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May 6, 2009

Defending Trembley

Like everyone else, I can point to some game situations where I would have done things differently than Dave Trembley, but that doesn't make him a bumbling incompetent who is responsible for sinking the Orioles before they even got out to sea. The man is the caretaker of a team with deficiencies that Tony La Russa or Bobby Cox could not be reasonably expected to overcome.

Take today, for instance. Trembley pulled Koji Uehara too late. We all know that now, but -- as at least one astute commenter pointed out -- most of the complaints about Trembley's handling of the rotation before Koji's seventh-inning collapse were aimed at the manager's penchant for removing pitchers too early. Surely, if he had sent someone else out for the seventh and the game had gotten away, there would have been an equal number of complaints about that.

Here's the rub. Trembley's performance has to be judged at that point where his resources meet his results. Trembley does not manage a winning team, so it's unfair to expect him to win, but it is fair for fans to question whether the team is playing as well as it might be playing under different field leadership. Some have already made up their minds that it isn't. I think it's too early to draw a legitimate conclusion.

How about you?

Birthday greetings: The "Say Hey Kid" is 78 years old today. Willie Mays, perhaps the greatest all-around position player who never used steroids or tried to date Madonna, was born on May 6, 1931 in Westfield, AL. This is not something I had to look up. Mays was my favorite player when I was a small child and I still remember his birthdate.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 6:02 AM | | Comments (96)
Categories: Just baseball


Say Hey there! How do you know Madonna and WIllie didn't hook up?? She dated pretty much everyone there for awhile and went through a stretch of older guys-Warren Beatty-so you never know!

I'm a Trembley fan, but I fear he may not be around when this team has the tools to win. We have a AAA rotation and a 6-man lineup for goodness sake.

As for yesterday - I bet the coaching staff will adjust to Koji. When he's tired, he's done.

I just can't figure out how to evaluate Trembley when, as you point out, Pete, the talent he has to work with is so sub-par. I think he does a good job as far as managing the personalities and handling the guys in the clubhouse, but a lousy job of managing the pitchers during the games. Generally yanking the starters too quickly and his adherence to the ridiculous theory that you MUST have a 7th inning guy, 8th inning guy, etc... He could easily be replaced by a computer when it comes to that stuff. And the other thing I really don't understand is that, though he talks about playing good fundamental baseball, the Orioles DON'T!! Particularly when it comes to base running. The amount of runners we've had cut down on the base paths and via the stolen base is absolutely maddening!!! DT needs to read Billy Beane's theory about not giving away outs!!! Brian Roberts may be fast, but he's a lousy base runner who needs to be anchored to first base as opposed to constantly getting picked off and thrown out stealing. I don't know, I wouldn't mind seeing Trembley get the axe, but I don't know that anybody else could win with the current talent!!

I have been saying that all along. We have too many arm-chair "managers". I do wish that Trembley relied more on his intuition rather than the formula-type pitching strategy he does, but I think it is more often that his pitching staff let him down than it is him making mistakes. With the pitching staff he has I wonder if he has much lost trust in the pitchers he puts out there. If it were me, I would have lost trust long ago.

You are right of course - folks need to be realistic about the talent the Orioles have at certain positions as compared to the rest of the AL East. And with Koji being new to US baseball and on top of that transitioning back to starting after being a reliever, knowing when he's done for the day or not will be a work in progress. Trembley's not the issue in my opinion.

Based on his win-loss record, Dave Trembley is a loser as a major league manager. Many fans will argue that he can't be judged because of the team he was given to work with. What Dave Trembley should be held accountable for game in and game out is the following: instilling the consistent successful execution of the baseball fundementals by his players.,nurturing a winning attitude by every member on the team roster, and finally making sure the players hustle day in day out, win or lose. .Dave Trembley might have done those things when he first started out managing the club, but perhaps all the losing has "beaten" him down as well as his players. Whatever the reasons, losing has begot more losing and mistakes have begot more mistakes.Winners don't make excuses, and losers do.Winners aren't wilted by defeats infact they become more resolute and more determined and stronger than ever.It is time for the Baltimore Orioles to stop finding mediocre at best managers and some-how dig up an Earl Weaver type.

First of all, I have a mental block trying to picture you as ever being a small child...

As for Trembley: He has a club in total disarray - and for that the manager must take full responsibility.

Pitching was expected to take a hit when your staff is not much better than batting practice pitchers.

But, poor fielding, base running mistakes, missing cutoff throws, miscommunications in the outfield, and not taking pitches all point to poor preparation and execution. When these mistakes are made by everyone in the lineup, top to bottom, then one must look beyond the players for correction.

Trembley's problems go way beyond determining the point of when to make pitching changes. Until the Orioles field a motivated team, it almost seems that a loss is predetermined at the exchange of lineup cards.

Trembley has been incompetent from the day he became Orioles manager. He burned the bullpen to a crisp last year and is well on his way to doing the same thing this year. He's wrongly obsessed with pitch counts, isn't tough enough on his players when he needs to be and is delusional about the team's chances. Almost as bad as Perlozzo (and that's saying something).

Managers can and have turned teams around. The Orioles will NOT turn around under Trembley. 13 years since the last competent manager here in Baltimore. That coincides nicely with the team's losing ways.

Yeah, Willie Mays. Wasn't he the pathetic, hapless centerfielder for the '73 Mets? Who had to have the rightfielder throw the ball into the infield for him in the '73 World Series? What a player.

Until the personnel changes, Trembley gets a free pass.

The likes of Eaton, Hendrickson, Freel, Wigginton, Andino, Zaun, Moeller, and (at this point) Pie... those aren't fair odds. It's not just pitching - it's the bottom 4 slots in the line-up, defense, smart baseball...

Especially not with better players and talent waiting in the wings whom Trembley simply can't touch.

I still don't know why I'm paying to see that book of characters over the likes of Reimold, Montanez, Snyder, Wieters.

