A few weeks back I learned about Nick Christy, the 24-year old software developer behind FireSamPerlozzo.com, from Maese Space, the blog of BaltSun columnist Rick Maese. So when Perlozzo actually got himself, you know, fired, I figured there would be an update in that same Space. Since there was none, and since the post-firing interview with the pitchfork-waving Web upstarts is something of a requirement at this point, here's the update.
Nick Christy got about 12 or 15 phone calls from friends yesterday, baseball lovers who said "Hey look, you got your wish." He had a busy day at work, so he didn't devote himself to publicizing his victory, and after the deed went down, Christy said he didn't feel any guilt.
"I feel bad for Sam, but at the same time, baseball managers, managers in any sport, when they take the job they take it to get fired," Christy told me. "Look at Hargrove, look at Mazzilli. None of them lasted. When you take a job as a manager, you're destined to get fired. I don't feel that my site directly led to his firing; if I thought that way, yeah, I'd feel guilty, but I think a lot of the things that happened he brought on himself.... I like him as a person, I think he's a great guy. I just don't think he was cut out to be a manager."
Christy, though, was less concerned about the Perlozzo firing than the news of the Andy MacPhail hiring, which had him actually feeling optimistic, a rare thing for an Orioles fan lately.
"Today's an exciting day for the Orioles," Christy told me as he drove to work this morning. "I think [MacPhail's] going to make some changes, and that's what the Orioles need, to have someone come in from outside the organization and say, 'This isn't the way we should be running things, this is the way winners do it,' and to get things on the right track."
In case you've forgotten the back story, Christy is a longtime O's fan, who goes to at least a dozen games a year, and was frustrated by what he thought were incorrect moves from Perlozzo. He started his site in April, complete with the inevitable t-shirts, ballcaps, bumper stickers and thongs. The Orioles were above .500 at the time, but Christy thought the skipper was mishandling his bullpen, and that disaster lurked on the horizon.
"He wasn't getting matchups right, he was using guys in bad situations, he was kind of setting them up to fail," Christy told me. "I said the bullpen might be doing well now, but in a couple weeks they're going to be burned out."
Initially, there was plenty of opposition from O's fans who wondered why Christy would question success, and who said that Perlozzo was a true Oriole and deserved a fair chance. But as the days went by, there were fewer Perlozzo supporters dropping by and more people who agreed with Christy's mission, especially after the Mother's Day Meltdown, which yielded the site's best day of traffic (more than 800 hits). Christy decided he wanted his site to be less a continuous screed against Perlozzo than a gathering spot, and so he only put a few hours into the site development and hoped to build a community of frustrated O's fans.
And so what's next, now that facts on the ground have rendered the site's name irrelevant? Well, after selling only a handful of t-shirts, the merchandise will likely be taken down. The look of the site won't change for a while; Christy said he's only spent about $100 on it, and he got about 500 hits on Monday, making it one of his best traffic days since the site was launched. He didn't uncork any champagne after the firing--"I'd have a champagne dinner if they finally got back to the playoffs," he said--and he thinks this managerial change is only a small part of the final solution.
Which is why it's worth mentioning that when he bought FireSamPerlozzo.com, Nick Christy also bought up another domain, just in case. Yup, Nick Christy is the proud owner of FirePeterAngelos.com.
"Now would be a chance to sit back and take lessons learned from this site and decide what to do going forward," he told me. "If the team continues to lose and Angelos continues to step in and make his presence known and screw the team up, basically, then I think it [becomes] more a site dedicated to removing Angelos."
T-shirts and thongs to come later.