baltimoresun.com

« Britton doesn't mince words after career-worst outing | Main | Hendrickson to get call (UPDATE) »

July 9, 2011

Couple of more thoughts on bench-clearing incident

I’m not going to sit here on my soapbox and assign blame and fault or even take sides on the benches-clearing incident in the Orioles-Red Sox game last night. I’ll let the fans or other reporters do that.

But I’d certainly like to revisit it a little and make a few points about what I saw. Obviously, a lot of people are focused on the couple of pitches that preceded David Ortiz popping out and Kevin Gregg yelling at him, but I think the incident was obviously brewing for a couple of days and a result of mounting frustration from the Orioles' side.

Consider this quote from Orioles manager Buck Showalter: “There’s a lot of things that led up to that that some people probably didn’t notice. But we did.”

What was Showalter talking about?

I can’t say for sure, but I have a few guesses: Perhaps the Orioles were ticked at the way Ortiz admired his three-run blast off rookie left-hander Zach Britton in the first inning. Maybe they didn’t like Darnell McDonald lingering in the batter’s box in the third inning to argue a called third strike in an 8-0 game or Kevin Youkilis fussing about a checked swing call during garbage time of the blowout the night before. Or maybe they thought that former teammate Matt Albers was trying to show them up with his multiple fist pumps after he struck out four of the six hitters he faced in two scoreless innings last night.

It probably was a combination of all those things and a few more that I missed, but the bottom line is with how frustrated and beaten the Orioles are right now, it wasn’t going to take much to get under their skin.

Just a couple of other observations: Gregg’s actions during and after the incident certainly didn’t surprise me. Whether you agree with what he did or not, Gregg has the reputation for being a very good teammate. He’s going to stick up for his teammates, especially his fellow pitchers. And if he thought a Red Sox hitter was either showing one of his younger teammates up or getting far too comfortable in the batter’s box, it doesn’t surprise me that he would take it upon himself to do something about it. I wouldn’t even rule out Gregg trying to send a message -- not to the Red Sox -- but to his teammates. Gregg’s four blown saves have made him a lightning rod for criticism, but his teammates and coaches love him for what he does behind the scenes. Gregg is regularly in front of one of the laptops, studying tape and mechanics with the younger pitchers. He’s very much into the game in the bullpen, constantly talking about situations and pitch sequences. And above all, he doesn’t back down from anybody. If nothing else, he certainly proved that last night.

I’ve seen Matt Wieters frustrated. I’ve seen him annoyed. Now I can officially say that I’ve seen him really angry. Wieters, who is one of the most mild-mannered athletes I’ve ever been around, was one of the most visibly ticked off and aggressive players after the benches cleared. The scrum made it very hard to tell what set him off, though the catcher did do quite a job of pushing Ortiz away from Gregg. Orioles hitting coach Jim Presley really worked hard to calm Wieters down and guide him away from the middle of things, but he had his hands full. At one point, Wieters and Red Sox third base coach Tim Bogar appeared to be having an aggressive exchange.

Some people have asked me why reliever Jim Johnson was ejected and the word was that it was a result of “aggressive actions” during the scrum. Johnson was tying up Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was also ejected, when Boston's closer Jonathan Papelbon started chirping, prompting an exchange with Johnson. Johnson’s involvement was no surprise either. He’s very tight with Gregg, and he’s one of the more outspoken Orioles about protecting teammates and playing the game the right way.

A lot of times, these incidents become a classic case of much ado about nothing and tend to fizzle, but today could test that. Alfredo Simon will start for the Orioles, and not only can he be control-challenged, but he has also been accused of throwing at hitters before. The Toronto Blue Jays made the accusation later year after Simon was tossed for hitting Jose Bautista, and the New York Yankees also complained last spring that Simon was going up and in entirely too much. Red Sox starter John Lackey can also be quite temperamental, and he has a reputation for protecting his teammates.

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 6:30 AM | | Comments (71)
        

Comments

Jeff, when there is a nine run rule that ends the game I'll begin to care about hitters swinging at 3-0 pitches, complaining about check swing calls and the like. Until then, the Orioles need to know that the beatings will continue until the nine innings are played, whether or not their morale improves.

How the other club runs the bases is a concern of the manager of the other club and not the players on the other team. Ortiz can circle the bases backwards if he hits a home run for all I care.

I see no problem with Gregg pitching in on Ortiz and which the pitchers were more capable of claiming the inside corner than they are with their underwhelming fast balls.

