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.