We can talk about 'not rushing' guys all we want. But some are held back too long. Plenty of teams and players have success moving quickly through systems - from Florida to Oakland to even bigger contenders and younger players than the O's are "waiting" on.

I wholeheartedly agree, Pete. The successful development of Jones and Markakis over the last 2 years is enough reason for me to keep Dave around.

Yada yada yada. They're losers. This is a team that figures out how to lose and does it. Trembly didn't start it, but he owns it now.
As far as in game managing, he is way too active. His favorite play is the hit and run, the worst play in baseball. He also bunts all the time as if this team can win a close game. With this staff, they need lots of runs to win.

My favorite players birthday will be coming up on May 18 (Brooks), along with Reggie Jackson's.

I will always remember Brooks's birthday.

I don't blame Trembley. He has been a steady hand at the wheel, guiding a team with maybe the worst pitching staff in Orioles history. The culprits in the Orioles' long slide are the Angelos gang, whose serial failures in player development and team management, are well known. We've also had some bad breaks with injured young pitchers. At least with Andy McPhail, whose record speaks for itself, we finally have a chance. But as we've learned, this year will be transitional, at best.

Trembley and the O's need to "stretch" their 2 competent starters. That is get as many innings out of them as possible, given that starters 3 and 4 are lucky to go 5 innings and Bergesen is still being "protected".
As to his game management, I agree. Let's wait for the calvary to arrive from the minors before we throw him out. A little patience is called for.

I like Trembley's managerial skills. He's a hard nose manager and just what this club needs. Honestly, outside of Koji, who else would you even trust to leave in?

When it comes to handling pitching, you could replace Dave T with a monkey with a calculator. Everyone in their specialized slot and don't ever let a starter exceed 100 pitches. How can young starters build confidence if they and their so-called manager are counting pitches waiting for the hook. Dave T's way destroys confidence and impedes the growth of any young pitcher who truly could become great, if handled properly. I wonder how much of the O's pitching problems are attributable to poor talent and how much to inept unimaginative management.

Pete's reply: If I had a monkey with a calculator, I wouldn't waste him on the Orioles. I'd put him in charge of the Fed.

Dave Trembley is still the man for this job. The O's have a history of picking decent men for the job and Dave is one of the most decent human beings around along with having the right attitude for this team.

Let Dave manage the team.

there isn't any point in judging Trembley right now. The team he has, aside from the offense and sometimes the bullpen, is terrible. The defense can't field or throw, and the starters, for the most part, cannot get batters out. Sure, there are a lot less walks being handed out, but their BAA is over .300, and that is not a good thing at all. No where near the league average.

Once the staff is stabilized a little more, like when Hill and Tillman replace Hendrickson and Eaton, and possibly others, then Trembley can be judged.

The only thing he can be judged for right now is the defensive efficiencies. This was supposed to be one of the better defensive clubs in the AL, at least better than the Blue Jays and the teams in other divisions, but they are one of the worst out of all 30 clubs. Trembley does need to get that issue addressed.

Trembley needs only to go back to the plan. Defense, speed,aggresiveness and hitting are the stregths of the O's compliment of talent. The defense and aggesiveness are not working. Trembley needs to hold a series of workout days to reinforce the aggresiveness and defense. Bunting and base running including stealing are wek right now.
I think Dave is trying to walk a thn line. He needs to go back to his boldness and demand more. Dave is the right man for the job but sometimes you get lost in the forest.

Time to try Pie through the other temas and then to the monor fr a year. Too raw and needs serious work on basics.
Wigginton is and Hendrickson are taking up space on the roster. They has not performed. We will need to lean heavily on Mora this year.

Weiters, Reimold and Waters should be next to come up and soon.

The hand Trmbley has been dealt is weak and he has been doing an amazing job with limited resources. He is entitled to see this though to at least 2 years with a full deck on the table.

Pulled Koji too late?...Were you watching the same game as me?
Pulled Koji (at 92 pitches) for a guy who comes in and hits a batter and then throws a kid from AAA under the bus to face Longoria in a bases loaded situation? And all the runs get charged to Koji anyway...why not give him the shot to get out of the inning (unless Koji told him he was done.)
My problem with Trembley is that he seems to manage by rote...oh it's the eighth inning...time to bring in my relief pitchers...doesn't matter who or what they are or if they actually can get anybody out.
He also is stunting the development of players...last year he wouldn't play Montanez at all, much less bring up Reimold because he had to get at bats for Jay Payton for god's sake.
This year, he makes a commitment to give Pie a full shot and essentially pulls the plug on it after 50 at bats- what does that do to the guy's confidence?
And sends Crowley out to leak it to the press??? (not cool)
Trembley was probably an ok minor league manager and it doesn't really matter who is at the helm this year, given how bad the Os are in 2009, but going forward, I would see somebody else at the helm.

Trembley needs only to go back to the plan. Defense, speed,aggresiveness and hitting are the stregths of the O's compliment of talent. The defense and aggesiveness are not working. Trembley needs to hold a series of workout days to reinforce the aggresiveness and defense. Bunting and base running including stealing are wek right now.
I think Dave is trying to walk a thn line. He needs to go back to his boldness and demand more. Dave is the right man for the job but sometimes you get lost in the forest.

Time to try Pie through the other temas and then to the monor fr a year. Too raw and needs serious work on basics.
Wigginton is and Hendrickson are taking up space on the roster. They has not performed. We will need to lean heavily on Mora this year.

Weiters, Reimold and Waters should be next to come up and soon.