If the O's are going to do something about being shown up regularly it ought to begin with better play and not chippiness.

Couldn't agree more Jeff. Ortiz stood and admired his HR off a rookie pitcher after coming to the plate only because an error was ruled a single.

That was classless.

Furthermore, if that is how you are going to play the game, then you better expect someone to pitch you inside.

It amazes me when these major league hitters get upset about inside pitches. He is lucky all he got from Gregg was some shouting, because if it was me out there he would have been taking the ball out of his rib cage.

In football, hockey and basketball all the players have an equal opportunity to dish out potentially mortal punishment to one another. In baseball there is the pitcher. He is the only one with a ball and 90+ mph power that can kill someone. This business about using that baseball to "make a statement" or "stick up for your teammates" or anything like that is rubbish. Shall we have the hitters start throwing the bats at the pitcher after the pitcher has obviously been trying to hit him. Or would you prefer a Juan Marichal incident? Would that be being a good teammate? Let's be honest. For one thing the Orioles suck and the Red Sox don't. For another, who are the Oriole players who get ticked off like Pedroia or Youkilis when they strike out or don't move a runner along in ANY game. You want guys who want to continue to perform until the moment they are taken out of the game or the game is over. Stop rationalizing and whining. If the Birds had good players who played all nine innings all out, nobody would be bitching about the ethics of how to play the game, as Gregg did. What a load of crap that comment was. Who made him Mr. Ethical? Spend money, scout well, play well, get a manager who doesn't have a Napoleonic complex, beat the snot out of the other team. Stop crying. None of that in baseball. These guys play a lot in the next week or so, and somebody could get hurt. That would be on them and on those of you who think throwing a ball at a guy is just okidoki.

McDonald and Youkilis beefing about a call they didn't like in an 8-0 game are why the Red Sox are 18 games over .500 and the Orioles are in the basement. The Red Sox play every inning as if it were 0-0. Last night the O's looked like they had mentally already started the all star break. Their easily could have been (or should have been) three errors in that eight run first. They should worry about playing better baseball and not about what the Sox are doing or not doing in a game which they have an eight run lead.

Papi should of been tossed for stepping towards the mound, then he wouldn't of had the chance to look like a fat sumo wrestler charging the mound. Kudos to Gregg for being a true baseball player.

Gregg can say whatever he wants about the Red Sox payroll but the facts are clear! The Red Sox ARE better than the Orioles & I'm saying that as an Os fan!

Kudos to Kevin Gregg. 'Bout time somebody on this team showed some stones. Too bad it had to come from someone who only plays an inning every couple of days. Now let's see if the everyday guys can step it up.

I have no doubt that the Red Sox were being obnoxious (Albers wanting to stick it to us, Youk whines when he gets out of bed), and Ortiz was being silly about those inside pitches.

We could use some of that imperious attitude, though. I wish some of our young prospects, when they come up, would act like they want to take the league by storm. Matusz and Wieters - I know they have passion - but they don't seem too fiery. Not everyone can be that way, nor should they, but it would be nice if we could have some ornery, cocky bastards on the team. I'm not usually one for bromides about heart and passion, but we do seem to have a beaten-down attitude around the team that goes beyond our talent and payroll deficits.

Ahhh, I don't know. Our pitching staff is in tatters, and our offense is limp. We just can't compete with real teams right now. We just need a pitcher to pull an above-expectation performance out right now. Atkins already did that, I guess, but we need another one.

Good stuff Jeff! Keep up the good work!

I really think baseball is stupid with all the ways teams can get outraged at the slightest perceived impropriety. Are the Orioles angry because they think the Red Sox pitchers are a little too celebratory about so easily striking out Os hitter after hitter? Are they offended that the Sox players are celebratory after scoring run after run? Then how about trying to play like the highly-paid professional ballplayers you are, instead of like total losers. The Orioles play like scrubs and they have no one to blame for that but themselves- and this is the big leagues. Teams dont get an "A" for effort (not that the Os would deserve that either), and this isn't some little league contest in which the outcome is unimportant compared to whether everyone feels good about themselves afterward.

Grow up Orioles.

I don't believe Gregg was actually trying to hit Ortiz and I think the bottom line is that Ortiz wasn't actually hit by Gregg so his actions were totally unwarranted and should have been tossed the first time he headed towards the mound.

