A: I don't think you can lock yourself into the first time somebody doesn't run a ball out, you're going to put a blanket statement on it and embarrass a guy and pull him out of the game. Before camp is over, I'm going to have the opportunity to ask guys certain things, tell them what I expect. I know there were some things that I may have done last year that rubbed some guys the wrong way, and I'm willing to adjust and see if I can adapt and make it better for them. But there are certain things that players did that rubbed me the wrong way, and I'm held responsible for it. I have to get their help to make sure it's done better because I not only have to answer to myself, but I have to answer to Andy MacPhail and the fans. So I'm going to do what I can do to eliminate those things.
Q: You've said you expect your starters to get deeper into games. How much does that fall on you as well?
A: I might be a little bit more understanding in terms of taking the reins off some of these guys and letting them go deeper in the games. But obviously, I'm going to do what I think is in the best interest in trying to win the game.
Q: What are some of the things that you will do to try to improve the base-running?
A: This morning was the first step in that. We ran the bases today. We didn't do that last year. You can put it at the front of your priorities and not at the back. You have to make those things that you have seen on a repetitive basis that haven't been done up to your standards a point of emphasis. And we have to do that here in camp on a regular basis and emphasize the importance of it to the players. A lot of it will be up to them. You make it a priority, and you also instruct and correct on a regular basis.
Q: What are the main factors that you are going to consider in determining the lineup?
A: I want to see some of the younger guys, how they continue to progress in the spring. We had guys end up on an upswing. [Matt] Wieters ended the season on a big upswing; so did Pie. You want to see from the young position players what you want to see from your young pitchers. Are they going to pick right up where they left off, and if you see that and you feel that, then it makes the picture much clearer and you're able to slot some guys in some situations. I'm not afraid to push the young guys. I have confidence in the young guys, but I also want to do what's right and I don't want to give guys too much, too soon. I've never seen Atkins. I want to see some guys in different slots.
Q: So are you saying that you haven't ruled out a young guy, like Wieters and Reimold, hitting in the cleanup spot?
A: I'm not so sure at the beginning of the year that I would do that, but to rule it out completely, no. But I would say right now I would err on the side of a veteran guy at the beginning of the year doing that.
Q: When Andy first brought up the idea of signing Tejada, what was your reaction?
A: Go get him. When I was first asked about Miggi, a lot of other possibilities had already gone by the board. I wasn't asked about Miggi in October. I was asked about Miggi late in the offseason. ... At that time, I said, 'You're going to make some guys happy if you get him. You're going to make your hitting coach happy.' Markakis and [Brian] Roberts love him. I never had a problem with Miggi because Miggi likes to win. That's what you need here, guys that like to win, want to win. I think Miggi is at the point and time in his career where he will do whatever he can to help the team. From that standpoint, I embraced it.
Q: What is the criticism of you that you feel is most unfair?
A: Probably what is most unfair is they think I don't handle the starting pitching and the bullpen well. The time that I have been here has not been a win-at-all-costs situation. I don't think a lot of people totally understand that. People want you to win at all costs, and that wasn't ever the criteria presented to me when I had the young arms that I had. I had no problem at that time accepting the responsibility for that. I think you'll see we have moved away from that now, but believe it or not, I don't really let that stuff bother me as much. ... People are entitled to their opinion. I want to win as bad or more as anybody. I've tried to interact with the fans and get their side. I've tried to interact with the media. So in some ways, maybe I've overcompensated. I don't want to win for myself. I want to win for them. I want to win for these players. It's not all about me. It's not all about Dave Trembley. Let's be honest here. It's about ability and talent.
Q: On the day you were preparing to manage your first big league game in 2007, team officials were in a Chicago hotel suite offering the Orioles managerial job to Joe Girardi. Here you are 2 1/2 years later, and you are still the manager.
A: It's like you tell everybody in every walk of life: Never sell yourself short, don't let anybody tell you that you can't, never stop believing in yourself, but don't get so wrapped up thinking that you are bigger than the game or life itself. You have to be humble and appreciative. I know how fortunate I am. I appreciate this opportunity more than I could explain. I also know there is a very, very big responsibility that goes along with it. We've endured the battles and the rough times, and I'm appreciative that Andy MacPhail and ownership has given me the opportunity to be part of the next phase. When you go through the bad, you certainly like to be around when it gets good. There should be no excuses from the players, there should be no excuses for me or for the coaches. We have a nice spring training facility, we've gotten better players, people have been patient with us. Now, it's time to step up.