The hand Trmbley has been dealt is weak and he has been doing an amazing job with limited resources. He is entitled to see this though to at least 2 years with a full deck on the table

Not only should we not expect Trembley to win this year because he doesn't manage a winning team, but we have to remember that the plan for this team is to NOT compete this year. Think about it, since Andy MacPhail showed up for his first official day in the warehouse, not once has anyone ever said that the Orioles SHOULD be competing in 2009 or were even hoping to compete in 2009. It can't be easy psychologically for a manager when your job is to win games but there is no attempted plan in place to actually help make sure that this goal is achieved. Until next year, the front office is really just throwing whatever they can on the wall to see what sticks.

It is not Trembley's fault, nor was it the fault of the Perlozzo, Mazzilli, Hargrove, or Miller since Johnson was banished. The fact is the manager always has to take the fall. You cannot fire the owner. It is part of the responsibility of the manager to take the hit when things are down and to give the players the credit when things are up. Really Flannigan and Beattie did not do that bad of a job when they were here also. Look at all the players that are coming around that they signed or drafted. Not saying that McPhail is doing a bad job, but really this is the nature of the business, and in Baltimore there has been a short fuse since Angelos has become the owner. I know he wants a winner, but you have to give people time to succeed and that is an issue especially when the team has had 12 seasons like the Orioles have had. The fans, the owner and the media knows exactly where this team was going to land this year. When you saw the news of all the top pitchers being signed by other clubs and our big signings were Izturis, Hendrickson, Zaun and Eaton. Our trades for Pie and Feel did not bring anyone to the table either. The year before we send our one star pitcher and our shortstop to Seattle and Houston for a lot of prospects, not a bad thing but it is a major statement that the team is rebuilding and everyone has to have patience. It stinks that we are in the position we are in, but soon this will get better. I think the players really like Trembley, it would be a shame not to let him continue, and let him rise to the top as the team does. Also on Koji, I do not blame him for yesterday, if you take that one pitch back, and if the Orioles played better defense it would have been a different news story. He only threw 97 pitches.
Pete: How is your back side today?

Pete's reply: A little better, especially when I get my head out ot it.

Peter, you haven't been paying attention. According to Dave T's brilliant strategy, Koji was 8 pitches short of being pulled. He had only thrown 92 pitches when pulled and Dave's magic number is 100. The calculator and only the calculator makes these decisions.

well balanced comments on Trembley, Pete. I really don't like his bullpen philosophy and as such, his usage of said 'pen'. But aside from that, I have no real beef with the guy. We could do much worse, but all in all, I am sure the FO isn't even considering replacing him. They KNOW it is the players.

My question is whether the Orioles would be playing any better under Sam Perlozzo.

Where is Davy Johnson when we need him? Your right its hard to blame Trembley for all of their woes. People are quick to blame him, he pull the pitcher too soon, he left him in too long. Lets face it, while Andy is trying to put the pieces together. This team still has too many holes, that even a great manager might get them out of the cellar and into 4th. I have to agree Willie was a superstar and maybe the best CF ever. Personally, my favorite player was Ted Williams and he didnt marry Marilyn Monroe either. I will take exception to your comment about Bobby Cox. I cant stand him. I think he is so overrated. He was given the talent and he got them into the playoffs most every year. But, so could you with that lineup.

Orioles are on pace to lose over 100 games in 2009. Their win totals have declined for four straight seasons after winning 78 games in 2004 ( 74, 70, 69, and 68 from 2005 to 2008 ). What is the over/under for Trembley returning in 2010 ?

I wonder how we quietly became the worst defensive team in baseball. 30th of 30 in defensive efficiency and park-adjusted DE. You can argue that those stats are not perfect, but any way you look at it, the good def teams are clustered at the top and the bad ones at the bottom. Does anyone know why we are so bad? Some of our players are bad fielders and none of them are great, but that's true on a lot of teams. What makes the O's special, and does the manager deserve any of the blame? I am honestly clueless, and shocked.

Pete's reply: I'm equally shocked. This was supposed to be a top-10 defense.


Spot on, DT hasn't trusted his starters and pulled them too early in a lot of cases, but honestly who wouldn't? They didn't perform last year and they aren't this year to a degree. He can't grab the bat and make his players swing at certain pitches or take certain pitches, or when they get on the field actually field the ball. It is too early to judge him. He should be extended for the next 2 years at least, maybe 3 would be perfect, and then we'll be able to tell. Kranitz and Crow shouldn't be judged either, they are phenomenal coaches as well.

Agreed. Let's be realistic. We never stood a chance with the starting pitchers we have. We've been clinging on hope to the 'Why Not' years of past.

Give Trembley some legit players and then evaluate him. So far, he's done a nice job of managing the team as a whole.

Pete, I love Dave Trembly. He's the closest thing to an "Oriole Way" manager that they've had since Cal, Sr. But what concerns me is it isn't THAT they're losing, it's HOW they're losing. Sooner or later, all of the base-running gaffes, mental and physical errors, and breakdowns on offense and in the field will force the F.O. to make some tough decisions. The O's kick the ball around more than any team in the bigs. Maybe Matt Stover can sign with them. Anyone who follows baseball knows that this team isn't very good, and by no means is it all Trembley's fault. But losing eventually carries a price. And as often as not, that price is paid by the manager.

DT needs to get back to having his walk equal his talk.

For a man who stresses fundamentals, and playing the game the "right way", etc., his players are making too many mental and physical errors.

He also needs to be more hardnosed about failure, e.g., ya' don't produce, you sit, and another player gets his shot.

Admittedly, he doesn't have much to work with, especially with his starters and the bottom three of his usual batting order.

Nonetheless, it seems the performance standards are slipping and DT is more inclined to make excuses rather than take immediate corrective action.

The caveat for me about Trembley is that this team is not playing the fundamentals well. That's his responsibility. Clearly the talent is good enough to play sound baseball at the very least.

As for Koji, he could be 6-0 right now with some luck, were his team mates not completely screwing up every time he pitches.


I have no problem with Trembley keeping Koji in as long as he did. I did have a problem with him bringing in McCrory after Walker though. That was a pressure situation that called for either Ray or Johnson to pitch in, not someone off the bus from Norfolk with limited experience in the majors.

