Back for a day, Trebelhorn has mind on home


Coach works with team briefly before returning to ailing wife

February 26, 2007|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,Sun reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. -- Orioles bench coach Tom Trebelhorn rejoined the team yesterday and ran one of the infield drills on the main field. He was scheduled to return to Arizona later in the day, where his wife remains hospitalized after suffering a stroke Feb. 18 that was caused by a ruptured aneurysm in her brain.

Elizabeth Black's condition has improved and Trebelhorn said she has been responsive, but she's still in a delicate stage.

"Nobody knows the damage of the hemorrhaging and what the residual effect is going to be. It's just wait and see," he said.

"The good thing is, it seems to be getting a little better every day. She's still in intensive care and still ventilated and it's still pretty serious. Anything can happen. And anything that happens now to cause a problem somewhere else in the body is going to be critical because there's not much there to fight it."

Trebelhorn has a return flight to Fort Lauderdale on March 5, but it's possible he'll remain home. If his wife's condition worsens, Trebelhorn said, he might be "done with baseball."

"I'm not going through this; she is. It's a life-changing thing for her, and if it alters mine, that's the way it is. That's kind of what you buy into," he said.

"It happens to people all the time in different walks of life. Part of living is dealing with some of these health issues that you know can happen, but you're never ready for them."

Black was alone when it happened, but someone contacted the police when he couldn't reach her on the phone.

"She probably hadn't been feeling very well that morning, so she had the air conditioning on real low and it was real cold, and that slowed everything down," Trebelhorn said. "Two fortuitous events. If that doesn't happen, no chance."

Trebelhorn tried to stay busy yesterday, but his thoughts didn't stray far from home.

"It feels good to get back out here, but you always have this doggone feeling of what's going on on the other end," he said.

Players and coaches approached Trebelhorn in the clubhouse before the workout to shake his hand and offer their support. Kevin Millar provided the usual comic relief.

"I guess I've reached the pinnacle of baseball fame when a veteran imitates you in a nice way," Trebelhorn said.

Walker cleared to pitch

Though still sore from taking a line drive off the back of his head, reliever Jamie Walker threw on the side for about 10 minutes yesterday and expects to pitch in Friday's exhibition game.

"They cleared me to go. They're just being cautious. It's all good. I'm ready to rock and roll," he said.

Nick Markakis nailed Walker with a liner Friday during a live batting practice session. Walker suffered a mild concussion.

"No internal damage," he said. "Heck, you can't do any damage if you don't have a brain."

Fahey bulks up

Most evaluations of Brandon Fahey last year included a notation that he needed to put on weight and become stronger.

It's apparently happened without Fahey, 26, altering his diet or workout routine.

Fahey, listed at 160 pounds in the Orioles' media guide, said he has gained about 15 pounds since the end of last season.

"I definitely got a lot stronger, but I didn't change much of what I've been doing every offseason," he said. "I work out hard every offseason. I don't know if it's my age. I'm getting older. My metabolism might be slowing down. Whatever it is, it worked."

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