If you love baseball, even if you just kinda like baseball, you should be paying attention to the 2008 Orioles. Much like a quality TV show that you get into only after hearing a few good things from friends (think Six Feet Under, Arrested Develpment, the American version of The Office), the '08 Birds have a little something going on. If you are late to the party, that's OK. There are about 120 games left.
I plan to post a few items about my favorite aspects of this year's team. I'll start with my favorite:
Any Dave Trembley interview or press conference.
My boy Sherm has a massive man crush on Dave Trembley and tells anyone who will listen that Trembley will be the second most popular Orioles manager to Earl Weaver within a few years. I am not going there just yet, but Trembley is entertaining and refreshing, particularly if you get a thrill from blunt honesty.
Do yourself a favor and watch one of his press conferences. I don't think there is a more no nonsense person in sports. Maybe on the planet. If a pitcher stunk today, he'll say he stunk. If a player isn't getting it done, he'll tell you not just that he's not getting it done, but why he thinks he's not getting it done. Check out this quote from Trembley after he decided to make Freddie Bynum the regular SS over Luis Hernandez:
"To be honest with you, there's been a lot of plays I thought could have been made, should have been made and weren't made," Trembley said "So we've got to try something different."
Did that sound PC to you? You think he was worried about hurting Luis' feelings?
Ask a question, he gives an answer and tells you exactly what he thinks. And what he thinks is what you would think a 56-year-old veteran of 20-some-odd minor league seasons thinks. "We pay attention to details. Every man on the team is treated the same." etc., etc. The man has more "no BS" wisdom in his sun-dried brain than any management guru on the planet.
The basic Trembley philosophy is this: play hard on every single play, make good decisions, be prepared, be accountable.
I am paraphrasing, but you get the idea. I am so glad that Joe Girardi needed to "spend more time with his family" in order to turn down Baltimore and take the Yankees job.
Trembley for president.
Coming Soon: An Ode to George Sherrill's hat