Tremblay seems like a terrible manager to me. He switches pitchers too much. If a guy on the Orioles is pitching well in relief he takes him out.

I don't think it matters though. The Orioles aren't going to have a winning record with the best manager iin baseball. Until they get real starting pitchers this team will be a joke.

What makes the whole situation worse is that the team isnt' even starting prospects. Perhaps in a couple years if any of the prospect pan out it will be time to get a new manager.

I see no problems with Dave Trembley's pitching decisions. You work with what you have. I do think that the O's should either play Montanez or send him back to Norfolk where he can get some at bats. Talk about a way to shut down one of the hottest hitters in the organization....

It is time for the Baltimore Orioles to stop finding mediocre at best managers and some-how dig up an Earl Weaver type.

Posted by: not a fan | May 6, 2009 7:26 AM

The Orioles had a great manager a few years ago that fit this mold named Davey Johnson. PA decided to get rid of him because he refused to agree that PA was a baseball genius and had the "nerve" to actually want to do the job he was paid to do (manage).

I must respectfully disagree with all of the above posts- the foe dave trembley does battle with in his doomed quest of a winning season is neither his players nor his front office, but the curse of jeffery maier. Since the orioles refused to draft Maier and break the curse, they have dropped from a team incapable of a winning season to a team perpetually doomed to wallow in last place. The evidence is clear- would an uncursed team really have lost for ten straight seasons while leading MLB in steroid use? The latest losing streak is a manifestation not of poor pitching but of Destiny. The orioles are doomed, forever unable to escape their inevitable annual demise, plodding hopelessly through the division they will nevermore win- but at least they aren't putting goats in the outfield, so they may not have hit rock bottom yet.

I can't get a feel for Dave Trembley because he is managing a poor team. I'm not sure a different mananger would make a difference.

One thing that does bother me is that he talks the talk but his players don't walk the walk. Day after day, the team continues to play poor fundamental baseball, whether it is baserunning, hitting with runners in scoring position, sloppy infield play, and missing the cutoff man. It's hard to tell now whether the poor pitching exacerbates all of the above or it is just a lack of focus.

Trembley rails on about "respect for the game" and knows all of the baseball platitiudes but I wonder whether or not he is really a teacher or just a baseball vagabond whose only claim to fame is tenure in the minor leagues.

I get the feeling that Andy Macphail is merely looking for a caretaker for the franchise until the rebuilding program begins to take hold and Trembley fits that bill. Trembley certainly is not very charismatic and gets a red ass very quickly when asked questions by the press.

Should the Orioles be playing better baseball from a fundamental standpoint? The answer is obviously yes. Were they destined for 5th place this year anyhow? Yes. Should Trembley be unltimately be held accountable if the poor fundamental play continues? Yes.

Whether or not that leads to a management change down the road is anyone's guess. This team will struggle to win 70 games this year so it probably doesn't make much of a difference, other than more fans giving up.

I have been an Orioles fan since 1954, but I have never been and never will be a fan who thinks that a major league team should go into a season knowing it has 2 starters, an experiment in left field, a tag-team catcher setup, and a bottom half of the lineup that would not start in AA ball. If Trembley has no tools and no talent, it becomes very difficult to judge his managerial ability.

pete, regarding your morning column, you got it wrong about his biggest sin. his sin was saying he wore a yankees hat at camden yards/memorial stadium while cheering don mattingly. who does that kind of thing? that's why i boo him. how can a kid growing up in baltimore not have cal ripken or eddie murray as their favorite player.

Schmuck, you will never make it in this business if you keep taking reasonable positions like this.

I'm with you on this Pete. You can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear, and if any manager in baseball has been handed a sow's ear, its Trembley.
Sure I have occasional disagreements with how e handles pitchers, I can't remember a single manager from any team I've ever watched where that wasn't true. Sure I've second guessed him, I'm a fan, it's what we do. I am concerned most about the fundamental mistakes the O's keep making; Huff getting caught steeling third, throwing to the wrong base, etc. but on the whole I'm not going to give Trembley much grief until I can see what he does with a genuine major league team. Right now we're asking him to play in the bigs with a team that's a 75% AAA team.

Hey Pete, I'm glad you survived the columnist purge. But I gotta say the way your management handled the dismissals of Rick Maese and Dave Steele (among others) shows a substantial lack of character.

Dave wrote about it here:

I know there's usually two sides to a story, but if it did, indeed, go down like this, the term "gutless" would be the operative word. If I'm gonna get canned I want my boss to at least look me in the eye when he/she does it.

I'm jusy sayin' ...

Gotta keep Trembley around. I think he's a good fit for the O's. The O's are "punting" 2 out of every 5 games with Hendrickson and Eaton in the rotation. Is that Trembley's fault? Uh, no. The O's have 2 (Guthrie and Koji) # 3 starters and a possible number 5 guy in Bergesen. I suspect the O's would do much better in the second half with Hill and D. Hernandez replacing Hendrickson and Eaton.

The Blue Jays are winning despite a complete starting staff on the DL. The Mariners are winning despite having one of the worst records in baseball last year. The Royals are winning in the middle of a rebuilding project and the Phillies are winning despite having a less that good pitching staff. Yet people keep making excuses for Trembley and the Orioles losings ways.

Not long before the chants begin...
"Fire Trembley". I honestly was never crazy about him coming on board in the first place. He seems like a nice guy and I'm sure he knows his stuff but he doesn't seem to get the message across to the team as far as basic fundamentals go.

If there isn't a proven winner to be had (and last I checked there isn't) then we should probably stick it out until the end of the season and see what the off season yeilds.

