While some baseball people took time off after the season to clear their minds of baseball and what might have gone wrong for them in 2007, Orioles manager Dave Trembley admits he's on a different wavelength—he thinks about baseball from Day 1 of the offseason.
Trembley, who was hired on June 17 after Sam Perlozzo was fired, had a lot to think about. His major league managing debut, after 20 years in the minors, started well, but a nine-game losing streak that started on Aug. 22 when the team suffered a record 30-3 loss to the Rangers triggered a rapid downward spiral.
"I don't know if I've let go yet, to be honest with you. You always think you can do better," Trembley said of his 40-53 record. "You always think you can maybe tweak things a little bit differently or maybe do something a little bit different to make it a little bit better.
"You learn from it and you move on. You try to use that experience to maybe set yourself down a course of direction that perhaps is a little better. I don't know if we need a major renovation. We need to add some pieces to what we have and there are some gaps that need to be filled. We need a starting pitcher. We need a closer and a setup guy. We need better arms in the bullpen."
Trembley is happy to get to work in the rebuilding effort with the team's new president of baseball operations, Andy MacPhail, a longtime baseball insider with a positive track record. The manager said that having someone of MacPhail's caliber in charge is a good reason for feeling confident that the Orioles can improve on their 10 years of losing.
"There's a purpose and a plan important to what we're going to do, and I believe we established some principles and foundations of how we're going to play the game and what our expectations are," Trembley said.
Having MacPhail, who knows Trembley's methods from their time together in the Cubs' organization, allows the manager to do things the way he feels is best even though he admits he doesn't do a lot of things according to the book.
"Certainly, the way I do things, not everyone is going to agree with. Certainly, the way other people do things, I don't always agree with. That's what makes the world go round," Trembley said. "It doesn't mean you have to like or accept it. You just have to understand that's the way it is."
—OF Luke Scott, who came to the Orioles from the Astros in the trade for Miguel Tejada, admitted he was upset about being traded for the second time in his career but also said he is excited about the opportunity he will have in Baltimore.
—2B Brian Roberts was said to be on the trading block until club president Andy MacPhail responded to a report that a deal was in the works with this comment: "I just don't see anything like that ... between now and the coming year."
—1B Aubrey Huff is the only member of the 40-man roster to hit more than 30 HRs in a season, and Jay Payton and Jay Gibbons are the only ones who have hit as many as 25.
—LHP Erik Bedard remains in limbo as negotiations for a contract extension, and negotiations for a trade move at a snail's pace. He has two years remaining on his current contract.