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July 9, 2011

Britton reacts to demotion; Gregg and Ortiz on day after; Albers rankles former teammate

A lot going on tonight obviously, but I wanted to pass along some quotes from Zach Britton and manager Buck Showalter about the rookie's demotion to Double-A Bowie, along with comments from Kevin Gregg and David Ortiz about the benches-clearing incident from last night. I also wanted to make one more point about Matt Albers' role in ticking the Orioles off the previous night.

First, here's Zach Britton on his demotion
"I wasn’t expecting it. Last night was a terrible outing, but I feel like if you base everything on that outing. I don’t know. I feel like if I’m I under a microscope that much, that’s a lot of pressure for me when obviously I’m still trying to figure everything out at this level. Obviously, you can’t make excuses."

"I feel like this is where I got to learn how to pitch, not in the minors. It’s about learning how to make adjustments at the Major League level, not making adjustments at the minor league level. That’s one thing that’s a little frustrating because I feel like the most important thing for me going into next year and finishing up this year is to make adjustments against Major League hitters. And I feel like I was starting to do that. Like I said, it’s quite the shock."

"From a player's standpoint, you are thinking about winning. I think I give this team a chance to win every time I go out there. Last night was a bad outing, I’ve had some bad outings recently, but when you are player looking at it, you want to win. You are looking for the best guys that give you a chance to win. You aren’t thinking about how many innings have, or what do they think about this, when it comes to service time. So, obviously it’s kind of tough to swallow for those reasons."

Now here are a couple of quotes from Gregg and Ortiz, the two main combatants on Friday night:

"Tell me this, what did I do wrong? To me, I don’t think I did anything wrong. I pitched, I made my pitches. I got him out. I’d be interested to see if there was anybody out there that says that I did something wrong because last time I checked, I played the game of baseball the way it should be played."

On Josh Beckett’s claim that Gregg was throwing at Ortiz intentionally: "Josh has no idea. If I wanted to hit him, I would have hit him. There have been times that I’ve hit guys on purpose and I wasn’t trying to hit him on purpose. I was trying to get him out and you have to pitch in to get him out.”

"He's a guy who I've always faced and he's never pitched in. He threw a whole bunch of pitches
inside and I'm sure he was trying to hit me. No question about that. AfterI hit the fly ball, he started screaming at me, you know what I'm saying?I'm not going to take that like a little [wuss], you know what I'm saying? Everyone's a grown man around here and you've got to be aware of the situation. You saw the argument before and afterward, you're going to act like you're my daddy or something like that, I ain't going to take that. Everybody's a grown man here. And if you want tohave respect, you got to respect [others]."

"Like I said, I apologize to everyone for the situation, even to them, man. I have a lot of friends on that ballclub. Even Gregg, though I don't even know him, but he doesn't seem like a crazy person out there. It's a situation that happenedand I'm not happy about it, and this is not what people come to see whenthey come to the [park]. Hopefully, we'll stay away from that and everybody can turn the page."

And finally, I've wrote a little about this in the morning, but the more I talked to players, the more clear it was that the Orioles - Kevin Gregg notwithstanding - were more angry with former teammate Matt Albers than with Ortiz. Albers struck out four of the six batters that he faced and performed several fist pumps after the strikeouts. But what angered the Orioles even more is that they allege that Albers shouted expletives toward their dugout after one of the inning-ending strikeouts. The big reliever is not exactly a fan of the organization after they nontendered him during the season.

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 7:45 PM | | Comments (11)


Sending Britton down makes me cringe. It seems like a rather transparent money move, and I think Zach probably feels the same way. They should do something to restore his good faith in the team.

Albers was terrible for us. Why should he be angry? What a dork!

Both Ortiz and Gregg fight like girls. Note to Gregg:

Kick in him the junk first and then lay an uppercut on him.

After what I saw last night, one thing is for sure: I hope nobody picks up a fight with Matt Wieters. They're going to get the living crap beat out of them.

As for Britton. Put your head down, get better and come up.

Can we send Lee and Guerrero to the minors? Can we get a pitching coach that knows something about pitching?

Note to Andy MacPhail: Put your tail between your legs, get out of town and save yourself whatever little dignity you have left.

Gil, How sad it is That your perdition will easily up. Can we dare say they may even be 30 Games out by 9/1? Who could bet against it At this rate?

Everything that Andy preached when he took over has failed. The minors, international efforts, major league personnel and of course, the won/loss record.

Yes, Andy inherited a mess, as did those before him. But wasn't Andy suppose to be different? Tale away the ST facility, something he gets far too much credit for, and it seems to me that if. New gm came in tomorrow, he would inherit what? A dire mess.

No one will admit the truth. But isn't it time? It's been over four years and the team remains at rock bottom. Who would be surprised if Buck simply walked. Who could blame him?

The lead paragraph suggests "some quotes from Zach Britton and manager Buck Showalter about the rookie's demotion," yet there don't appear to be any Buck quotes anywhere-- is there an addendum to come?

Jeff Z's reply: Sorry, got caught up in something and forgot to add them. There are is a full Britton story on the web site with 3 different quotes from Buck.

Matt Albers always was a solid Orioles reliever. His 2010 performance was better than acceptable. He lead the Orioles with 62 appearances and 75 innings pitched. His ERA came down in 2010 and has continued down to 2.55 in 2011. My money would have been on keeping Matt with the money wasted on Accardo.

Nothing will change till their is new ownership and then whoever that would be would have to clean house. Till then it will continue to be the same old story alot of smoke, but not a speck of fire.

why would albers be mad at the O's ; he should send them a thankyou note for bein tossed out of Dodge and ending in boston.

Couldn't be more disappointed. Adam Jones quotes, etc, just show how lacking this team is in mature leadership. Lackey didn't get him out; he got himself out. Swinging at strike one and strike two off the plate outside ? in Fenway ? where you look for balls on the inside half more than any other park in baseball ? really sad.

And i know so many Markakis rooters applaud him for his singles and whatever else he may do, but to sprint to first after taking one for the team seemed wildly inappropriate.

Lastly, i know Pie hasn't done much to warrant playing time (after being inexplicably frozen in the first month and a half ) , and i don't begrudge Reimold his PT at all, but i would have liked to see what a man with fire in his belly might do in a grudge match game. Too bad they both couldn't play - Reimold as dh makes sense to me. Sorry Vlad , please take your 8 million elsewhere.

I feel bad for Kevin Gregg. He was left hanging

@once-Pie has a fire in his belly,please.I'm still holding my sides after that one.He has shown us he has no tools whatsoever.Can't hit,7 for his last 46,after today,can't field,botched 3 plays in 2 games earlier in the road trip,4 if you count not chasing the ball after his misjudged dive at it,and can't steal bases.While I do think DLee is coming around,I think the Vlad experiment has to end,especially with him batting 4th.Vlad is not the answer,but Pie is even less so.

Britton's responses are truly indicative of what a 23 year old would say. His last 5 outings have not been good. I want to say his going to Bowie will be a plus for him, but really, the only plus is the service time gained by a club that wouldn't benefit anyway.

It's simple...Everyone's figured out Britton; same way they figured out: Matusz, Hernandez, Hendricksen, Tillman, etc. Also, the front office knows that 2011 is going to be blown season #14 and decided it was best to put Britton where they originally intended him to be and beat the 100 game clock that would have tacked Year one against his free-agency status. This was strictly a money-making move by Mr. A.S. Bestos and his lackey GM.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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