I think Trembley is far better than the last 2 guys we had. He seems to be able to relate to both the young guys and the vetrans. He does have an issue with pulling the right strings at the right time and I will agree most of the time he wants to give the starter the hook way too soon. Maybe he should talk to Kranny and get more input from him on when to pull a pitcher. All I know is he seems to get more out of less than the previous guys and I hope he can see this through. If he can last another 2 months and we get Weiters, Arrieta,and Tillman up here, then we will see what he can actually do. Right now this current rotation and Greg Zaun are killing us. If Weiters was hitting .350 with a lot of power I would be calling for him but, he isn't yet so I guess we have to just take it on the chin for a little longer.

I agree that you can't hold Trembley responsible for all (or even most) of the Orioles' failings, but one thing about him that drives me crazy is the frequency with which he takes a reliever just up from the minors and sticks him in a pressure situation in his first outing. He's done is at least a half-dozen times over the last 2 years, and it just seems like a terrible idea. I will give him credit for reducing the sacrifice bunting this year, which is a nice change. Teams without any pitching cannot afford to give away outs.

tntoriole is absolutely right.
about Koji last nite. about Montanez not playing over Payton last year. about the handling of Pie this year. If the only choices were Perlozzo or Trembley, Trembley is the man. But he's not, really. Is he Doctor Tarr or is he Professor Fether?

Pete, any signs that he's lost the clubhouse? If not, I say keep him in there as long as this rag tag bunch of cranberries are willing to go to war for him. You don't get over .500 with Caesar Izturis, Gregg Zaun and the rotation we have. I'm sorry, but Earl couldn't coach this team to over .500.

Just curious about the base stealing situation (throwing them out and getting more steals on offense). I don't see anyone in the coaching corps who seems to be an expert on either end. T-bone was never a super-effective stealer (18 was his high mark), and who is teaching pitchers how to hold runners or modify their delivery with men on? Other teams seem to be much better at this.

If he's a good manager, shouldn't the club be playing better fundamental baseball? Look at all the unearned runs, baserunning blunders, impatient at-bats, etc.

Also, the skeptic in me says that if all his prior bosses thought his appropriate level was the minors, when did he suddenly get smart enough to manage in the majors?

And, let's face it, if for whatever reason he's no longer the O's manager, do you think any other team in baseball would even give him a second thought for a major league managerial job?

Pete's reply: I don't have an answer because I can't believe some of the things I've seen this year. I just don't get it. On paper, this is a decent defensive and fundamental club.

Trembley has a pass this year in my mind. Now if we start bringing up the young pitchers and they struggle a bit, will that be his fault? I guess it remains to be seen, but most young pitchers have growing pains when they first come up so that is something to keep in mind as well.

I like him for now even though I don't always agree with some of his moves.

Who ever said Roberts is a bad baserunner -- do some homework buddy.

Here's a line to cheer us all up:

Mark Teixeria is batting .198. Funny how these things works themselves out...

Now, O's fans, the gameplan has always been for 2010. Buy some Boogs and a brew and stay on the train, success will be that much sweeter when it finally does arrive.

A manager must be judged not only his team's W-L record (which is doomed to be poor considering the gaping holes in the team) but also on specific decisions that show poor strategy. If Trembley's mistakes mean the O's win 68 games instead of 73 this season, they would finish last either way. But when more talent is there in the future, giving away 5 wins could cost the pennant. Two glaring examples: regularly batting Markakis and Huff BTB so that opposing managers routinely bring in a lefty to face them in late innings; and using McCrory, just up from AAA, to give up yesterday's game-winning hit. One of Earl Weaver's policies was not using untested players in key situations.

Pete's reply: That's a fair comment, but I don't necessarily agree with you on Weaver. He had no trouble using an untested third baseman at shortstop when the team was really good. He obviously knew what he was doing, but he sent a few untested players out there in key situations.

I went into this year thinking the Orioles had a really solid bullpen and bench. How's that working for me so far?!

It seems no one in the bullpen is capable of coming in and getting the big out the O's need. It seems that no one on the bench is capable of coming in and doing anything with the bat. Wtih guys like Eaton, Hendricson and regrettably Guthrie in the rotation we need big bats throughout the linup AND a very strong bullpen. So far we have neither nor do we have a team with fire or confidence. Is that Trembly's fault? Frankly, I don't know but I think the answer will have to be taking away the jobs of the non-performers and bringing up the new guys.
Pete, what's the status of Rich Hill?

Pete's reply: Hill pitched last night and was not terribly impressive, but I have to think he'll be here in a week or two if he doesn't regress.

I think it is funny how we as a fanbase go full circle in the period of a year. Last year, there was a strong outcry for the Orioles to pick up Trembley's extension. This year, just after a month in to the season we are discussing the possibility of cutting him loose. If you look back at our history, the last time we were relevant was when Davey Johnson was here. Since that time, we have had a revolving door of managers, so much to the extent that it is becoming a joke. We talk about attracting top level managers, but who would want to walk in to this situation? If you continue to do the same thing every year, you are going to get the same results. Break convention on Trembley and give him a chance with a team that has at least a decent chance of finishing .500. Finally, in regards to Trembley's difficulty in determining when to pull the starters, there is an answer to that as well. We are saying to him that he should understand these pitcher's tendencies, but that is the main issue. We have no consistency amongst our starters, so how can he possibly develop a consistent strategy.

I knew people were gonna be upset about this, but why not let him throw and see if he can work his way out of it, you know, test his mettle, it's not like the pen is gonna save us...

Be real O's fans, this is a 2010 tryout...

Koji didn't get it done but it was a pleasure to watch him have a good start.

This mess of a season isn't ENTIRELY Trembley's fault, but he certainly has to shoulder some of the blame.
We knew our pitching was going to be bad, there isn't really anything Trembley can do about that (although he should consider seeing a therapist about his obsessive attention to pitch count).
The areas where he should shoulder ALL of the blame are our defense and baserunning. They are atrocious. And I'm not talking errors, I'm talking mental breakdowns that flat out should not happen. Miscommunications at this level should not happen. That is preparation. That is the manager first and foremost.
With this young team and more youngin's on the way, we need someone in place who is going to not only PREACH fundamentals, but will actually make them happen come game time.
I'm not saying we should can DT, but I am saying he isn't doing what he needs to be doing at this point.
I want to see gains over the next two months (not win/loss, just good baseball), then Andy should make a decision.

