I realize that with the Orioles in Seattle last night, many of you probably weren’t awake by the time Dave Trembley put on a headset in the dugout during the middle innings. And in retrospect, I wish I had written a transcript of his “interview” with Gary Thorne and Buck Martinez. Because if Trembley’s contempt for these ridiculous sessions (which must be written into his contract, because why else would he consent to do it willingly?) wasn’t obvious before, he virtually announced to the entire viewing audience how he truly feels about this “obligation”. It was alternately uncomfortable, awkward, distracting and borderline hilarious.
Trembley actually uttered something along the lines of “We all have our crosses to bear” and “Oh geez, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do sometimes” during the course of this stilted 4 or 5 minute “conversation”. All the while, Thorne and Martinez laughed uncomfortably while asking such laughably soft questions as “Boy, Ichiro is a tough out, isn’t he Skip?” It was really something to behold. Towards the end of this, Thorne said “We’ll let you go right after this at bat” and Trembley laughed and referenced someone named “Monica” and said something along the lines of “I can’t get on her bad side.” When this segment mercifully ended, the Oriole Manager virtually slammed the headset down in obvious disgust.
It was really the highest form of unintentional comedy I’ve seen in a long, long time.
I can understand where Trembley’s frustrations stem from, as he’s attempting to stay focused on every pitch (and given some of his dubious strategy, he needs to stay as focused as possible). But his outward bitterness is so startlingly obvious, can’t someone in authority give him a break and just can this ridiculous segment? It’s high comedy, sure, but it’s also becoming a public forum for the obvious tension between Trembley and the powers-that-be over a job “requirement” he clearly has no desire to fulfill.
I believe that all televised sports are oversaturated with these silly Q & A sessions. Sideline reporters asking dumb questions of a head coach as his team heads to the locker room at halftime (“Coach, your defense gave up 28 points and 3 TD passes by Peyton Manning in the first half. What adjustments do you have to make to get back in this game in the second half?”). Mindless in-game handoffs for “information” (“Player X was knocked unconscious on that vicious hit by Player Y, and his availability to return is doubtful”). And these sessions like MASN holds every “Wired Wednesday” really take the cake. Imagine John Harbaugh being required to talk to the game announcers as the game is taking place. Or Phil Jackson. Or honestly any coach in any sport.
Any educated and experienced fan knows what their eyes are telling them as they watch a game. It’s almost insulting to have these networks throw this garbage at us while we attempt to enjoy the game. And honestly, if you really care what any coach is thinking during a game, just find the post-game press conference on television, online or in print to get those details.
Apparently, though, Dave Trembley and MASN will have to learn to get along nicely, at least through the remainder of this season, or his managerial tenure, whichever ends first. As I watched this on-screen train wreck last night, I wondered if the Orioles” next manager, or somebody like, oh, Earl Weaver, would ever consent to this silliness as part of their contract to manage the ballclub. Because if one thing is certain, Trembley wants no parts of these “interviews” any longer.
And given the level of questioning, I know that I don’t.
But man, it sure is funny. In a way that I don’t think the corporate suits ever intended with this half-baked idea.
Step aside, Comedy Central. It’s “Wired Wednesdays” each week on MASN!