I live in RI (and so unfortunately I have to pay to watch the Orioles misery) and Ortiz's prima donna attitude has been the subject of sports radio around here quite a bit for the past few weeks - because of his complaining about potential benching as a dh in national league ball parks or when he was hit for the first time in 160 games against the Yankees, even though the Red Sox had hit Yankee players regularly not only in the series but over the course of the past few years, including beaning their stars. Then Ortiz got all huffy and took it out on the media. I really think that if Gregg wanted to hit him, he is a professional baseball player and could have thrown behind him or actually hit him. I think it was more of trying to send a message and obviously the Red Sox were on edge about it and knew they were doing something that Buck was alluding to because Jerry Remy commented how it looked like Ortiz was expecting Gregg to go inside on the first pitch anyways which is why he glared back at him.

While the Orioles play recently hasn't given them much of a leg to stand on for many arguments, they had some valid points about the Red Sox and the way they act (and those even apply to the way their fans act - the way they affectionately call Camden Yards up here "Fenway South", they way they throw beer at people in their own ball park etc. They are already talking up here about how they want Carl Crawford to come back in the O's series after the break because it will be easier for him to get back into the swing of things against the Orioles.). It was nice to see the Orioles show some emotion and fight back even if it couldn't be through playing actual baseball. I hope they can play better the next two games and come out of here with a split - because surprisingly to many Sox fans, that would leave the O's with a split in the season series thus far.

I'll let you know what I think after I see how the Orioles perform w/their bats and arms tonight. Otherwise, the brawl means nothing if they can't respond in a positive way.

The Orioles need to prove themselves on the field, not in the ring. My only hope is the "rumble" can put some life into the Orioles. I read in another column that they felt they were being treated like "doormats." Well, they are doormats. They don't have to be. There's enough talent on the team to be competitive, but there does seem to be a will to do so. I've always felt there's a fine line between ok professional athletes and stars. The stars, with few exceptions, are the ones who are most highly competitive, motivated, and always playing to win. There are a few in rarified air who are just so talented, attitude doesn't matter. It might do the Orioles good to trot out a lot of the stars from the past and let them work with the current players and teach them, not about on field stuff, but about focus and competitiveness. And, it seems, the tream really needs a solid pitching coach to pull this staff together. I can only imagine how tentative pitchers are, trying to just get the ball over for a strike, or trying to avoid the three-run homer.

Today's game ought to be interesting. But I hope they frisk Simon before he takes the mound. We don't want it to get that out of hand.

Wow Jeff, terrific points all; this is really interesting.
It was pretty evident that Gregg had an axe to grind. Or perhaps many axes, as you have pointed out. Who better to go after, than big papi ?
The Orioles had some really good ab's in the ninth; Derrek Lee swung particularly hard and ended up hitting a bullet. Pie actually drew his second walk.
Adreneline is going to be flowing tonight.
And Lackey has been horrible this year. Has to pitch inside to have a chance. Stay tuned.

The Orioles have some fight in them; that was good to see. Maybe we'll see even more of it. Isn't it considered a breach of the unwritten rules... to swing at a 3-0 pitch when you're ahead by a touchdown? I recall Fox being criticized for that during spring training. I suspect that really ticked Gregg off (though I'd have to pile through the rest of the messages to check this).
It was easy to see why the Red Sox lead in batting average. I suspect their scorer deserves a lot of the credit. He turned two errors into hits for Red Sox hitters in the first inning last night. Had Hardy made the play (a double play grounder) on the first one, Britton would have escaped with no runs allowed.

Watching the highlights on ESPN last night, I thought the same thing about Gregg: he was sick and tired of the Red Sox posturing. Glad someone on this team is showing some fire.

I can understand them being frustrated, but the fact is if they had been playing anything like major league level baseball the last couple weeks, none of them would have been all that worked up over Ortiz admiring his homer. Especially since if they had been playing major league caliber defense in the first inning, he never would have gotten the chance because they would have been out of the inning before Ortiz came up.
Time to grow up children, and start playing like you belong at this level.

What if he had beaned Ortiz and fractured his skull? Is that a good way to "stick up for your teammates". Pitching a few 3 and out innings would appear to be a better way to do that.Just sayin'.


