Sunday, April 20, 2008

Trembley Needs no Reminder of Fortune

BALTIMORE -- Whenever the Orioles play the Yankees, Baltimore manager Dave Trembley can look across the field and see a face that affected his future. Trembley knows that New York manager Joe Girardi was offered the Baltimore job before he was last season, but Trembley doesn't feel a kinship or wonder about how his life could have turned out differently.

Trembley is just thankful to have his job, a sentiment he articulates as clearly as he makes out his lineup card. In fact, the former Minor League manager said he can still clearly remember the phone call that led to his hiring.

"I was asked to manage the club, and I said, 'You don't have to tell me how long -- I won't ask you,'" Trembley said of his interim status. "That's the same thing I have today. I feel the same way. Every day I get to do this is one more day that I've beaten the odds. It's one more day that I've done something that not a whole lot of people have ever had the opportunity to do.

"I appreciate it. I'm grateful for it. I understand the responsibility that goes along with it, but I don't ponder thoughts of what could've been or what should've been or any of that stuff."

Trembley shed his interim status late last season, and Girardi was hired as the Yankees' manager during the offseason. The Orioles have begun a rapid makeover on the field, a fact that Girardi recognized earlier in the week. Baltimore shed some high-priced veteran talent and is emphasizing a return to fundamental play and a commitment to pitching.

The early returns have been promising, and Trembley has made sure to share the credit for his team's 11-7 start. The Orioles are winning as a team, and Trembley is proud of the way they have played in the season's first three weeks.

"I'm kind of surprised that we've surprised some people, to be honest with you," Trembley said. "The wins make it easier to sell that -- not to those players, but to the people that are watching, the [media and] the people that love and care about the Orioles.

"It makes it easier for them to see. It doesn't change our approach. It doesn't change how I feel and it doesn't alter the reality of the situation. The reality of the situation is we're laying the foundation for not only this year but for many years to come."

To make his point, Trembley underlined the wave of pitching talent that begins in Class A Delmarva and flows all the way to the rotation at Triple-A Norfolk. He also mentioned the club's new management team and expressed the opinion that the players have begun to buy into the new scheme, a process that will continue over the course of the season.

"It didn't mean a hill of beans to me what that record was in Spring Training," Trembley said. "But the way those guys played in Spring Training is the same exact way they're playing right now. The same exact way -- hard."


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