Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Trembley Holds Team Meeting Tuesday

OAKLAND -- Manager Dave Trembley was proactive on Tuesday when he held a brief meeting designed to halt his team's current losing streak. The Orioles have lost three games in a row and seven of their last nine, and Trembley wanted his players to know that he's behind them and that they have quite a bit of baseball left in front of them.

"I think the guys need to know what I feel," he said. "If you don't say anything, then people have the tendency to wonder. And most of the times, what people think is probably negative. I don't operate from that direction, that course of action. I try to keep it positive and up front. It's very basic. It's never any one guy that wins it and it's never any one guy that loses it.

"It's a collective group. I make my share of mistakes. And we move on. I tried to tell them that -- tell them that they're Major League players -- and to just have fun playing. And expect you're going to win."

Baltimore's last two losses have both come by one run, dropping the team's record to 8-4 in those circumstances. And while Trembley has been thrilled with his early returns, he knows those kind of losses can be deflating. The Orioles had that exact kind of game Monday night, when they didn't score until the ninth inning and lost, 2-1, in the 10th.

"It stays underneath your skin. It doesn't sit well with you," Trembley said. "You always think there's something you could've done better. ... I think that's on both sides. I think that's both as a manager and as a player. But you just have to downplay it, don't make a big deal of it. You live with it, you die with it, you move on.

"I think you let your team know you appreciate their efforts. You feel what they feel when it doesn't work out. You try not to let it affect you to such a point that it's going to take away from what you have to do today."

The meeting was hardly unprecedented, and it didn't even last five minutes. Trembley just wanted a chance to impart some quick wisdom to his players, to let them know their skid will end eventually. Baltimore is 1-3 on its current road trip and has dropped from first place in the American League East to fourth in a matter of days.

Trembley said he generally prefers to address his players one-by-one but felt the time was right for a group discussion. And immediately afterward, he broke down the team's philosphy in his pre-game media interaction.

"What we try to do is put ourselves in position to be competitive, one, and two, to be in position to win," he said. "We certainly have made great strides along those lines. Are we there where we want to be yet? No. Do we think there's room for improvement? Yes. Do we understand that we've made mistakes? Yes. Do we try to minimize them? Yes.

"Are we working to correct them? Yes. Everybody goes through this. It's just part of the game."

The bottom line, as far as Trembley is concerned, is that his players are totally invested in the team scheme. They're pulling for themselves and each other so hard that they can't always see the big picture. That's where Trembley comes in, utilizing his master's degree in education and the graduate work he did in sports psychology.

"I think they really care -- not only about themselves, but about the team [and] about what the outcome is going to be," he said. "I think it's human nature to try and do a little bit too much. I think sometimes you've got to just step back and not think it's the end of the world all the time out there. It's not life-threatening. It's a game and I think you have to approach it as such."


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