...............................................................................................
Jeff Z's reply: I saw at least four pitches earlier in the game that were closer to hitting players than Gregg came in "hitting Ortiz's skull" in the 8th inning.

it's about time someone on this team showed that they care--and Jeff, everything you noticed leading up to this is true. Now, you can't throw at someone because they're beating the hell out of you--that's all between the lines and our problem. But Ortiz has long been a showboater, even when he was in Minnesota. Being older, I just wish he was around when Drysdale & Gibson were pitching because that crap would stop. Gregg's most accurate and welcome comment was, 'there's 17 inches of plate there'...it's about time we had someone think & pitch that way--you can't let them dig in---let 'em know you'll battle for that plate. Ortiz got way too sensitive for not being hit. Gregg seems pretty strong too---after he and Ortiz exchanged swings & misses, someone tried pinning Gregg's right artm from behind, and he basically slung that guy around--impressive---he's in my top couple of Oriole faves for his display of competiveness---shades of Alan Mills...

The whole situation is nothing short of pathetic. The O's play horrible and get frustrated at somebody else for it. It is not Ortiz' fault that he hit a 500 foot Home Run off Britton. Any one of us would admire it. It's not up to Kevin Gregg to tell other baseball players whether to hustle or not. So I suppose they would not be made if Ortiz were to hustle Pete Rose style during a blow out? Can't have it both ways.

The real Coup de Gras is that one of cast offs who wasn't even good enough to be on this pathetic team (Matt Albers) struck out 4 out of 6 Orioles...unreal! Yet he wasn't good enough to be on the O's...But we give Guerrero and Lee $15 million for their clutch performances...

Nice fight. These gus need to watch some hockey. When Dustin Pedoria (5'8", 175) stops you, that's sad.

Gregg was awesome last night. So was Wieters-caught the ball and then got between Gregg and Ortiz. Last night was great. Orioles may be getting beat up pretty bad but no one can say they have no life. No one should say a word of criticism about Gregg for the rest of the season. He did well last night.

This is really poor writing. Does Mr. Zrebiec actually get paid to write this?

Individually, our players have looked lost and alone for weeks. Sometimes a team needs to get fighting mad to snap out of it and get back their self-respect. But kicking another team's [butt] in a scrum, however satisfying or well deserved, doesn't show up in the standings. Now they need to channel that emotion into their play on the field where it really matters.

Just a comment on Gregg's resentment regarding Boston's payroll. Boston is supposedly a "big market" team unlike Baltimore, which is a "small market" team. In reality the population of Boston and Baltimore are about the same, and there are 19 cities in the United States with a larger population than Boston, including San Diego, the small market team Boston supposedly stole Gonzales from. San Diego's population is more than twice as large as Boston's. If Boston has more money to spend it is because the ownership and the fans care more about their team.

Jeff...good points. I figured Showalter had to be behind this one. I don't believe that demanding respect while a team is taking batting practice on you shows anything. Demand respect by playing better. The Red Sox have had trouble with lefties all year and the O's good lefty gets destroyed? Come on. It didn't look like Britton was ready for the game. This Red Sox team looks like one of the best hitting teams in the past 10 years and their power is almost all left-handed. Tomorrow and Sunday the O's have righties taking the hill. It could really get ugly. If so, do the O's do the same thing again? And then whine about the Red Sox payroll? It just wasn't the time to try to make a "point".

I am totally fine with the brawl lastnight. Papi is like a spoiled brat who doesn't get their ways and has a tantrum because of it. You admire a three run blast off of a rookie you better believe you're getting pitched in at some point. Those things don't go unnoticed. Then again these are red sox fans we're talking about. Most have been fans since way back in 04.

Kevin Gregg is my hero. And so is Jim Johnson and Matt Weiters. I just wish Johnson had decked that arrogant twit, Pappelbon.

The O's need to learn how to play with some passion on every at bat and not whine. Showalter seems to have brought a whining attitude, not a winning one. Why is Joe Madden got the Rays doing better year after year on less money? Gregg would have been smarter to just have hit Ortiz on the first pitch and he would just have taken his base. It would have delivered the right message, not just built up anger.

The things you mentioned led up to the brawl are the things that seperate the 2 teams. Giving it your all and playing hard ALL the time along with a heightened level of competition,and skill are the reasons why the Sox are at the top and the O's are at the bottom. If the Os played as hard as the Sox they would not be 16 GB the Sox in the standings.

...............................................................................................
Jeff Z"s reply: Let's be honest here Teddy. What separates the two teams more than anything is talent, and the fact that the Red Sox have way more of it than the Orioles. The conversation begins and ends there. You get better players, you win more and develop a winning mentality. The End.

i didn't watch the game last night,but way the orioles have been playing is strtcly their own doing and not anyone else. if i were a major league pitcher i would be like the late don drysdale,his pholosiphy was both sides of the plate belong to me.these guys are major leaguers and should expect to be pitched inside. being pitched inside is just part of the game.

