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 BALTIMORE (AP) -The prospect of returning in 2008 would be a lot more exciting for Baltimore Orioles manager Dave Trembley if he could only squeeze another victory out of 2007.
One day after Baltimore opened a 10-game homestand with a victory over the Texas Rangers, the Orioles held a news conference on Aug. 22 to announce Trembley would return as manager next season.
``I can't think of a more deserving person to lead the Baltimore Orioles into the future,'' said Andy MacPhail, president of baseball operations.
Baltimore hasn't won since.
The Orioles concluded the worst 10-game homestand in their 54-year history with nine consecutive defeats, beginning with a record-setting 30-3 loss to the Rangers on the same day Trembley received his contract extension.
That started the Orioles on a slide that also included defeats of 11-3, 8-1 and 15-8. Baltimore was outscored 98-38 during the nine-game skid they took to Boston on Friday.
``It hasn't been pretty, it hasn't been pleasant. There's nothing else to say,'' Trembley said Thursday night after lowly Tampa Bay completed its first road sweep in more than two years.
Texas, Minnesota and Tampa Bay scored 100 runs off Baltimore pitching during the homestand, more runs than the Orioles ever surrendered over a 10-game period.
``I've never been through a stretch like this. At home, this isn't supposed to happen,'' first baseman Kevin Millar said. ``You'll go through stretches on the road, but you don't go out there and lose nine in a 10-game homestand.''
A career minor league manager before this season, Trembley got his chance to ply his trade in the big leagues when the Orioles promoted him from bullpen coach after firing Sam Perlozzo on June 18.
MacPhail announced on July 31 that Trembley will finish the season, then extended the commitment last week at a time when the Orioles were 29-25 under Trembley's direction.
It was supposed to be a feel-good story. It may still turn out to be one. But at this point, the prevalent feeling in the clubhouse is frustration.
``That's the bad part about this whole situation. You feel terrible for Dave, because we're better than the way we're playing, period,'' Millar said. ``We've just got to go out and find a way to win for him.''
Asked if he felt bad for Trembley, third baseman Melvin Mora said, ``I don't feel sorry for him. I feel sorry for us, because we are the ones who play.''
Trembley doesn't want to be pitied. He lost 1,413 games as a minor league manager, so it's not as if he's never experienced a losing streak. His confidence in his ability hasn't wavered, but there's no getting around the fact that he hasn't won a game since the team slapped him on the back and told him to make himself at home in the manager's office.
``It's just been a terrible week, a terrible week,'' Trembley said. ``But there's nothing you can do about it right now. I think everybody feels like they've let everybody down.''
The bullpen has been horrid during the skid - Baltimore held the lead in seven of the nine defeats. But there's plenty of blame to pass around. On Thursday, starter Jeremy Guthrie gave up six runs, and the Orioles went 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
Maybe a game on the road - even one against the AL East-leading Red Sox - will do Baltimore some good.
``Yeah, we need to see something different. A different stadium, see more people, a crowd of 35,000 people so we can get excited,'' Mora said.
Said Trembley: ``Maybe we'll start a winning streak in Boston. That's the mind-set you've got to have. I don't think there's any other way to look at it. What's done is done. It hasn't been pretty, it hasn't been pleasant. There's nothing else to say.''
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