Trembley's stay going to extra outings

New Orioles president MacPhail to evaluate interim manager through at least July 31

June 28, 2007|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN REPORTER

If Dave Trembley is looking to shed the interim tag from his managerial title with the Orioles, he'll apparently have more time to convince team officials that it's also in their best interest.

Andy MacPhail, the newly appointed president of baseball operations, said yesterday that, rather than continue the interview process, he wants to evaluate Trembley through the non-waiver trade deadline July 31. The Orioles tried their "pre-emptive strike" with Joe Girardi when he turned down their offer to become manager last week, MacPhail said.

"What I'd really like to do now is, I have so much on my plate that I've got to learn, let's watch Dave manage for a while," MacPhail said. "I was really impressed with the energy and enthusiasm the team played with [Tuesday night]. I liked the idea we were aggressive on the base paths, we tried to make things happen, he shared the load in the bullpen. So I was pleased.

"Before we take this team in a direction and you try to customize a fit, [or] a manager, for it, it's incumbent upon me to try to collect as much information and help us make the decision as to which way we go, and then custom-fit the manager to whichever way that is."

Trembley was named interim manager June 18, when the Orioles fired Sam Perlozzo with the team in last place. They are 5-3 under Trembley, including wins over the New York Yankees on Tuesday night and last night.

"I'll do my due diligence, but I won't be doing interviews here, I would imagine, [until] at least the trade deadline, so you guys [reporters] can stand down from any kind of search, because there is no search that's going to take place for a while," MacPhail said.

"We're going to let Dave manage and we're going to see how things go. There's no race here. It's getting the right guy. That's what the object is."

And that's basically the message MacPhail passed along to the players in Tuesday's pre-game clubhouse meeting. He also gave them a baseball-oriented history lesson from his days as Minnesota Twins general manager, when the franchise won two World Series titles.

"I talked to them briefly and told them the last time I was in this spot, we had an interim manager by the name of Tom Kelly, and it was so clear that the energy and enthusiasm levels had picked up," MacPhail said.

"It wasn't really somebody I thought was in the top two at the time, but a lot of these decisions become self-evident over time. ... So let's give it time. God knows there are other things I need to learn and do, so there's no hurry.

"Who knows how the future goes? Things change. So what I think now doesn't mean it's locked in stone, but I would be very surprised if there were any interviews until we get to August."

MacPhail has been receiving managerial recommendations from a variety of sources - with names such as Davey Johnson, Don Baylor, Rick Dempsey, Joey Cora, Terry Pendleton and Jerry Manuel mentioned. He'll hold on to them and see what the Orioles accomplish under Trembley, a man he described as a "straightforward, honest, hardworking guy who deserves his shot."

"You know how baseball works. I've got a lot of people calling in names," MacPhail said. "I've been in the game 30 years. I've got agents representing clients, I've got friends of friends, I've got a guy who coaches with somebody. Compiling the list isn't something that's difficult."

Many players have spoken up on Trembley's behalf, praising his enthusiasm, communication skills and willingness to let them be more aggressive on the bases.

"He should get a chance," third baseman Melvin Mora said. "The thing is, the guy has been a good manager for a long time [in the minors]. He responds to the players really good. Sometimes you're a coach and when you jump into being a manager, you can change, but he's being the same.

"He does a lot of hit-and-runs, and he talks to everybody. He's on top of everything. It's amazing. He doesn't forget anything. He's the kind of guy, he knows who's pitching next week. He already makes out the lineup the night before and everybody gets to know what is going to happen the next day. That's good. The players like it.

"I don't know what's going to happen next year. Things change. But he should stay. He should get a three-month shot to see what he can do."

MacPhail also said it was too early to address the futures of executives Mike Flanagan and Jim Duquette.

"Right now, they're helping me," MacPhail said. "I don't know that their day-to-day stuff really changes that much. They've got their hands full bringing me up to date. There's so little I know right now.

"You know they've got to be wondering about it. I tried to make it clear to them that, `Jeez, fellas, I need some help here.' And they've both been terrific. In terms of how the structure will be, those are things I need to figure out, and that's not going to happen overnight."

roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.

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