Trembley Lets Loose

O's Manager Blows Off Steam Over Umpire Crew's Mistake

July 09, 2009|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,

SEATTLE -- It was a call by home plate umpire and crew chief Tom Hallion in the top of the first inning in the Orioles' eventual 12-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night that finally pushed manager Dave Trembley over the edge. It inspired a post-ejection, hat-throwing tirade and a scathing post-game interview with reporters.

While most of his ire was directed at Hallion, an emotional Trembley used the opportunity to respond to recent criticism that the Orioles don't play hard enough and that he doesn't demand enough accountability from his players. He also vented about recent calls from the Boston Red Sox series that did not go his team's way.

"I get all this innuendo about, 'Well, this team doesn't play hard; this team doesn't do that; Trembley's passive; this and that,' " the Orioles manager said as he sat on the edge of his desk, his face bright red, what was left of his voice raising. "People have no idea what I do when the doors are closed here. I don't call anybody out in front of the public. But one thing I will not tolerate is somebody telling me my team doesn't play hard. ..."Oh, I'm sure I will [get disciplined] because I threw my hat and I got it dirty," Trembley said. "So what, you know? They made a mistake. People need to be accountable when they make a mistake. All I want is for somebody to say, 'I made a mistake. I didn't get it right.' Don't cover for one another. We're big boys here, you know?"

Trembley managed the Orioles' series finale against Mariners on Wednesday, but it would not be a surprise if he has to serve a suspension during this weekend's series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Camden Yards.

"You wish it wouldn't happen, but it happens. That's part of the game," Trembley said, his voice still showing the strain from the night before. "If you could take some things back, we all would. But you can't so you don't worry about it. What can you do now?"

The play in question was Luke Scott's two-run single off former Oriole Erik Bedard with the bases loaded in the first. Seattle center fielder Franklin Gutierrez's throw hit the pitcher's mound and caromed into the seats next to the Orioles' dugout. Rule 7.05 establishes that base runners are allowed two bases from where they were when the ball left the outfielder's hand. Hallion ruled that Nolan Reimold, who was on first when the play began, had not arrived at second base when Gutierrez let go of the errant throw.

"In that case there, when you place runners, you look at where the runner is at the time when the center fielder releases the ball," Hallion said. "I had two guys - the first base umpire (Brian Knight) and the second-base umpire (Phil Cuzzi) - both [say] that he had not passed second base yet before the center fielder threw the ball. That's why we gave them two bases, and that's why he didn't score."

Trembley yelled at Hallion from the top step of the dugout as Jeremy Guthrie was warming up for the bottom of the first, and then eventually charged out, going chest-to-chest with the umpire. After he was thrown out of the game for the third time this season, Trembley spiked his hat beyond Hallion's feet and then stomped to the clubhouse. "I asked Reimold when he came in, I said, 'Nolan, give it to me straight. I've had you a long time. Did you touch second base before Gutierrez threw the ball?' " Trembley said. "He said, 'Dave, I won't lie to you. I was past second base.' Then I lost it and I said, 'Tommy, you lied to me. You guys blew the call and you lied to me.' And I couldn't take it anymore after that. That was a little too much for me."

Asked if he had seen the replay, Trembley grew even more agitated.

"I don't need to watch the replays," he said, acknowledging that some of his frustrations were pent up after what he perceives as a series of blown calls that have gone against his team. "I don't need to watch the replay of [Dustin] Pedroia tagging out [Felix] Pie at second base with the ball in his hand and not in his glove. I don't need to watch a replay of [Jason] Varitek taking a check swing on strike three and [the umpires] calling ball four. I haven't slept in a week. They're talking to me about watching the replays? I replay every [darn] play in my head."

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