For 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.