Friday, April 11, 2008

Lineup Changes Were Part of Trembley's Plan

Some might wonder why a manager would make significant changes to his lineup after his team had won six consecutive games. But Dave Trembley did exactly that because that had been part of his plan for the first weeks of the season, and the Orioles’ skipper sticks to his plans.

In the first game of a doubleheader at Texas, as he had planned, the manager moved Adam Jones into the leadoff spot and used Brandon Fahey at shortstop and Scott Moore at second base. After a loss, most of the “usual” lineup started the nightcap, though Jay Payton was in left field and Guillermo Quiroz was the catcher.

Trembley feels that preparation is critical, that a routine is necessary and those things are among the keys to his method of managing. He also believes that the players, the hitters, have to employ a similar tactic if they are to be successful.

“It’s about preparation. This is the big leagues, and no one understands that more than me from where I have been,” Trembley said.

“You have to have a game plan each day. You can’t have a game plan for a week or a month. You’ve got to have a game plan for each game and a game plan for each at-bat. I think our sense of preparation, from top to bottom, has been very good.”

While spending 20 years as a manager at the minor league level, he made it a point to get to know some of his most successful major league colleagues and spent considerable time picking the brains of Tony La Russa and Jim Leyland.

“I got to know Tony real good. We had some real nice conversations about getting second-guessed,” Trembley said. “I wish I would have done this or I wish I would have done that. La Russa said, ‘Don’t beat yourself up over it. Don’t look at yourself as a failure if you lose.’ The players win the game, the manager just has an effect on it.”

Rangers 3-5, Orioles 1-4: In the opener, Texas’ Kevin Millwood limited the Orioles to three hits, two by Adam Jones. Steve Trachsel gave up two runs in the seventh. In the nightcap, reliever Chad Bradford became the first Orioles reliever to lose a game when he gave up three straight singles in the eighth inning. The Orioles had tied the game at 4-4 on Melvin Mora’s double and two infield outs in the top of the inning. Starter Adam Loewen gave up three runs in the third, the Orioles battled back with Jay Payton’s first home run in the sixth, but the bullpen finally suffered a defeat.

Notes, Quotes

• CF Adam Jones got two of the Orioles’ three hits as the leadoff hitter in the first game of the doubleheader Thursday as manager Dave Trembley stuck with his plan of resting his veterans and changing his lineup on occasion.

• LF Luke Scott started Thursday with the best average in the AL at .500, only to go 0-for-3, all strikeouts, in the first game and fall to .436. He was rested in the second game of the doubleheader.

• LF Jay Payton hit his first homer with a runner on base to help get the Orioles back into the second game of the doubleheader in Texas. It was just Payton’s second start in nine games as he bids to regain the role of everyday left fielder for the Orioles.

• C Ramon Hernandez went into Thursday’s doubleheader against the Rangers with an 0-for-13 hitless streak but ended his frustration in his first at-bat. Despite going 1-for-4, he upped his average to .148. He had been hitting .130, and his only three hits, one of them a homer, were in one game against the Mariners.

• RHP Chad Bradford became just the second Baltimore reliever to be charged with a run this season when he was touched for three straight singles in the eighth inning of Thursday’s second game, allowing the Rangers to get the go-ahead run across the plate. He was the first reliever to be charged with a loss.

• CF Adam Jones was thrilled to learn Wednesday that he had been selected to wear No. 42 for Major League Baseball’s Jackie Robinson Day tribute on April 15. Jones said he has read several books about Robinson and added, “It’s a great honor. It’s only one day a year, but I think it’s good of the league to do it for African-American players.”

By The Numbers: 3—RHP Chad Bradford, LHP Jamie Walker and closer George Sherrill each appeared in three of the first five games.

Quote To Note: “For me, it starts with an attitude and an acceptance from everybody that this is the way we’re going to go about doing it … we’ve got guys in the game pitch-by-pitch, we’ve got guys picking each other up and saying, ‘Hey, get the guy over.’ I haven’t heard those things in a while so it’s nice to not only hear it, but to see guys picking each other up.”—Manager Dave Trembley on the new attitude in the dugout.


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