Baserunning blunders plaguing O's
Trembley accepts and doles out blame for mistakes
MINNEAPOLIS -- One day later, the mistakes are still fresh in manager Dave Trembley's mind. Trembley was asked again about a pair of baserunning blunders that Felix Pie made in Tuesday night's game, and the manager held forth in greater detail about the player's responsibility and the things he could do to do improve.
"I take full responsibility, but the player should be accountable," he said. "What am I going to tell Felix Pie last night when he's at second base and there's a foul ball right in front of the dugout. Do you think you're invisible?
"We just have to do better, I guess, as far as relaying information and making it a priority. Insisting, I think, is the word. I've seen a little bit of everything. Two outs, Aubrey Huff gets picked off at [first base] in Seattle. I've seen it all. And I've seen other teams in baseball. Same thing. I've seen all kinds of stuff."
That may well be the case, but he's rarely seen a pair of miscues like the ones made by Pie on Tuesday night. Pie attempted to steal second base early in the game but was running with his head down and didn't see the ball hit to right field. Pie scrambled toward first base and back to second instead of advancing to third.
Later in the game, he outdid himself. Pie doubled in the sixth inning and attempted to tag up on a foul ball right in front of the dugout. The Twins easily threw him out, robbing the Orioles of a chance to score. Trembley was critical after the game and responded expansively Wednesday when asked if coaching could have made a difference.
"I don't buy that whatsoever," he said of Pie sharing the blame with his third-base coach. "You don't have a little sound piece in somebody's helmet out there. Baserunning is instinct. Baserunning is anticipation. The score, the situation, the number of outs, how important is my run and who's on deck. It's all instincts. The coach doesn't tell you when to go and when to stop. It's too late. When you're out there playing this game, you're on your own."
Trembley went on to say that the Orioles had put a greater emphasis on baserunning in Spring Training than ever before, and he said there's only so much you can do once a player is fully developed. The trick, he said, is that you have to coach players early in their development cycle so that baserunning is second nature.
"I watch every game," he said. "And not only our games, I watch every game I possibly can. Late-night, I tape them, this and that. Baserunning in Major League Baseball is atrocious for the most part."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.