned a lot [from Samuel],” Gomez said of the ’06 season in Binghamton which Samuel managed to a second-place finish in the Eastern League.
“He had a good association with the players. He was an active guy. He fit in, like he was one of you. He was always pumping me up, always teaching me, saying, ‘Be ready, you’re going to be in The Show soon.’ He made me feel good.”
Detroit Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge said Samuel’s no-nonsense approach is a big part of his coaching philosophy.
“His chore’s going to be how to back it off a little,” Inge said “Because he’s very intense, very intense.”
“In all the years that I’ve been around him, he definitely knows the game. He just hasn’t had a chance to be out front. So it’ll be interesting to see how he handles it. Good for him. He’s stuck it out. He’s been around the game long enough; he deserves it.”
Added current Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson: ” “He was a great guy, very positive, worked hard with the outfielders–that was his role when I was [in Detroit].”
“Outside of the other stuff, he’s been around the game for a long time as a player and as different kinds of coaches. If need be, he can definitely step into that [managerial] role.”
The 49-year-old Samuel is a former three-time National League All-Star and played 16 years in the Majors with Philadelphia (1983-89), the New York Mets (1989), the Los Angeles Dodgers (1990-92), Kansas City (1992, 95), Cincinnati (1993), Detroit (1994-95) and Toronto (1996-98).
Following his retirement as a player, Samuel coached first base for the Tigers in 1999 and moved into the third-base role four games in the ’02 season. He spent a combined seven years coach in Detroit before moving on prior to the 2006 season, where he lead the Mets’ Double-A Binghamton squad to a 70-69 mark. This is his fourth year with the Orioles.