O's vote of confidence

Trembley told he'll manage rest of season

August 01, 2007|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN REPORTER

BOSTON -- Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail had planned to wait until early August to address his club's managerial situation, but he decided it wasn't necessary to wait that long.

Impressed with the club's play since Dave Trembley has taken over, MacPhail announced yesterday that the interim manager will remain in the position at least through the end of this season.

"I think it is pretty self-evident that we won't be making any managerial changes in the season," MacPhail said in a conference call with reporters. "I will sit down with Dave and we'll talk a little bit about the future when we get off the road. As I have said many times before, and I think most people agree, Dave has certainly done a very nice job with this team.

"The things I always thought were important ... was the preparation level, the energy, the effort and the enthusiasm the players were displaying. And I think certainly you have to be pleased with all those things at this point."

Trembley has also gotten pretty good results since being elevated from bullpen coach to interim manager on June 18, when Sam Perlozzo was fired. After last night's 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox, the Orioles are 21-15 under Trembley, while playing a good chunk of the stretch without their left side of the infield - Miguel Tejada and Melvin Mora - and closer Chris Ray.

Players have praised his in-game decisions, particularly his handling of the bullpen, and been receptive to several changes he has made. He has had the club take infield practice at the beginning of a series and mandated that everybody stretches as part of the team. Many of the Orioles' top players have said publicly that Trembley deserves a chance to manage the team beyond this season.

"I think he should be the manager this year and next year, too," shortstop Tejada said. "They have to give a shot to him. You never know. This guy could be one of the best managers in the big leagues if they give him an opportunity. So far, [he has done] a great job."

MacPhail called Trembley yesterday to give him the news. While Trembley said that he was pleased, he maintained he hadn't given much thought to it, especially after MacPhail said publicly that no decision would be made until August.

"I'm very grateful for the opportunity and what the players and coaches have done," said Trembley, who managed 2,782 games in the minor leagues before getting the big league opportunity. "I'm just kind of getting started. There's still room for improvement. There's still things that we'd like to do. We're going to do our best to continue doing things the right way.

"When I came in, I wasn't given any promises on how long it was going to be. I didn't ask, and they didn't tell me. Mr. MacPhail came out and said that he'd make a decision after the trading deadline, and he did. I've gotten more than I could have asked for."

Though MacPhail wouldn't commit to Trembley as his manager for the 2008 season, his announcement yesterday certainly is the latest sign Trembley will get heavy consideration. When former Florida Marlins manager Joe Girardi turned down the Orioles' offer to manage the club less than a week after Perlozzo was fired, MacPhail vowed to put the managerial search on the back burner.

However, he said at the time that he would prefer to have next year's manager in place before the end of this season. Trembley said MacPhail didn't say anything about next year, but the two plan to meet early next week when the Orioles return home from their road trip. MacPhail also skirted questions about what his announcement means for next year.

NOTES -- Third baseman Melvin Mora, on the disabled list with a sprained right foot, will enter what Trembley called the last phase of his rehabilitation process this afternoon when he runs the bases. Trembley said a decision will be made after that on when Mora will be activated and if he'll need a rehab stint in the minor leagues. ... Freddie Bynum (strained left hamstring) will start a five-game rehab stint tomorrow among the minor league teams in Maryland.

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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