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July 10, 2011

Orioles criticize umpiring in ejection-filled series

A contentious four-game series with the Boston Red Sox ended Sunday with four more ejections, Michael Gonzalez’s not denying that he threw a purpose pitch behind David Ortiz, and Buck Showalter and Jeremy Guthrie criticizing the umpiring crew.

“I’ve said it before: Sometimes those who are in control of the game — I know the umpires have to control it — show a lack of feel by not understanding what is going on,” said Guthrie, who hit Kevin Youkilis with a changeup to load the bases with two outs in the fourth inning, resulting in plate umpire Marty Foster’s warning both benches.

“I think that’s … not having been in the situation, not having played the game at a high level, probably. You got first and third and you throw a changeup to the guy trying to get a ground ball, and I miss up and in. If they really had issues with people being hit, they could have warned the benches the second time one of our players were hit versus the third hit batsman of the game on a changeup on a situation where I clearly wasn’t intending to hit a gentleman. It’s difficult, but I’m sure nothing will happen and we’ll just keep going forward from there.”

Two days after Ortiz and Orioles reliever Kevin Gregg were the main combatants in a benches-clearing incident and one day after Red Sox starter John Lackey hit two Orioles, Boston right-hander Kyle Weiland and manager Terry Francona were ejected after the rookie hit Vladimir Guerrero in the right hand in the fifth inning. Weiland also hit Mark Reynolds in the right hand in the third.

“They lead all of baseball in hit by pitches. I lost two players today. I don’t think it was intentional from the young kid; location was a challenge for him,” Showalter said. “I don’t think there was any intent there on his part. I just know that we got hit four, five times here and it wasn’t particularly pleasant. You are looking at Mark Reynolds and Guerrero having broken hands at the time. It looks like we might have dodged the bullet with the initial X-rays, but you don’t know what could show up down the line. It doesn’t make you happy.”

Showalter did say he felt Lackey intentionally threw at Derrek Lee in the seventh inning Saturday night.

“I know the umpires are trying,” Showalter said. “I just wish they would have issued the warnings before the game started because Lackey should have been thrown out of the game for hitting Lee. That was [as] intentional as it gets. [It’ll] be interesting to see if they hand down any punishment for Lackey.”

Gonzalez could face disciplinary action as he didn’t exactly deny that he was trying to send a message to the Red Sox by throwing behind Ortiz in the sixth inning. He and Showalter were ejected afterward.

“Very frustrated. I’ve seen our guys get hit accidentally. It’s just how it is. It’s how the game goes. That’s about it with that,” Gonzalez said.

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 9:00 PM | | Comments (22)


After the Orioles learn to hit, pitch, and field then they can worry about the umpires.

This shows how bad Gonzalez is this year. He can't even hit the side of a barn, or Ortiz, same difference. Seriously though, the way that guy falls off the mound, it is obvious he is off balance and can't have a consistent release point. I doubt he could get any worse if he changed his delivery so he was not falling to the right of the mound every damn pitch. They need to tell him fix it or be gone, because I'm sure everyone of us has had enough of Mr Gonzalez.

It is not the umpiring. Its is rotten starting pitching of late, no depth on the roster or the minor leagues, lack of situational awareness...need I say more? The Red Sox had the same umpiring, and they swept us. Guys, get a clue, take responsibility, and quit mailing it in.

The rules of baseball don't require a warning and the game would be far better if there were no warnings, just ejections, because it allows the initial aggressor to pretty much do what he wants without penalty.

Of course, fans don't go to games to watch the umpires, so they do need to have a feel for the game. It is hard to believe an umpire could reach the major leagues and no have a feel for the game.

Even if the umpire did make silly calls Baltimore didn't do anything after Guerrero was beaned. Pie didn't even try to steal. No heart outside of Guererro, Markakis, and maybe Jones/Reynolds on that team, rest lie down too fast.

What a record setting pity party Showalter and the team set this weekend.

Merely losing is bad enough, but the way they are handling themselves in public is downright embarrassing.

The whining about the umpires, the other team's wealth, the way opponents run out pop ups...... it just goes on and on.

No one is fooled, Buck. My 7 year old daughter doesn't whine and make as many excuses about how much life is unfair as you do. Pathetic.

The Orioles are absolutely right in criticizing the umpires. The truth is what it is, regardless of how bad or good a team is, or what one's level of frustration is. It is undeniable that the umpires were calling a one sided game. That comes with being a bad team. Umpires feel they can get away with bad calls, because nobody wants to hear a bad team make excuses.

There are times in professional sports when conflicts need to be escalated. In this series the Orioles had a chance to injure a couple of Redsox. It's not the way you want to play baseball, but it is the way you should play if you're being tried by your opponent.

If I were Buck Showalter, I would have instructed Berken to gun for Ortiz head, right after Gonzales was ejected.

What are you holding back for? Your season is in the dumper. The Redsox are the ones who can't afford to lose anyone to injuries or suspension.

The O's had a chance to make a statement and they failed. Hopefully they can show Boston what's up when they come here next series. But then again: I doubt it. They don't have ...

sarasotafan right on - warnings allow the biggest transgressors to get off scott free.

