Manager’s Comments Signal Dawn of New Day for O’s

June 19, 2008 |

So I was driving around Wednesday afternoon listening to WNST’s broadcast of Orioles manager Dave Trembley’s pregame press conference, and the more I heard, the more I liked….really liked. In fact, before I knew it, I was down right in love…but the blonde in the convertible sped away before I could really get to know her, and, besides, I’m a happily married man. But enough about that — how about this Dave Trembley character.

I’m really starting to like the O’s manager and I feel very positive about him leading the team into what is looking more and more like a bright future. His press conference yesterday was amazing. It wasn’t just what he said (which I’ll get to shortly) but the fact that he felt empowered to say it. Most of his predecessors (basically since Davey Johnson, and look what happened to him) seemed completely emasculated, unable to acknowledge what we all knew: that the Baltimore Orioles were a dysfunctional franchise and major changes needed to take place — from top to bottom — before any real turnaround could take place.

But here’s Trembley being open and honest with the press, admitting to the team’s past troubles, making it clear that Andy MacPhail is getting the organization to make substantial changes, and stating emphatically that he’s the man to skipper the new ship.

“I think it was real clear when we took over. We tried to change the culture here,” said Trembley. “We tried to change the culture, establish an identity, change the attitude and reestablish a sense of pride and tradition of being part of the Baltimore Orioles.”

Sure, you could dismiss those comments as empty clichés and remind everyone that the supposed “pride” he’s talking about is for a 4th place team with little hope of seeing the postseason anytime soon.

But, for me at least, it’s damn refreshing to hear an Orioles manager talk like that, especially when the team’s performance — as exhibited by their 20 come-from-behind victories already this season — seems to reflect the change in culture to which Trembley referred.

“I think what exists here is a very deep-rooted generational love affair with the Baltimore Orioles, which I think for a while got lost in the shuffle. I don’t think people right now have to be embarrassed to be a fan of the Baltimore Orioles. And that doesn’t mean because we win or lose. I think it’s more because of what we’re trying to represent here and what we stand for, and the process of how we’re trying to do things. I think that’s probably the most attractive thing to the ‘Average Joe’ who follows this team.”

Wow. Is it me, or is the day finally here? The day when we can honestly say that the resurgence has begun; the day, as Trembley suggests, when we no longer have to be embarrassed to be an Orioles fan. (By the way, as I was typing this, the Orioles turned a tough double play to end the top of the 9th inning, and I felt a sense of excitement for Baltimore baseball that I honestly haven‘t felt in a very long time.)

If those quotes weren’t good enough, Trembley conjured up visions of Earl and Cal Sr. with his later comments: “I’m going to do it the right way. I’m going to do it the way I think is best and I’m going to leave it better for the next guy who’s in here. And when I’m no longer here, you all be the judge if it’s better.”

Take it from this Average Joe, Skip: it’s better already.