Also, not really DT's move, but Pie to AAA and Reimold to left field NOW. Is it RUSHING a kid to the bigs when he has hit .300 over his last 775 AA and AAA at bats? The answer is no. Give the kid the chance he deserves. He can't do worse than Pie.

So everyone blames the pitching staff and Trembley's handling of it...then points to Florida and others how young pitchers succeed in the right program. Wasn't Kranitz the pitching coach in Florida when the pitchers began to thrive? Point being, managers in baseball get entirely too much credit or blamer depending on the situation. Besides Pie - which he had a directive to play from the GM - the defensive lapses have been from proven veterans...not his fault. The pitching has been poor because we presently have poor talent...again not his fault.

Changing the manager will not have much effect on the results right now people. Least of our worries.

He's a loser. Am I wrong? Never heard of him till we hired him. Flanagan too. What does he do??

We cannot blame Trembly, he is doing a good job. The team simply has terrible pitching and all the hitting in the world cannot make up for that deficiency...but coming soon a few young guys, hopefully. As a person who grew up on the best pitching on the planet (McNally, Cuellar, Palmer, Dobson) back when the stupid 5 man rotation was not in place and the 100 pitch count did not rule, it is difficult to watch such ineptitude. Shouldn't we go back to a 4 man rotation everywhere since there is such a shortage of guys on any team who have ERA's under 4.50? Just a crazy thought!

I'm not smart enough to second guess Trembley. Trembley's essential job is handling players and training young ball players to become MLB stars. The job of making a game decision based on the odds can be done by a competent prob/stat guy, preferably someone who trained with the master, Nate Silver. Why don't the O's hire a bench geek to advise Trembley on the odds of various possible outcomes to his on-field decisions?

Pete, bout the Monkey and Calculator thing, they did

There is more than enough evidence to suggest he is just not that good with those play by play decisions.

Why does he continue to insert these rookies into losing situations? He did it again with McCrory. The guy hadn't pitched in 4 days and you send in with the bases loaded and Longoria up? You hear about setting guys up to succeed but DT likes the other approach of trial by fire.

Then there is Pie, two weeks ago it's he's going to given a long leash then he's out of the lineup for most of a week? This is reminiscent of the way Angelos ran the team before McPhail.

He should not get a free pass based on the players on the field, period. If he was a good manager he would take the talent he had available and use it properly. The lack of hustle in the field and errors points to his inability to motivate and maintain a decent team. Last but not least he should demand staffing changes, ie Montanez or Weiters. Staying on the farm to grow a bit more is all well and good when there is quality in the bigs, but thats not the case here. I think the Orioles would be better off dealing with a few growing pains out of these guys than the medocrity of the current staff.

Pete.....Do you think after watching Sherrill struggle & I'm being kind with struggle, since last years all star game, that Trembly dealt with that way too slowly ?? DT seems to wait until there is a criss in some area or a revolt is at hand before he acts to finally make a change !! I'm all for supporting the about, whats good for the team comes first ???

Pete's reply: Not really, because this is the transitional period when you need to find out about these guys. We're barely one month into a six-month season and you're still sorting things out. If you're a contender, you probably have to play every game like it's the end of the world, but this is the time to make determinations on some of these guys before you start bringing up the other young pitchers. The Orioles want Sherrill to have every opportunity to succeed because that gives them more options when the trade deadline comes around in July.

Trembly is doing okay based on the handicapped team he has pitching for him. The aggressiveness on the base paths needs to be addressed, but if that's how he sees the team, that's how he sees the team. Wasted outs isn't my cup of tea, but nobody has yet offered to pay me to manage a ball club.

Interesting watching Eaton pitch the other night. In the first inning he was literally pushing the ball toward home plate. When he began to open his delivery up part way through the second inning he started pitching with much better results. Someone needs to work on his mechanics...and shouldn't this have been addressed before now? Watching Baez after Eaton was like watching night and day as far as mechanics was concerned.

For the fellow that wondered about Mays playing at age 42 in NY, it's doubtful Mays hired himself. Kudos to the Mets for having Mays end his career where he began it.

I have a feeling he won't be around when the team is ready to contend. I know Trembley can't field, run the bases, make plays for the players, and bunt for them, but it bothers me to no end the mental errors, fielding errors, baserunning errors, etc. that this team makes under his leadership when he stresses time and time again how important it is to play good fundamental baseball. I have never seen these kinds of mistakes under anyone else's management ever since I've been watching this team for the past 30-40 years.

Concerning relievers, the manager should allow the reliver to continue if he is doing well and forget the rote formula of your the seventh inning man etc.The Oriole relievers are to inconsistent to change relievers and expect better results. Also , as mentioned above the O's play in the American league East and they have a six man batting order. How about some accountability and some thought toward winning now as opposed to the year after year mantra of wait a few years. The tickets are not free are they?

the Orioles should play the AAA team at the major league level - at least we would have something to look forward to ...... watching a bunch of rejects bundle simple baseball plays is not good for any organization - I say fire the entire coaching staff and promote the AAA manager .... I have seen some bad O's teams since 1965, but this is the most maddening - they have no chance to win most games ....

I like Trembley for his hard-headed realism. I don't see that it's his fault when veterans like Mora and Roberts make foolish errors on the basepaths. As for the pitching, it should by now be obvious that Koji, impressive as he can be for 90 pitches, reaches his limit at that count; but the real problem is the lack of starting pitching, which is at least a year away, in the persons of Tillman, Arrieta, and Patton. How about a rotation with Guthrie, Uehara, Hill if we're lucky, and two of those three? That would make a difference. And right now we should be playing Reimold instead of Pie and Wieters instead of Zaun; and we would have a truly strong lineup. The lack of pitching and the refusal to call the young guys up are NOT to be laid at Trembley's door.

