Anaheim, Calif. A miserable week for Lee Mazzilli began with Rafael Palmeiro's suspension and ended with the manager's dismissal.
The Baltimore Orioles fired Mazzilli on Thursday in the middle of a massive slide, just three days after Palmeiro became the biggest major-league standout to be caught using steroids.
Sam Perlozzo was appointed interim manager for the rest of the season - and he won his first game. The Orioles beat the Los Angeles Angels, 4-1, Thursday to end an eight-game losing streak and win for only the second time in 16 tries.
General manager Jim Beattie said he told Mazzilli of the club's decision at the team hotel Thursday morning.
"It's not something that's been brewing for a long time," Beattie said. "The decision was made in the last day that we should make the change. I talked to Maz this morning about making a change.
"Maz was very professional about it. He understood, and he thanked me. But it was one of those short meetings you have where there weren't a lot of questions you have to ask or answer."
The Orioles are 52-56. They finished 78-84 in 2004, Mazzilli's first season, and this year appeared on course to end a run of seven straight losing seasons.
"It's a bittersweet day," said Perlozzo. "I never wanted to have a job at the expense of somebody else, especially a good friend like Lee Mazzilli. I'm very thankful that Maz kept me here for two years. He could have fired me, but he didn't."