Trembley Interview

The O’s website has this interview with Orioles interim Manager Dave Trembley.

MLB.com: How long have you been in love with baseball? Did you have the stereotypical American upbringing?

Trembley: I grew up loving the game and listening to it on the radio, cutting the box scores out of The Sporting News that you bought for a quarter on every Thursday. Growing up, the game was always there. No matter what happens in your life — no matter what trials and tribulations you go through — you can always fall back on the game. It’s something that’s secure. There’s always going to be another season. There’s always another day and there’s always another game.

MLB.com: Did you have any baseball role models? Did you always know you wanted to do this for a living?

Trembley: My hero, growing up, was Ralph Houk. He was major for me, with those great Yankees teams of the ’60s. He seemed like a guy who knew how to deal with people and knew how to deal with superstars. They played hard for him. He demanded respect and he got respect. He backed his players up and he wasn’t afraid to make decisions. That’s the kind of guy I followed.

We’re coaches. We’re teachers. I don’t feel any different managing here than I felt managing in Des Moines, Bowie, Harrisburg or Daytona. We’re caretakers of the game. We’re here to make it better for the people that come after us. They’re still playing in Des Moines, Bowie, Harrisburg and Daytona. That’s the same thing I’m trying to do here.

MLB.com: Did you dream to stay in baseball as long as possible, or did you dream to make it to the Major Leagues?

Trembley: My goals and dreams were to be involved in the game of baseball — no matter what avenue or level. I don’t think your worth is necessarily determined by being in the Major Leagues. You could manage an American Legion team or high school. It’s all about how your approach and your passion, how you treat people and how you treat the game. I don’t think you have to be in the big leagues to be a big leaguer.

There’s a certain way to act and a certain way to approach the game. That’s the Major League way, but sometimes the Major League way gets tainted and guys forget where they’ve come from. That’s one thing about me — I’ve never forgotten where I’ve come from. I know who I am and what I am. I’m not afraid to talk to people and I’m not afraid to give it to them straight, but in a way that’s hopefully not offensive. In a way that makes guys realize what’s expected of them. But we’re not going to sacrifice basic principles of integrity, hard work and preparation. Those things won’t be compromised.

MLB.com: And where exactly did you come from? Do you consider yourself a blue-collar guy?

Trembley: I identify myself as a guy who had goals and worked for them. I kept my mouth shut, my head down and worked hard. I’m honest with people and with players. I’m not afraid to get emotional with players and tell them I care about them. I’m not afraid to get in their face, so to speak, and say, “This isn’t the way we’re going to do things.” If that’s blue-collar, that’s the way I thought everybody was. Maybe we got away from that a little bit, but I think all of us realize that the way we were brought up and the people around us were responsible for where we are now.

Somebody’s helped me, somebody’s helped you and somebody’s helped these players get to the point and place in time they are now — both personally and professionally. It’s important not to forget that, and I think a lot of times we need to be reminded of that. I have a way of doing things and a certain sense of courage, confidence and conviction. You get respect when you give respect. And these guys, you guys and the fans will have to be a judge of all that. All I’ve ever wanted out of this game is for my opinion to be asked and to be respected for doing things the right way. The biggest allies I’ve had in this game have been the people that played for me. They know that. And that may sound corny, but that’s just the way it is.

MLB.com: How difficult is it to get this far without having professional playing experience?

Trembley: I think your worth is measured by the contributions you can make to this game — the contributions you can make helping players and the game. I don’t think your worth is measured by anything else other than that. Your work ethic, self-discipline and commitment — that’s what these guys are all about. That other stuff really doesn’t mean a hill of beans to them. Take yourself out of the equation. They don’t want to know what you’ve done and where you’re from. You know what they want to know? What can you do to help them? And do you understand what they’re going through?

That’s what they want, and while I’m here, that’s exactly what they’re going to get. I won’t skirt the issues. It’s like what I wrote on the board in the clubhouse. “Have a good day off tomorrow — but you’d better be on time Tuesday.” I think I have a feel for managing the game and for managing people — and not necessarily in that order. Responsibility belongs to the people who make the decisions, and the accolades go to the people who reap the benefits of those decisions.

I really hope Trembley can get something going with this team. He sure says the right things. I’d rather have a guy like this, a guy who WANTS to be here, as opposed to someone with a big name. The results on the field have to happen though. To Trembely’s defense, the team went 3-3 against two of the toughest teams in the NL. That’s to his credit. Let’s see how this homestand goes.

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