Orioles manager Dave Trembley spoke to reporters via a conference call after Mike Gonzalez left the room.
Gonzalez should have stuck around. Trembley had plenty of good things to say about him.
“I’m glad we have him. Thrilled,” Trembley said. “I talked to him earlier today. He has experience, he’s pitched late in the game, he’s left-handed. More importantly, he’s excited to be with us. I think all those things are very favorable for all of us.”
Trembley has no qualms about referring to Gonzalez as the closer.
“I would say he’s at the top of the list,” Trembley said. “I think that’s why we got him.”
Trembley hasn’t talked to Jim Johnson about the right-hander’s role for 2010, though it’s pretty obviously he’ll regain the set-up duties.
“I will. I’ll talk to everybody,” Trembley said.
“I think what Mike does is give us some strength at the end of the bullpen and allows us, perhaps, to slot some guys in roles that’s best suited not only for them, but the ballclub. It gives us some flexibility. Obviously, you’re going to need, in certain situations, somebody else to close.”
Trembley considers it a strength of Gonzalez’ that the lefty doesn’t think anything will be given to him.
“He wants to work for everything he’s got,” Trembley said. “That’s how he’s kind of made his mark in the game. I think his attitude and his competitiveness will rub off on a lot of other guys. Not to say we don’t have guys who are competitive, but the more you have, the better.
“I was talking to Mike briefly today, and I’m just really impressed with his desire to be here and compete and earn his spot on our club and help the team win.
“I like what we’ve done. I don’t think Andy’s done yet. And I think it makes the holiday season a little bit brighter for all of us.”