Tremie Brings Clippers a Career of Minor League Experience
Alex Krempasky | On 19, May 2014
During the long baseball season, the Columbus Clippers see many ups and downs on the roster, but there’s one person that remains the backbone for the club— manager Chris Tremie.
Tremie is in his second season as the manager of the Columbus Clippers and his ninth season as a manager in the Cleveland Indians farm system. He began his managerial career at the Rookie level with the Indians’ Gulf Coast League team. Tremie did not find a lot of success right away, with the 2006 GCL Indians finishing 21-29, 10th place out of 13 in the GCL.
The next year, Tremie took a step up on the farm system ladder and became the manager of the Lake County Captains in 2007. At Lake County, Tremie was able to work with many of the Indians’ newer prospects including pitcher Josh Tomlin, who went 10-3 under Tremie in 2007.
After a 64-74 finish with Lake County, Tremie was promoted to manager of the Kinston Indians of the Carolina League for two seasons. His first season with Kinston was 2008, which the Indians finished third in the Carolina League with a 72-66 record. Again, Tomlin pitched for Tremie again, as well as seeing Carlos Santana behind the plate for 29 games.
The following year was not as successful record wise for Tremie, as the Kinston Indians seventh of eight teams in the Carolina League with a 60-78 record. He spent the 2010 season as the manager of the Indians’ Arizona League team where the team finished 11th with a 21-35 record.
In 2011, Tremie was promoted to manager of the Akron Aeros, where his teams were successful for two years. Despite a sixth-place finish, the Aeros finished the season with a record of 73-69 in 2011. The following year, Tremie led the Aeros to an 82-59 finish and the 2012 Eastern League Championship. During his time with Akron, Tremie helped develop multiple major leaguers and prospects including pitchers C.C. Lee, Josh Tomlin, T.J. McFarland (now with Baltimore), Cory Burns (now with Texas), Preston Guilmet (now with Baltimore), first basemen Jesus Aguilar and Matt McBride (now with Colorado), and shortstop Juan Diaz (now with Miami).
After winning the 2012 Eastern League Championship, Tremie was called up to manage the Columbus Clippers where he holds a 93-93 record (71-73 in 2013, 22-20 in 2014).
Tremie has a lot of influence on prospects in the Cleveland Indians farm system, and loves getting to work with players on the Triple-A level of professional baseball.
“It’s a great job to have,” Tremie said. “You’re dealing with players that have been around for the most part or really young players on their way up, and they have a good idea of what they’re doing. They had somewhat of a career already and looking to improve that or get back to the big leagues. It’s enjoyable.”
But with every job, there comes challenges, even as the manager of the Columbus Clippers.
“ I think the biggest thing for me is trying to communicate the best I can with them,” Tremie said. “[Then] have them communicate with me and understand what they’re doing.”
As a player, Tremie spent 14 years (1992-2005) with different organizations, including four years on the MLB level with the Chicago White Sox (1995), the Texas Rangers (1998), the Pittsburgh Pirates (1999) and the Houston Astros (2004).
He started his minor league career in the White Sox’ farm system including the Utica Blue Sox (1992), the GCL White Sox (1993), the Hickory Crawdads (1993), the Sarasota White Sox (1993), the Birmingham Barons (1994) and the Nashville Sounds (1995 and 1996).
During his 1994 season with the Birmingham Barons, Tremie got the opportunity to play with NBA legend Michael Jordan during his short baseball career after his first retirement from basketball.
Tremie learned a lot not just about winning, but how to be professional at the young age of 25.
“It was a great experience for me at the time,” Tremie said. “I was young, it was my second year of professional baseball after and to go in at a Double-A level as a younger player and trying to experience and learn the professional game, to be around a guy of Michael Jordan’s status and what he knew about winning and work ethic and diligence on his part through his career, it was fun to watch. I learned a lot from him about just the way to carry himself and the respect of others and things like that. So it was a great experience at a young age for me.”
Tremie says that his experience with Jordan is something that he values even to this day.
“I like to learn—I learned a lot just watching him and some conversations. I think it kind of evolved in the way I grew up in the game, along with a lot of other people as well, but I think he definitely had a little bit of an influence at a young age, just being around the celebrity type person and the way he carried himself.”
Tremie and the Columbus Clippers return to Columbus on Thursday for two 4-game home series with the Durham Bulls and the Charlotte Knights, as well as a short, two-game home series with the Lousiville Bats before hitting the road again on June 1.
Photo: Columbus Dispatch