I was never a big fan of the Kevin Gregg signing as closer, given his numbers and given that Koji probably would've been better, but I'm a huge Gregg fan now. None of those pitches were at Ortiz's "skull" and Gregg never backed down after Ortiz started glaring and whining. The O's need players with the fight of Kevin Gregg. And I'm glad as a side note that it was targeted at Ortiz, a punk who is merely a half-player anyway as a DH, a guy who wears more armor than the Romans did and a guy who too many major league pitchers are afraid to throw inside to. He's only been hit like 32 times in his career in over 7,000 ABs. That's ridiculous. Compete on, Gregg, and here's hoping your fellow O's follow suit.

This is all about the O's inferiority complex. They got reemed out by their manager a few days ago and follow that up by getting smoked in back to back games in Boston. Mcdonald arguing with a strike call in the third inning of an 8-0 game? Third inning? If the game was over at that point then the O's should have put in their scrubs and pulled the starters. The O's were embarrassed by their own play (looked like a minor league team that first inning) and have no one to blame but themselves.

Talent is a direct result of effort. How much hustle and competitiveness a player commits to his game = how talented he becomes. Im saying Showalter should tell his players to get better by increasing there skill level and practice harder instead of getting angry at the other team for whipping on them.

To Greggs credit he thru at Papis behind and NOT anywhere at his head. Its part of the game and so isn't charging the mound. No problem with those things. what I did have a problem with was Gregg mouthing off to Papi to run to first after the pop up. That was disrespectful and degrading as well as humiliating.

I was actually at the game last night.
I can understand how frustrated the Orioles are right now. I've been through the ups and downs of all the Boston teams. I saw Gregg's comments on the news this morning. I don't like it when ANY athlete showboats when they are winning by such a large margin. A little respect goes a long way...on both sides
of the field.

Orioles showing some fight and people are complaining? Said people clearly not fan of the O's. Must be bosux fans.

THE ORIOLES NEED TO DRAFT BETTER AND PLAYER DEVELOPE
AND HAVE ANGELOS SELL THE TEAM.
THE PITCHING IS AN EMBARRASMENT
AND THE MINOR LEAGUES HAS
NOTHING TO OFFER.

I'm a Sox fan but I don't like guys standing in the box or waltzing around the bases after a home run any more than any other fan. I wish Ortiz wouldn't do that. However, Showalter's BS comment early this year about payrolls and the Sox may have set the course for all this as well. The appearance of even a minor slight from the other team and the O's want start hitting batters. Showalter put the chip on the shoulder of the O's and I haven't read too much from the sports pundits about that comment. Granted he was probably talking more to his own guys than the Red Sox, but it was still bush league.

Some fans are hoping that this incident lights a fire under the O's, but if the dregs that we're sending out to the pitchers mound the rest of the season can't get hitters out what does it matter ?

Who will be the #2,3,4, &5 starters when Britton & Arrieta reach their innings ceilings? We're going to get lit up a lot more often.

It will have been little more than temporary "venting". A temporary feel good for fans.

Teddy,
Papi got yelled at because he stopped and stared at a lazy pop fly. This is baseball you run to the bag. You sit and admire the ball. Imagine if he did that to Nolan Ryan 20 years ago? You better believe he would be scrapping. The red sox are a very talented team. They are a very well ran organization. I respect them for that. The thing I can't stand though is when they showboat and whine when things aren't going their way. It's not a inferiority complex we have in Baltimore. It's the refusal to be disrespected.

The Red Sox are so stupid and have no memory. Only a group of idiots picks a fight with someone who has nothing to lose. Perhaps today Alfredo Simon can do for Pedroia what Al Reyes did to Nomar in 1999. Even though Reyes was only with us for a short time, I am still proud of the day he made the Red Sox pay.

Have to respond to ANDREW's post.

Grow up Orioles? Really?

A guy hits a HR, shows up the rookie he hit it against, takes a pitch inside, points at the pitcher like the guy threw at his head, then charges the mound after getting yelled at, and the Orioles need to grow up?

ORTIZ charged the mound, not an Oriole. He didn't even get thrown at for Pete's sake!!!

You can be a poor winner too, and in my opinion that makes you more immature and classless than a poor loser. At least with losing, there is an element of frustration that can be understood. When you take these actions when you are blowing a team out (for instance, swinging away 3-0 in the first place) that is obnoxious.

The Orioles may be bad, but standing up for themselves doesn't mean they have growing up to do.

