A monday note to Dave Trembley: Be careful bashing the fans

May 03, 2010 | Drew Forrester

And this is what Dave Trembley had to say over the weekend, in response to a question about whether or not the fans were justified with their displeasure over the Orioles 4-18 start.

“This is your team.  This is your city.  If you love your team, you love them through good times and bad times.  And you’ll want to be here when they turn things around.  This is our ballclub.  This is our city.  We’re very proud.”

Oh, Dave. 

My, my, my.

You have a lot to learn about Baltimore, my friend.

Let me say THIS first, though, before I handle the issue of you beating up the fans.  You had a VERY good weekend against the Red Sox.  You completely out-managed Terry Francona…which probably says more about him than you, actually.  But I thought Sunday’s game vs. the Red Sox was perhaps your best effort of the year. 

Back to the subject at hand.

Allow me start by reminding you, sir, that you are not FROM Baltimore.  You were born in Carthage, New York.  Nice place and all — I assume — but it’s not Baltimore and you don’t understand much about the way things have gone here.  Your managerial resume includes such stops as Whyteville, Kinston, Harrisburg, Wichita and Daytona Beach. 

And in the off-season, you live in Daytona Beach.  Not that I blame you, of course, because Daytona in the winter is about as nice as any other place you could live. 

But it’s not Baltimore.  And because you have decided NOT to live here in the winter – and because the team doesn’t make you…and why should the manager live in the city he manages in? – you’re really out of touch with some things about the Orioles and the fans and the whole “you should love the team” thing you vomited to the media over the weekend.

Understand this, chief:  This city is dying for the Orioles to win.  More than you could ever know.  Since 1998, the O’s have been losers.  I know you don’t like that word – being in sports and all, it’s a BAD, BAD word – but this club and the people that run the show have been L.O.S.E.R.S. for the last twelve years.

And that’s not a low blow, it’s just a fact.

Saying things like “you should be here in the good times and the bad times” smells to me like you’re reading an e-mail from the team’s Communications Department. 

You can’t REALLY believe that, do you Dave?

For starters, rather than telling the fans how to be fans, perhaps you should pay closer attention to….to….to….to…………….THE GAME!!!  You know, little things like taking the pitcher out at the right time.  Bunting a guy over when it’s necessary.  Sending in the right pinch-hitter – who hits – in a crucial situation.

In other words, Dave.  You manage the team and the fans will worry about being fans.

If you REALLY want to chastise someone about the attendance, try going to the powers-that-be in that building and ask why they charge fans in Baltimore MORE MONEY when they decide to come down to the ballpark on the day-of-a-game and buy a ticket to see the team THEY LOVE.

You’re the one talking about “sticking with the team through the good and bad”…right?  Well, how GOOD is it when a fan comes to the stadium to support “your” team and they have to fork over $2 or $5 more to go to the game that night?  And YOUR team has lost for 12 straight years, don’t forget.  Is that any way to treat your devoted fans?  12 straight years of losing and your front office welcomes everyone to Year #13 by saying, “We’ve decided to charge you people MORE money for coming to the games this season.”

And you wonder why the fans are angry these days?

Not only do the diehards get bent-over for going to the games, but then we have to read quotes from the manager who reminds the fans we should just go because, well, “good fans” go to the games and bad ones complain about the team.

Dave, you’re a nice guy…apparently.  I personally think the team has conspired AGAINST you in your 34 months here, giving you raga’muffins galore and then expecting you to be pleasant when they interview you during the 4th inning of another 8-2 Wednesday night loss.  I’m sure you’ve looked down the dugout bench some nights and whispered to yourself, “Yeah, I’m gonna win with THESE guys…”

But you should stick to managing, Dave, and do less worrying about the fans or what the media is writing about the team. 

Tell Greg Bader and the rest of the staffers at The Warehouse to admit their mistake and abolish that silly day-of-game ticket price surcharge.  And while you’re at it, ask them about closing down the scalp-free-zone…another kick in the nuts to the fans either WITH tickets (that they can’t use or get rid of) or WITHOUT. 

Go ahead, Dave, ask them about those transgressions.  You seem to want to stick your nose in a bunch of stuff that has nothing to do with actually managing the games. 

So why don’t you ask the decision-makers at OPACY why they initiated these two outrageously poor policies? 

And when you hear the truth — “Dave, listen…it’s all tied into more revenue.  Shutting down the scalp-free-zone means folks walking up have no choice but to buy tickets from our box office…which means, in turn, that they’ll be paying the ticket price surcharge…and that, of course, gives us MORE revenue.” — you’ll understand why the fans are not willing to hop on for this 13th straight straight season of (expected) losing. 

In closing, Dave, let me remind you that your area of expertise – supposedly – is managing baseball teams.  You’re not from Baltimore, you don’t live here year around and, frankly, you’re as qualified to talk about Baltimore baseball fans as Jeffrey Maier.  No offense, skip.  It’s just that you touched a nerve over the weekend when you beat people up for not “sticking with the team”.

We’d like to stick with the team, DT, but the problem is the club you work for makes it very difficult.

That said, we ARE still with you, bro.  We watch the games, nearly every one of them, and we even occasionally still venture down to the ballpark, although it’s obvious we’re doing less and less of that over the last few years. 

We’re with YOU, Dave, because you seem like a decent-enough guy.  You don’t deserve this hand you’ve been dealt, but you went to the table with your chips and your gin and tonic and said, “I’d like to get in the game”, so you’re getting what you get. 

But you need to focus on managing now.  And the next time someone asks you about the fans, you’re best served to say, “You know, the people here in Baltimore are great baseball fans.  They’ve been through a lot and they’re eager for us to win again.  We hope to reward them sometime very soon.”

Done.

Nicely done, in fact.

That’s how you handle addressing the fans publicly.

Don’t fall into the same trap as the suits at The Warehouse and take your opportunity to comment on the fans by demanding they “stick by the team”.

We’ve been sticking for 12 years now, cap’n.

12 long years.

You’ve been at it for 3 years and you’re beside yourself.

Think about THAT the next time you wonder why no one is in the stadium on a Tuesday night.

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