- The Washington Times - Friday, March 9, 2007

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Dave Trembley cashed in a 20-year career as a minor league manager to work with the Baltimore Orioles. If his new job paid overtime, he would earn as much money as some of the players he was hired to coach.

Trembley was signed during the offseason to be a field coordinator, which involves setting up pregame drills and batting practice. Then, after bullpen coach Rick Dempsey quit the club to become a broadcaster, Trembley agreed to become his replacement.

That kept Trembley busy enough. But his life got even more hectic when bench coach Tom Trebelhorn left for Arizona to be with his wife, Elizabeth Black, who’s recovering from a brain aneurysm.

So the 55-year-old Trembley stepped in as a temporary replacement. The guy’s got only one baseball cap, but no one on the team wears more hats.

“He’s been just a tremendous asset to us,” Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said. “He’s a dedicated hard worker on top of everything else. With Trebs gone, he’s been a blessing for me. I can’t say enough about him.”

Trembley arrives in camp around 6:30 a.m. and returns to his hotel at 7:30 in the evening. Often, he brings his work back with him.

“My days are busy. My nights are long. But I’m having the time of my life,” Trembley said. “I don’t know how it could get any better.”

Trembley is rarely without a clipboard in his hand and a smile on his face. He surely would have been happy to manage the Orioles’ Class AAA team for a third straight year but couldn’t pass up the chance to be in the big leagues — even if meant working around the clock.

“Not too many people get an opportunity to be in the major leagues,” he said. “It wasn’t something I politicked for. I don’t play that game. I’m not that type of person. The Orioles have given me a chance to do something I’ve always wanted to do, so I intend to repay them by doing it the right way.”

At first, that meant mapping out a series of drills that would help the players sharpen their fundamental skills.

“Then when Demper took the broadcasting job, they talked about me going to the bullpen. They asked me if I do both. And I said why not? When I was in the minor leagues, I managed teams without any coaches,” Trembley said.

The bench coach job was thrown in his lap when Trebelhorn left, but Trembley readily adapted to the role. Maybe it’s because he has been a baseball manager for two decades and more than 3,000 games.

That kind of experience is invaluable to a big league manager. Perlozzo expects to ultimately have Trebelhorn back in the dugout, but the organization has discussed a contingency plan of his absence becomes a long-term proposition.

If that’s the case, then Trembley would be a leading candidate for the job.

“I’ve been sitting here with him during the games and I like what he’s doing,” Perlozzo said. “That’s certainly a consideration.”

Even if Trembley doesn’t get the call, he will have plenty to keep him busy during the regular season. After coordinating most of the pregame drills, he will sit in the bullpen and make sure each reliever is properly warmed up before taking the mound.

It is a job that comes with no small measure of tradition. The last two bullpen coaches were Elrod Hendricks and Dempsey, former catchers who were among the most popular players ever to wear an Orioles uniform.

“The people who came before me have been members of the Orioles family for a long, long time,” Trembley said. “For me to get the opportunity to do what I’m doing is not only a privilege, but it comes with a lot of expectations.”

He’s done everything he’s been asked — and then some.

“I just want to help,” he said.

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