Did Gregg throw at his head or was it just high and tight?After all was said and done Ortiz actually hit into a doulbe play.LOL

There is one simple way to prevent baseball brawls. Plain and simple, if you leave the dugout and cross the basepath into the field of play, automatic ejection. If you so much as leave the bullpen, automatic ejection. Done. That leaves the batter vs. nine guys on the field. Don't think Ortiz would of been so fast to try & "b" slap anybody in that situation. But once again I guess we all know who runs baseball, the Players Association, so I guess we'll never see that rule.
And another thing Sox fan. Why was ok for Roger Clemens to head hunt all those years but nobody can do it to you PED enhanced (allegedly) DH?

Ortiz didn't showboat at all after the home run. No bat toss (like in New York). Orioles fans need to stop nit-picking and just admit that your team is a joke.

Maybe acting like you own the inside of the plate and not being thrown at is why Ortiz is if not the best than one of the best DHs of all time. You don't become the best at professional sports without having and edge and thinking you are better. If you don't believe in yourself going out there, getting a hit every at bat. Being angry about making outs regardless of the score. These are the things that go on when you are trying to win champiosnhips. Getting in yelling matches and talking about respecting the game and your opponent is what you do when you are not winning. Ortiz gets a little over sensitive sometimes but it's hard to argue with results. I'd much rather be thinking about October baseball, all star games, HRs, RBI leads, B.a leaders, wins, saves, MVPS and CY youngs than sticking up for my teammates and respecting the silly, bassackwards unwritten rules. If you tell a guy to "run the bases you fat ****" he might want to punch you. ( watch the replay from the camera behind the plate, thats what Gregg said)

Joe,
Are you kidding me? He stood and admired the homerun like it was a dinger to win a playoff game. If that would of happened to Josh Beckett he would of beamed the batter his next 4 at bats! That's not whinning that is baseball. It's been going on for over 100 years. Ortiz is a showboating roider who need to learn some history of how the game should be played.

Bottom Line

Boston 10 Baltimore 3

Boston ownership committed to wining championships

Baltimore ownership committed to mediocrity ( at best)

All you need to know

What's all this concern with the Red Sox payroll? Doesn't this go back to the beginning of the season when Showalter said Theo Epstein got more credit than he deserved because of the payroll he had? He added that it made it more fun when the O's kicked Red Sox butt. There was no criticism of the NY payroll, apparently because Buck used to manage there. The fact is the Red Sox are trying to compete with the Yankees and the Orioles are not. The Baltimore team needs to blame its own organization and stop worrying about the Red Sox.

Boston is not the enemy.... Angelos is. Kevin Gregg dont fight Papi fight Angelos!!! Oh wait Kevin Gregg is a bum.. If it wasnt for Angelos he would be in AAA.. Wait is Baltimore AAA? So lost... nothing makes sense anymore...

Jeff, please read the definition of the word scrum, view a few clips or perhaps get in the middle of one. Using it to describe the fracas last night well, makes you sound like an idiot.
This is a pet peeve of mine A scrum is a set, controlled restart of play after a knock-on has been called by the referee. it is not a fight or a donnybrook.

Hey Jeff,

Great article. I love the insight into guys like Wieters, Johnson, and Gregg and what kind of teammates they are. I am a die hard Orioles fan who has grown tired of their losing ways, but sign me up for being proud of Gregg, Wieters, Johnson and the rest of the team for showing some fire. I hope they continue to show that fire tonight win, lose or draw.

Oh and by the way Jeff you do a great job, the fact that you show enough restraint not to reply to a persons comment saying this article is poor writing shows you are the better man. You do a great job covering the Orioles and if a guy is looking for "great" writing go read Shakespeare. I can't believe how much people love to be haters and feel the need to make pointless comments like that.

Great Job Jeff!

...............................................................................................
Jeff Z's reply: Thanks for the kind words Scott. I have too much to do to waste my time and everybody who reads this blogs time on responding to that. I don't take it personally and the good news is, everybody is entitled to go wherever they want to read stuff and get information.

i agree with buddy....for some reason, showalter has an axe to grind with the sox....

Freddie
Its because Buck is truly a Yankee at heart and wants to manage them again

The Orioles have truly begun to take on the personality of their manager - a bunch of petty, no-talent losers with huge chips on their shoulders. They have lousy pitching, worse fielding and the Sox are to blame? The O's only hope is to get the post-Buck bump when they eventually kick Showalter to the curb.

Here is the reason it happened - The Orioles are flat-out bad. Bad rotation, bad line up, bad coaching, BAD ownership --- sad for such a GREAT city.

