Dave Trembley Battled With Depression After Being Fired As Orioles Manager

Dave TrembleyFor the first time since being let go as the Orioles manager, Dave Trembley will be returning to Baltimore. Now serving as the Houston Astros third base coach under skipper Bo Porter, Trembley is back in baseball after managing the Orioles from 2007-2010.

In a fantastic piece by Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle, Trembley opened up about his new role in Houston, his time in Baltimore and the emotional toll losing the job in Baltimore took on him.

“When it’s over – and this is the tough part – it’s like they pull the shade down and they turn the lights off,” Trembley said. “I didn’t hear from one guy. And you find out who your friends are.”

For three months, Trembley stayed in the darkness. A few writers finally called, sticking in the fired manager’s mind as people who’d always care. Encouraging words from managers Joe Maddon, Jim Leyland, Terry Francona and Bobby Cox kept Trembley going. Close friends and family members never fled.

But Trembley was in a personal black hole, surrounded by the feeling of being cut off and tossed away from the game to which he had devoted his life. He had survived on three to four hours of sleep when he managed the Orioles. Now, he was living off middle-of-the-night, self-induced wakeups that were solely based upon turning on a television just to check a meaningless stream of baseball scores. It took him half a year to rediscover light.

“The first three months, I was really a recluse,” Trembley said. “I didn’t want to go anywhere. I didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t want to leave the house.”

He added: “I knew what the outcome at some point in time was going to be. Did I like it? No. Did I accept it? Yes. Did I have difficulty in getting over it? Absolutely.”

Midway through looking back at Baltimore, small drops of clear water form beneath Trembley’s right eye. He then briefly breaks his professional character at the end of a long interview, with a deep “Oh, oh, oh” that hints at the pain of watching someone else turn off the lights inside the house he built.

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and host of the BSR Podcast. He's a loyal Orioles, Ravens and Capitals fan who is obsessed with baseball, loves traveling, In-N-Out Burger and Walt Disney World.

11 Comments

  1. Cody Colston

    July 30, 2013 at 5:19 am

    Wow. I did not know this. I’m glad he’s found his way back into baseball and wish him the best.

  2. Tina Brown

    July 30, 2013 at 5:40 am

    So sorry to hear this. Dave is a GREAT GUY and deserves only the best in life. Know him from his Baysox days. Class act all the way around. Miss him.

  3. MGW

    July 30, 2013 at 6:56 am

    Sometimes as fans we forget these guys are human. People around Flanagan say that his failure to produce a winner as a co-GM may have lead to his taking his own life.

    At the end of the day, it’s just a game.

  4. Avi Miller

    July 30, 2013 at 8:22 am

    I would have to imagine that most of this stemmed from the day of his firing and the way in which he was treated upon arriving back in Baltimore with the team that evening. Trembles knew that his days here were numbered, but the way that MacPhail and staff handled the situation was quite unprofessional.

    • MGW

      July 30, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Remind me…what happened?

      • anonymous hippopotamus

        July 30, 2013 at 12:30 pm

        Yeah I don’t remember hearing of any unprofessionalism?

    • Oriole85

      July 30, 2013 at 12:40 pm

      There’s never a “right” way to get fired, especially a mid-year change. What would you have done differently?

  5. Willo

    July 30, 2013 at 10:28 am

    When all is said and done, you measure a man’s worth in terms of family and contributions. When Trembles lost his gig, his ego was devastated. Way to fight back.
    Much respect.

  6. mystery man

    July 30, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    I agree with Willow,,,,,,,,how did you treat your family and how did you help your community are the two big items that measure a man,,,,,,,,,,,,,the wins and loses come and go but your reputation stays with you a very long time,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,keep it strong Dave and hang in there,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  7. Dan

    July 31, 2013 at 4:18 am

    Coaching 3rd base seems like a great spot to keep someone in the game . I think that’s how Perlozo hung on , I wohder what those guys make $$ ?

  8. JoeFab

    July 31, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Like Showalter, Trembley was a class act in my opinion. He was missing 3 things though… He didn’t command the kind of respect that Showalter does, didn’t have the vast experience, and frankly, just didn’t have the players and front office support to fix that at the time to get players like we have now. I really never blamed him or wanted him fired myself personally. I’m glad he’s found a place. For how long? Who knows? That’s managing/coaching in baseball.