O's name Trembley manager for '08
Skipper, who has led club to winning record, has option for '09
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles eliminated the lone major storyline left in their season Wednesday, when they announced that Dave Trembley would remain as manager beyond this season.
Trembley, who took over on an interim basis in June and was extended through the season in July, seemed thrilled to have the news made official.
"I feel a whole lot more comfortable in a baseball uniform than I do in a suit and tie," he said at Wednesday's press conference. "I'm just trying to do it right, and I've been just trying to do it right for a long time. There are a lot of people that made it possible for me to be here -- and it's all those people that I've gotten phone calls from and e-mails from. There are a lot of fans in this city that have written me letters, and I've read them all -- some of them real nice [and] some of them to the point."
Andy MacPhail, Baltimore's president of baseball operations, said the time was right to announce the decision.
"Once you've decided that this is the right thing, there's no reason not to go forward," he said. "If you don't have a manager in place the first day of the offseason, everything gets backed up. The coaches don't know what their future is, and there's an uncertainty -- you're paralyzed as a franchise until you get that manager in place."
Trembley's deal includes a team option for 2009, and it's hard not to see the job as an endorsement for the way he's handled things to this point. He's gone 29-25 since taking over for Sam Perlozzo and has won over the clubhouse with a back-to-basics approach that stresses attention to detail in everything from arrival time to practice habits.
After managing in the Minor Leagues for two decades, Trembley knows how to get things exactly the way he wants them.
"You can print the T-shirts," he said at one point Wednesday, stressing the simplicity of his message. "It's 'be on time, be professional and respect the game.'
"I'm not really feeling like a tough guy up here today. I know sometimes what you read and what you hear is 'Trembley's really laying the law down and putting the hammer down.' All I've tried to do is get them to respect who they are, what they are and what they represent -- and what they represent is a tradition and history of a very proud organization."
Trembley has consistently declined to discuss his future, preferring instead to take a "don't ask, don't tell" policy in regards to his status heading into next season. MacPhail originally tried to hire former Florida manager Joe Girardi in what he termed a "pre-emptive strike" before settling in and giving Trembley room to work.
Eventually, he saw enough that made him decide he already had the right man under contract. MacPhail has known Trembley for 12 years, and he said Wednesday that he sees a lot of similarities to former Minnesota manager Tom Kelly. MacPhail retained Kelly after his interim stint in Minnesota and was rewarded with two World Series titles.
Trembley -- who has worked with many of Baltimore's players and prospects at various rungs of the organization -- will have a similar opportunity to mold the Orioles into future contenders.
"Everything that was attractive about Joe Girardi -- getting a team prepared, communicating with his players -- as it turned out, we had all of those things in-house with Dave," said MacPhail. "The players have a certain comfort level with Dave. ... Everything that I was trying to achieve there, we have here."
MacPhail said that the relationship between the general manager and manager may be the most important in any team setting, and he also said that he thought Trembley had the right characteristics to mesh with him professionally.
"Dave's relying on me to try to get him the best personnel I can, and I'm relying on him to make sure he tries to use that personnel in the most efficient way he possibly could," he said. "We're going to have different points of view. It's not unusual for a manager to be focused on the short term -- that's their job.
"My focus sometimes has to be a little more long term. You have to respect each other and understand that there are going to be times you see things a little differently. You're going to have to work things out."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.