@DSC -
Pie didn't pinch run for Guerrero. In fact Guerrero was actually running on the pitch with Lee up. Lee fouled that one off, then struck out.
Pie pinch hit, and was called out on a ball 6 inches high and a foot outside. Yeah, the umpires did suck

Gonzalez made his point throwing behind the fat man. Kudos to Mike. And it ain't over


did we watch the same series? the O's didn't play that well sure but the umps were practically blatantly biased

Lackey should have been tossed yesterday and Buck was right that if Simon had hit two batters he would have been tossed

the double standard was just insult to injury

I can understand , to a certain extent, the O's have not earned the respect of the umpires. But Lackey should have been ejected and safety wise you have to treat each team equally even if the O'a are irrelevant. A player could get hit in the face etc at the plate if you done make ejections when necessary.

Gregg showed he really belongs in the minors, not the majors, with his horrible pitching performance in July. His gross immaturity throwing at one of the most respected and professional players, David Ortiz, and then barking at him, further proves he is just a stupid young player not ready for the majors. Just pure Bush League. @

Showalter needs to concentrate on having his team play fundamentals instead of whining about umpires. The Baltimore organization has gone from a proud and storied franchise to a sad joke.

Showalter needs to concentrate on having his team play fundamentals instead of whining about umpires. The Baltimore organization has gone from a proud and storied franchise to a sad joke.

The O's have reached a low that I never expected to see under Mr. Showalter. Not only are they losing as they have done for the last decade+, but they are whining like a bunch of little girls. The Red Sox are pompass jerks - even the Yankees threw at Ortiz a few weeks ago because he was admiring one of his moon shots. Do us all a favor - stop whining - this is the BIG LEAGUES - and start winning a few games.

red sox fan here. hey baltimore the series was lost in game one when that gutless showalter decided to sac bunt in the 4th inning of a 3-2 game against the A.L. scoring leaders, and a struggling andy miller.Way to give your guys a chance to win by playing for the big inning. You lead the majors in homers since june 1 too boot. Earl Weaver would have known that. I'm sure that 4th inning bunt made him so proud in a 10-4 game bucky boy.Do I miss the days when you guys had all those 20 game winners and the robinsons etc. We were on the losing end but at least we lost to winners not whiners. Next time the manager uses sac bunt that early in the game (unless its koufax vs Spahn) expend your anger towards him not the opposing team. That play is how your manager set the tone for the series. He told the entire dugout how much confidence he had in his team. If I picked up on this surely the players did too. Its too bad a city with a great ballpark and fans to match get stuck with a stinker for a manager. If he didn't pop off about boston and new york before the season even started maybe things would't be as tough on the team. good luck in the future. P.S. I agree Lackey and Welland both should have been tossed.

Roger Brinner, get off these boards.

You think if Gregg was throwing at Ortiz, he would have missed three times? Gregg doesn't have the best stuff, but he has good command. Don't let his walks fool you - he pitches a lot on the black so guys don't have as much opportunity to square up on him.

And to call Ortiz one of the most respected and professional players in the league is laughable. The guy is an arrogant showboat.

And a professional player doesn't charge the mound just because a pitcher throws inside on him and then tells him to run his fat @$$ to first base instead of admiring yet another flyball/HR.

The Red Sox are bush league. At least the Yankees, with their big payroll and superstars, play professional ball.

Guthrie is a whinner. In 15 career games against the Yankees, Guthrie has hit 10 batters. By comparison, he has hit one batter in 15 games against the Tampa Bay Rays; one batter in 15 games against the Boston Red Sox; and three batters in 14 games against the Toronto Blue Jays.

He hit Jeter last year and the best revenge was when the next batter hit a HR. Guthrie wa second in the major leagues in hit batsmen this season. This is sour grapes by a buch of losers.

John - the redsux fan

Just spare us the BS. The Baltimore Orioles made baseball what it is today. They were the model franchise at a time when the Redsux were defining a century of misery. How long did it take them to win a WS title? 106 years or something like that? Save us your pathetic BS. Even with the money they spend, the Redsox will never be better than the Yankees, Phillies, Dodgers, Yankees, or heck ... not even as good as Tampa. You may be better than the lowly Orioles right now, but those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Your team's history has shown that they can be one of the all-time worst franchises of baseball, and history has a funny way of repeating itself.

But then again, you don't understand what I'm saying. You started rooting for the Redsux after you saw "Fever Pitch".

Baltimore has been so bad for so long I'm shocked that they have any fans left. Take a page from Tampa Bay's book... focus on fixing yourselves and worry a LOT less about the Red Sox. It's no one's fault but your own that you are an embarrasment to what was once a great baseball tradition in Baltimore. Stop whining and blaming and start rebuilding and winning.

To Mesotheliangelos:

Lay off the Ouzo.

There is no all-time stat that you could point to that doesn't demonstrate that the Sox are the better team (all-time or current).

Many more wins all-time, 7 WS titles to 3 for the Os and on and on.

Here's a link that you might find useful.

Lackey probably should have been tossed, but what Gonzalez did is bush-league. You DONT throw behind a hitter's head because most batters lean back when a ball is coming towards them. All Gonzales is saying is "not only did I hit him, but I didn't care if I killed him." A pro just drills a guy in the ass.
All of Buck's whining has turned the O's into a bunch of whiners.


"There is no all-time stat that you could point to that doesn't demonstrate that the Sox are the better team (all-time or current). "

Check out the record lifetime against the Red Sox. Look at the records for the past 15 years. Be objective.

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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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