I like Trembley for his hard-headed realism. I don't see that it's his fault when veterans like Mora and Roberts make foolish errors on the basepaths. As for the pitching, it should by now be obvious that Koji, impressive as he can be for 90 pitches, reaches his limit at that count; but the real problem is the lack of starting pitching, which is at least a year away, in the persons of Tillman, Arrieta, and Patton. How about a rotation with Guthrie, Uehara, Hill if we're lucky, and two of those three? That would make a difference. And right now we should be playing Reimold instead of Pie and Wieters instead of Zaun; and we would have a truly strong lineup. The lack of pitching and the refusal to call the young guys up are NOT to be laid at Trembley's door.

I agree with you, it is implausible that ARod is involved in a pitch-tip scandal.
I have a friend who disagrees. He has been calling arod "Mr. Insurance" for a few years now based on arod's penchant for the big hit late in the game when his team is already winning by several runs.
Hopefully some unpaid intern is checking the film for us right now.

I need to comment on Brian Roberts.
He has 230 career stolen bases and 90 just the past 2 years. I do not think Brian Roberts needs to be anchored to first. That being said, the overall fundamentals have been awful. From outfielders calling not calling off infielders on fly balls to bad base running. It needs to improve.
The bottom 4 guys in the lineup need to hit better and the starters need to be more consistent. If that happens, everything starts rolling in the right direction. If not, it's going to be a long season. I like Trembley though.

I find comical any time I hear about Trembley being on the "hot seat" - it's absolutely comical.


As a matter of fact, no team during Trembley's tenure was built to win.

Angelos needs to wake up from his coma and INVEST in his product by putting BETTER players on the field.

Playing managerial carousel is just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titantic.

Ask Hargrove, Mazilli or Perlozzo. They didn't have anything to work with either.

I think Dave is doing a heck of a job! I would sign him to an extension with a substantial raise.

What the &#(@ is with O's "fans"? Everyone knew coming in to this season the team has no front line pitching and yet they all scream for Trembley's head. What a joke. Give the man the chance to see what he can do when the alleged pitching stars make the team in the next year or two. For the first time in a decade the farm system is looking bright. Give it a chance to come to fruition.

I like Trembley but he is the wrong person to manage this team. The game comes to him, he is letting the game come to him. We don't put pressure on teams, make fundmental mistakes and judgements on the bases, lapses in the field and on the mound they are not sharp. The team sits on leads and holds on. Wher is the small ball? Trembley seems to be trying to please everyone instead of leading the team. You need a nosense manager to run the club, Cito Gaston, Frank Robinson, Davey Johnson type managers. Do you think the bullpen in Toronto would have called a meeting to discuss roles? Not a chance. I agree he doesn't have all the right pieces to run the club but this team is far better than the record indicates and unless someone else is calling the shots down to the field Trembley, unfortunatly, should be sent to AAA for a little more seasoning.

Follow up comment: The Ravens lead story is the Honeymoon is over for Harbaugh, ironic the honeymoon should be over for Trembley,

Everyone can bash all they want on Trembley and on Angelos, but people don't go see games, and with the Nationals now, people see less games. You are asking Angelos to basically lose millions of dollars for a winning team. Would you guys like to lost 10% of your net worth every year on an investment?....didn't think so. Without a salary cap to bring down prices, and to allow smaller markets to compete, all we can do is hope the rebuilding works out.

What the "H" are we waiting for, Xmas? Hello, is Riemold & Montenez better than Pie? Is Wieters better than Zuannie? Wieters can improve, Zaun can't. Is Tillman better than Hendrickson?Is anyone better than "Wiggy"?I'd rather watch the "kids" learning here than the same old vets keep failing. I'm getting old, need to see some reason to gto the park & watch on TV.

I don't know about the papers in Balto, but the Fla papers during spring training were picking the O's last in Major League Baseball, Baltimore fans are between a "rock and a hard place" with PA as the owner. All players want to play in the big market cities--which Baltimore surely isn't, and the only thaing that could intice them is big bucks, which PA is not going to offer. So, the bottom line is no matter who manages this team he only has what he has been dealt to work with. At least Jim Palmer and Rick Dempsey "say it as it is." Maybe Dempsay would make a sterner manager, but it wouldn't change the the movers and shckers.

Wow-no shortage of opinions here about Trembley's managerial skills. I must say that I am kind of on the fence here. Obviously, DT has been dealt a bad deck of cards talent-wise.His teams have shown some flaws-such as poor fundamentals-bad baserunning/no one can lay down a bunt! and he has to accept some of the blame for this. He preached this time and time again throughout his regime and you don't have to be a good player to bunt or run the bases properly.
DT seems like a nice guy and that may be part of the problem in that veterans may be taking advantage on him, knowing there's no repercussions-such as benching-case in point Ramon Hernandez' constant dogging last year.
I'm not sure what Trembley's real 'strengths' are in terms of managing and the only way to find out is to give him another shot in '10 when he can't use the excuse that there's a lack of decent pitchers/position players. If he puts up a 65-70 win season next year then it's time to make a change. For now, let's see how this all plays out(as brutal as it will likely be!).

i support dave trembley. he is not the only manager having trouble with his players. ozzie gullien is not happy with his pitchers.the mets demoted oliver perez to the bull pen after giving him a 36 million dollar contract this off season. somehow dave trembley needs to come up with some sort of plan to get his players out of defensive and base running mistakes.not an easy job

If I were DT, I'd have done the same thing with Koji last game. He pitched well enough to try and get out of the 7th.