I was on the phone talking with a friend from Florida, and when we said our goodbyes, I looked up and saw 8-0. Having turned on the game and lost track of the time, I looked in the righthand side of the tv screen and saw it was still the Ist inning......yikes !
I love the O's but they are not on the same level as the Yanks and Bosox. Year after year, they are right up at the top . Whether they have more money to buy better players or just have better players than we do. I mean can you blame A-Rod or Texiera for going to the Yankees? Or for a player getting a huge contract offer from Boston? I'm not a fan of....or even pay much attention to either organization, but they have much better squads. Why? Starting pitching, for one. That kid on the mound had like a total of 3 Big League starts, I believe.
If we are going to go with the "youth movement" for our pitching staff? We better get used to the results until they mature into these roles. We are finding out that maybe too much was heaped upon these young arms, but it is what it is.
I know that Arrieta, Britton and even Bergesen have had their weak moments. Yet I think these guys are gonna be around and be successful. I even think Matusz will be OK after he gets his strength and confidence back.
To watch Bergesen go after that ball after it went rocketing off of his arm? This is the kind of things you want to see from our players.. That showed me a lot.....just like him limping off of the field last year after getting scalded by the line drive to his shin. He didn't want people to see him laying out there, writhing in pain.
Hey, it's gonna take a total team effort to turn things around. You can talk about the lack of pitching. Or we can all curse Angelos for letting Davey Johnson go years back. Or moan about McPhail or Showalter not doing enough.Or we can sit here and face facts. We just don't have the same kind of teams that Boston and New York have. At the moment. They are both getting a bit long in the tooth, yet that is why they are good. The nucleuses of those teams have been together for quite some time. It's consistancy, which is something the O's haven't had since ironically....Ripken quit playing and Angelos thought Johnson said too many of the wrong things. And those are just facts.
One more thing. Do you really think Gregg was trying to hit Ortiz? I mean if he wanted to......he'd have nailed him. Personally, if he pointed at me pointed at me just because I threw inside on him? I'd have tried to hit him in the shin on the next pitch......LOL Nothing wrong with pitching inside. Don't stand and gawk at your next HR , and maybe the pitches won't be as close to ya !!!

I used to only dislike The Boston Red Sox but since '04, they've become despicable. For example, Kevin Youkilis was quoted as saying that he couldn't believe that Ted Williams (the greatest Red Sox of them all) could hit a ball that far when the hateful Mr. Youkilis was shown a seat in Fenway that Ted had hit a famous home run and dented the seat. Who does Kevin Youkilis think he is? Why would the seat be marked and why would he say anything to denigrate the greatest hitter of all time? This is a perfect example of the Boston Red Sox squad. I could go on and on about this bunch but I'll leave it at that. Let's just say that I remember when I was in Fenway and the O's gave the Red Sox their regular beatings in the late 60's and early 70's when Yaz was their best player and the O's had Brooks and Boog and Frank.. I hope the tide turns soon. I know that won't change Kevin's personality but maybe it will humble some of the current players on this team of big egos.

I've got no problem at all with what Darnell McDonald or Kevin Youkilis did. Especially at Fenway Park, no lead is ever totally safe. But I thought Albers was out of line with the fist pumping, and David Oritz was WAY out of line with his mugging it up admiring his home run. That's something Albert Belle used to do, and I don't like it any better when it's done by an Oriole than by one of the Red Sox. It's totally bush league, and anybody who tries to show up opposing players in that manner deserves to receive some retaliation.

I

Andrew's getting into a snit about the use of the word "scrum" is a nice example of how people can be such snobs over the pettiest of matters...hey, Andrew, am I using the term "supercilious twit" correctly here?

y'know some of you Sox fans are right --the orioles are a bad team---now. But if you're a good fan, you stick with your team, good or bad. You guys oughtta know about that, cause the Sox never won for soooooo long---86 years I think was the length of that 'committment to winning...' the issue here is that Ortiz couldn't take an inside pitch or two without crying---want the plate? So does the pitcher...that's the way it goes--he started the whole thing. Used to be, major leaguers didn't think twice about being pitched inside...part of the game.

Pitching inside is one thing, but why is Gregg yelling at a player to run to first base? I don't get that. Has he suddenly become baseball moral management or was he just trying to egg Ortiz into a fight? It looked like the latter. Let the other team's manager and players worry about their player "playing the game the right way".

