|Orioles Insider: Trembley Eyeballs The Future|
By Craig Heist
On the final day of the regular season, Orioles manager Dave Trembley was ready to put a miserable 2007 campaign behind him.
That process began on the final day of the season with the firing of bench coach Tom Trebelhorn and continued last week with the resignation of vice president of baseball operations Jim Duquette.
Last week, Trembley sat down and talked about the year that was and looked ahead to 2008.
CH: After you were given the contract extension Aug. 12, the team lost a doubleheader that day to the Rangers, including a 30-3 score in the first game. From that point, the team went into a terrible slide. Did you ever think, "What did I get myself into?"
DT: Well, at times I am sure that feeling crept in. You can’t prepare for injuries, and you can’t prepare for what happened with our record. You can prepare your team to play the best that they can. Unfortunately, the replacements that we had didn’t live up to our expectations. Some of the guys, obviously, have to get a little more seasoning in the minor leagues next year, and some of the guys will obviously need to be replaced. I don’t have hard feelings about it. I have accepted it. I know what we have been able to control, we have done that. The other things we kind of let go. What we have tried to keep our sense of dignity and pride and still get guys to play hard.
CH: What needs to happen to turn this thing around?
DT: Well, you need major league people with an attitude and a commitment and a desire and a work ethic to be major league players. You need people with ability who have been through the wars, so to speak, who want to win and know how to win, whose commitment and desire is such that it will be an everyday and every-game thing. But I think it starts with an attitude and a direction and a philosophy and agenda that will be set forth by Mr. [Andy] MacPhail and followed down by everybody who is a part of the Baltimore Orioles.
CH: What is your relationship like with MacPhail?
DT: He has been supportive. He has given me a great deal of advice and has been complimentary. What he has told me to do is control the things that I can. Prepare your team the best that you can and instill a work ethic and establish a blue collar ethic of how you’re going to play. Understand what you have as far as talent-wise needs to be improved. Andy and I talk every day, and he is very cognizant of what the needs are.
CH: How hopeful are you that you can get a starting staff that’s healthy heading into next year?
DT: I am confident our starting rotation will be competitive. My main concern -- and I guess it’s been a mantra here over the last three years -- has been the bullpen. We don’t need any big headlines to speak toward that. The bullpen needs to be improved. There are five positions that are wide open for me. You got [Jamie] Walker and [Chad] Bradford, and then you have to fill it with five bona fide major league arms. I’d like to get a little more power production out of left field. It’s yet to be determined what we are going to do with some backup roles but it starts with pitching, and I think more importantly here, what’s happened to us over the last 35-40 games, we need major league arms out of the bullpen.
CH: How do you see the Miguel Tejada situation?
DT: Tejada wants to win, and I think he will do whatever he needs to help the club win.
CH: Do you see him playing shortstop next year?
DT: I don’t know. I know that’s what he wants to do.That's one of the topics we will talk about when we go to the organizational meetings. We are going to do what’s in the best interest of Miguel Tejada and also first and foremost what’s in the best interest of the Baltimore Orioles. And I firmly believe Tejada will do what’s important to help us win because that’s what he wants to do is win.
CH: Nick Markakis had another banner year. He hit .300 and had 23 homers and 112 RBIs. It was probably as quiet a year anyone could have with those kind of numbers.
DT: Well, he’s 23 years old and plays well above his years. Like you said, he hit .300 and hit over 20 home runs and drove in over 100 runs. He’s going to get better, and he had a tremendous season.
CH: What about Corey Patterson? He is a free agent, but he has played some pretty good center field for you. When he bunts and gets on base, he has been a force.
DT: Well, Corey is a free agent, and that is something that will have to be worked out between his representative and Andy. He made significant contributions to the club when he got moved to the No. 2 spot. He brings a style to the game that is suited to what we are trying to accomplish here.
DT: That’s probably the best way to win for the long range. I think anything else that you do is a quick fix. We have used the term “Band-Aid.” I don’t think it lasts, and I think your weaknesses become more and more apparent, especially after you lose your front-line guys. Case in point is what happened to us this year. We had no capable reinforcements to come up through our system to step in. I firmly believe with the philosophy Mr. MacPhail has and where he has come from; you know we came up from the player development system and what we are going to try and do here is establish a specific identity with an agenda of what the Baltimore Orioles’ ideal player and team is all about.
Issue 2.41: October 11, 2007