As for B-Rob, he has long since earned the right to steal when he feels its right, just like Jacoby Ellsbury has. Only problem is something's wrong with him and he can't steal as often as he could.

It's hard not to root for a guy like Dave, who has more than paid his dues to get to where he is and in my opinion, Joe Torre couldn't win with these guys, but when the hustle starts to fade, you can't trade the entire team although I am sure Andy would like to.

I am concerned about the errors because a lot of them seem like the lack of focus kind which is also the same thing with the terrible base running.

Pete, I think it boils down to if Andy thinks this team would be better served with a new voice or if he thinks that no one can win with this team. Andy didn't rush to extend Dave's contract so perhaps he was hoping that someone else would be available. If they play like this for an extended period of time, I think Dave will be gone, right or wrong.

I find it difficult to believe that anyone could motivate the players to play at a higher level than Trembley considering that they are told before they go out there that this team is not meant to win. Then, they get on the field and watch the pitchers get banged around and give up seemingly sufficient leads. That is no excuse for playing lousy defense, but it comes as no surprise that we see inconsistent play. If we can ever get some starters that pitch well on a regular basis and relievers that protect leads or keep games close I think we will see a higher level of play from position players.

This year is about development. We all know that. Why don't we do some developing and bring up Nolan Reimold and Matt Weiters? I mean honestly, what else do they have to prove?

In 24 games Reimold is hitting .471 with 8 homers and 25 RBI.

Weiters is off to a slower start, hitting .290 with 1 homer, but he has been limited by a hamstring injury. (I think he's done enough already to prove that he's legit.)

If you're going to say you want to give Pie a shot, fair enough. But don't make him sit around 4 games in between starts if you really see potential. Nobody can get in a groove with a gig like that. If you think it's time to pull the plug, pull the plug and call up Reimold.

I completely agree with SevernDave. The Orioles have some highly talented players, but for the most part, they are talent resembles their win totals: Less than most teams.

That is especially true in the pitching department and when a team has horrendous pitching, without a 900+ run offense they will be very bad.

Which brings me to Trembley. As SevernDave wrote, he seems to manage the players personalities well and deals with the frivolity and absolute pointlessness of dealing with the media (in the 21st century columnist are almost worthless to an intelligent fan) and those are huge parts of the job.

I think having a single closer is ideal, but you have to have a guy who has the make-up and talent to do it. When the bullpen and overall pitching are as atrocious as the Orioles, it almost forces the manager to work with match-ups and the "hot hand".

I would criticize Trembley's formulaic approach to the bullpen, but it's early. He tried what he believed would be an effective bullpen strategy an it's not working, just like many other teams with bullpen issues. The good thing is Trembley doesn't appear to be married any bullpen philosophy.

All in all, the team stinks, so the key is for Trembley to maintain team morale, protect against underachievement, and develop the young players (when the arrive of course).

My biggest problem with Trembley is since he became manager he preached effort and fundamentals, which every team should work on, but the Orioles really needed. The effort seems to be there but the fundamentals still are lacking, especially on the base paths.

Hits and walks are wonderful, but mean almost nothing if a player is caught stealing, picked-off, doubled off, or thrown out advancing.

Obviously, those players are apart of the game and effort dictates being caught stealing, picked-off, doubled-off, or thrown out advancing will happen, however, there are times and places for everything. And the Orioles seem to lose focus of this.

Not that I totally blame them. If we can see the writing on the wall, they surely do. They need all the runs they can get. That being written, barring rapid development of at least a few players in the minors that lead to huge contributions at the major league level in the 2nd half, the Orioles are a 90 loss team. So while aggressive play is great, it ain't preventing the other team from hitting balls over the walls.

Don't give away outs. Play fundamentally sound. May each individual produce at full capacity. And let's hope for some youthful development.

Unless the Orioles front office is sure they can acquire someone who can better manage this team, leave Trembley be. The O's will stink with or without him. The 2009 Orioles need to be managed with an eye for 2010 or 2011 while maintaining respectability proper professionalism. If Trembley can do that, keep him. Wins be damned. Really, what the difference between 60 and 68 wins?

I am not sure how much more of this losing I can take. Bring up the kids! When does training camp start for the Ravens?


Expectation management, it applies to what we should all think of Dave Trembly's job as manager. He is dealing with inferior talent compared to almost every team we play. The bottom 3rd of our line-up 3/5ths of the starting rotation and no proven starter. I too disagree with some of his approach and believe he acts too out of it on the bench, but he is not the problem, the fact that he is hamstrung with two catchers that can't hit or throw, two shortstops tying up 2 roster spots and add very little a left fielder who has no options have all hanstrung our skipper. He's a solid manager, just not the messiah!

The problem I have with Trembley is that players do not seem to improve under his tutelage, at least defensively. The mental mistakes have killed this club since DT took over, and last year he talked and talked about how things would go south if they got out of their routine and didnt get in enough practice. Well, with Izturis and Zaun in the fold, the up the middle defense is SUPPOSED to be 1000% better than last year where Ramon hernandez acted like a sieve and no ss we trotted out there could hold his own. But thats not the case. We have a gold glove ss in Izturis making MENTAL MISTAKES defensively. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN? Why do so many of our players make baserunning MENTAL mistakes?

I agree the talent isnt what it could be, but its light years ahead of last year. Maybe not the pitching, but the bench.

I just dont think hes a ML calibre manager. He has shown me NOTHING special.

Sweet...I got a (nameless) shout out in a Schmuck blog! My life is now complete :P.

I like Trembley. Again, I question his bringing in McCrory instead of Ray the other night, but overall, I think he does well with what he has, as evidenced by his handling of the offense and their production this year so far.

No one expected our pitching to be good.

As well...I love watching Trembley deal with umpires. He gets fired up, but he never looks at the ump or shows him up, he lets the ump say his piece, and he walks away. I'm shocked he's been tossed several times this week, especially in Toronto.


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Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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