Trembley having time of his life

Trembley having time of his life

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Dave Trembley, running his first Spring Training as a big league manager, is having the time of his life in a camp overlooked by the mainstream media. Trembley, who managed for two decades in the Minor Leagues, knows that the Orioles aren't expected to contend this season, but he's determined to have his team prepared in the best way possible. His message to his team is one of stressing the basics and never underestimating the value of hard work. Do you like the attitude of the bunch you have this year?

Trembley: There's just a lot of new faces here. And with the new faces, a lot of guys feel like they're getting a new opportunity. Any time that happens, everybody feels like they're going to get a fair shot. The guys have been tremendous. They understand what we're trying to accomplish. We've been fair with them, and I'll be fair when we start playing the games. There are reduced expectations for your team in the media. How do you deal with that in the dugout and in the clubhouse?

Trembley: I don't read it, and I don't watch it. I'm not concerned about it. What I'm concerned with is getting this team prepared to compete over the course of a Major League season. We can control that, and we can control the way we go about doing things with the approach we take and the attitude we have. I told the guys in the very first meeting that I don't want people that are just happy to be here.

I want them to believe, feel and know that they're Major League baseball players and that they'll be treated accordingly. Don't underestimate what you can accomplish with hard work, preparation and playing as a team. The best thing I've seen down here is that it appears that no one is acting like they're better than anybody else. It's been a real tough atmosphere. Realistically, how tough is it to teach at the big league level and still be competitive?

Trembley: The game is much quicker here. The other team will find out your Achilles heel, and they'll attack it repeatedly. But you have to be patient with your younger players -- that's why Spring Training gives everybody an opportunity to compete in a situation that doesn't overburden them. That's why our approach here has been that this is not a tryout camp. This is a Spring Training camp designed to help guys play during a Major League season.

I've asked the veteran guys to go about their business accordingly, and to do the drills and everything else the best that they can. When the younger guys see that, I think it helps sell the message that you're trying to get across to everybody. And that's that this is a team. You say often that you're having the time of your life. Were you born to do this job?

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Trembley: It's something I've always wanted to do from a very early age. I think some people have goals and wishes for later on in their life, but this is what I've wanted to do for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I just shake my head and think, "I'm doing it. I'm doing it." It's pretty neat.

A lot of people don't get to do what they've always wanted to do in their life. It doesn't always happen for them, and that's the great thing about baseball. That's why there are so many fans. You grow up loving the game, and you pass that on from generation to generation. Me, I've had a love of the game since I was a kid. Baseball has always been a pillar for me. It's always there, and it's always something you can fall back on. It's just a real special game. It's more than a game. Do you think your players understand that perspective?

Trembley: I think a lot of them are beginning to understand it. I'm pretty open about telling people that. I've had a lot of guys come up and ask me what this is all about, and I tell them where I've been and where I've come from. It's incredible.

When people appreciate where they've come from and the opportunities they have, I think they'll put forth a little bit more effort. When you take things for granted, you have a tendency to slight it somewhat. And I don't want anyone taking this for granted.

They don't give it to you and it doesn't come overnight. You have to earn it.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.