In the old days guys like Bob Gibson would have ended Ortiz' career. And if Ortiz charged Bob last night he'd be doing 60 days on the DL starting today. A lot of great guys like Frank Robinson and Tony Conigliaro had their careers shortened by a well placed fast ball and players respected each other (and the game) more in those days. Then again, Selig ruined baseball catering to home runs and looking the other way as players juiced. Now, guys like Ortiz think they are special and a few well placed pitches are needed to correct the situation. And, please do away with the DH. Nothing is more offensive then watching some fat old guy getting $10M to sit on a bench and stretch his legs three or four times a game. Ortiz would have been cut from baseball after his Twins stint if the DH did not exist. The Sox are largely built around dudes like that who can't run a mile, ain't much with the glove but can reach a short left field wall with a swing (apologies to Ellsbury and Pedroia who are exceptions to this). Fenway might be novel but it ain't a good place to watch a game for real purists. It's a one trick pony and it's a novelty stadium with a circus clown theme.

Did you all watch the first inning? this team was a joke. Gregg was trying to hit Ortiz and Missed him 3 times. what have you got for your 90 million dollar payroll. your manager complains about the red Sox payroll he must have forgot his years with the Yankees.What place is Baltimore in now

I love reading these comments. I think the O's are sick and tired of getting there buts handed to them. Ever heard of Fenway South.....I mean there are way more Boston fans at Camden then O's fans.

I watch the way Youk and Albers play and wish more players would play like them.......hard! If the O's had more players like Youk we'd be in the running for the AL-East.

Folks, stop complaining and crying about other team's successes or how hard they play....whether it's a one or twenty run game.

Until the O's start to figure out that playing HARD for nine innings equals success, they'll continue to get pummled by other teams.

No one said any of the balls were near Ortiz's hit what would have happened if he his ine of his hands or ribs and broke them? How many wins has grehh gotten how many loses. I bet he can blame those on red sox even though he did not play against them. Youk was not doupting Ted hit that home run he was marveled at it. Anyone who says they used to be a red sox fan is a Longtime Yankee fan

Is it truly Angelos? I'm a Sox fan and have never really disliked the Orioles or their fans. I think their fans are pretty wide spread and die hard. Unlike the jerks in Philly... you guys are alright. I once workied with a kid "Big O's fan" who would blame it on Angelos. But then I sit there and think. I went to Baltimore to see my father who lives there and we paid like $8.00 a ticket!!! Now those prices are totally unheard of in Boston. Unless you get lucky and someone gives you some for free. Still unheard of. Then you are paying $50.00 a ticket up against the wall in center field! Thats with a face value of $26.00! Now you have to pay for parking which I'm sure is at least 35.00 dollars. Add two kids and a wife?? Thats $235.00 not including food or souvenir! Thats fact! So it comes with the territory..... Its either field a All-Star team at $50.00 a ticket, to compete with the Yankees and lucky to go to a game once a year, or enjoy going to games with your family and still pay your car payment. It all sucks but its reality.

OK, so Ortiz admiring his 3 run homer was classless? That upset some on the O's as well as some fans? You've got to be kidding..Folks, welcome to MLB 2011..it's been going on for years..it's part and parcel of pro sports at every league. No, your Orioles are awful, just wretched. Sad. As a long time Sox fan, I loved watching the O's in my younger days..one of my heroes was Frank Robinson..the team was a model of consistency...then your bonehead owner took over and that's that. And don't get any ideas that Showalter is a genius...
BTW, once Gregg stepped off the mound, which he did before Papi turned towards him, he was gone. It's the RULE!!! And if you notice, the umpire tossed him..

As Lew said, Gregg was tossed by the ump before Papi even turned toward him. I agree that Buck laid the groundwork for this BS with his idiotic comments in spring training. Hey, I just noticed that Buck's initials are BS. How fitting. Fire the bum!

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

-- ADVERTISEMENT --

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.


Baltimore Sun coverage
Most Recent Comments
Photo galleries

Buy Sports Tickets from the Baltimore Sun Store

Search our new database for every home run hit hit by the O's and the opposition — home and away — since 1992.

Minor league resources
Web links to official sites, stats, schedules and more for O's affiliates and other area teams

International League (AAA)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

Eastern League (AA)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

Carolina League (A)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

South Atlantic League (A)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

New York-Penn League (A)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

Appalachian League (R)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics
Sign up for FREE Orioles alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for Orioles text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Blog updates
Recent updates to baltimoresun.com sports blogs  Subscribe to this feed
Stay connected