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August 21, 2011

Gregg clearly not pleased with hook, Bell's defense

Only these Orioles could make blowing a two-run, 12th-inning lead look so routine.

Adam Jones' RBI single, coupled with Torii Hunter's throwing error, gave the Orioles a two-run lead heading into the bottom of the 12th. But Kevin Gregg, with the help of third baseman Josh Bell's shaky defense, imploded, failing to retire any of the five hitters he faced.

He was lifted from a tie game by manager Buck Showalter with the bases loaded and no outs in favor of Troy Patton, who gave up the game-winning sacrifice fly to Bobby Abreu in a 9-8 loss.

"Obviously, I want to finish the game," said Gregg, who have Showalter a long glare as he approached the mound to take the ball. "Obviously, I think I can get out of it. Buck’s got to do what he has to do to try to salvage a win."

Gregg now has blown five saves in 22 opportunities. He has allowed runs in three of his past four outings, and in two of those, he failed to record an out despite facing five hitters or more.

Bell, who had a brutal night, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts to go along with his defensive issues, certainly did his part.

With runners on first and second and no outs, Bell fielded Hank Conger's bunt attempt and made a wild throw to first that Mark Reynolds couldn't handle. That brought in one run and put the tying run on third base. Bell made a nice stab on Peter Bourjos' grounder, but he took too long looking the runner back to first and his throw was too late to get the speedy Bourjos.

"You got to take care of the baseball," Gregg said. "Sacrifice bunt and you throw it away. You have Bourjos running down to first. You have to know about his speed. Obviously, a questionable call at first base. If both of those things are done, you’re looking at a different situation. It’s part of the game. You have to move forward."

Bell did take accountability for his role in the collapse, saying, "Things like that can't happen in those situations."

However, Gregg put the Orioles in that situation. He allowed a two-strike leadoff single to Erick Aybar, a .258 hitter. He then hit rookie Mike Trout with a breaking ball that he said slipped out of his hand.

And with the bases loaded and no outs and the Orioles still up by a run, Gregg issued a five-pitch walk to Alberto Callaspo to bring in the tying run.

"Kevin obviously wasn’t carrying the command that he’s capable of and will again," Showalter said.

As a result, the Orioles, who came back from a two-run eighth-inning deficit and were in a position to win just their third game in 71 tries this season when trailing after seven innings, have lost four straight games.

They've lost seven consecutive one-run games. They are a season-worst 29 games under .500 at 47-76. They have eight losing streaks of four games or more, and they’ve assured themselves of a 15th straight winless series.

They haven’t won a series since taking two of three from the Cincinnati Reds June 24-26. They haven’t won a road series since taking two of three from the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field May 13-15. Now, they’re left trying to avoid a three-game sweep by the Angels.

“It just sucks,” said Orioles starter Tommy Hunter, who allowed six earned runs in 6 1/3 innings and needed just two innings to squander a 3-0 lead created by the Orioles’ three-run second inning off Angels right-hander Joel Pineiro. “There’s no other word you can really put to it. When your team goes out and they fight for you, it’s tough to be on the [losing end]. You look back at the first inning, the second inning, the third inning, what differences could have been made to where it doesn’t even go to extra innings. And like I said, it all starts with your starter.”

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 2:21 AM | | Comments (49)


Is Kevin Gregg that clueless? He didn't do his job - again. At least when Michael Gonzalez imploded in the first week of the season last year, he showed some self-awareness about the impact of his failures on the club. I can't believe someone on the O's hasn't taken a swing at this guy after tonight's performance on and off the mound.

Did Gregg blame himself, or only his teammates. Bell certainly didn't help his cause at all, but Gregg gave up the hit, HBP, and bases-loaded walk by himself.

I root for every player who wears the uniform, but I'd be fine if I never seen Gregg pitching for the Orioles again. I don't care if they eat his contract for next year and DFA him tomorrow.

What will it take for MacPhail and Showalter to realize he's not getting the job done? Every game they run him out there they lose the confidence of the fans in their ability to run this franchise.

I think losing 100+ games might be good for the Orioles. Here is my reasoning.
1. Top Draft pick
2. Maybe the players will feel embarrassed and possibly make good strides in 2012.
3. it could force some big moves from the Top such as hiring a proven GM or making a big free agent splash.
4. We will make some more dramatic changes to this roster such as cutting losers like Gregg, Gonzalez ETC
5.Cal Ripken for GM?

Gregg mad at Buck?? Give me a break. sure bell t6hrew it away but if gregg does any semblench of closers job, that would not even have been an issue. give gonzo a chance since we no longer have koji. even jak is throwing well. Last year Buck was not so predictable and it worked out well.A killer loss


After the Boston/Big Papi incident I had developed a modicum of respect for Gregg. It all just went *poof*.

We had to endure Josh Bell's sleepwalking act for two months last year. Is this really act II ?
How bout moving Markakis to first base once in a while < Reynolds back to third and get Pie in a game. Any game

What is it, two more years with Gregg? That's not much to look forward to. McPhail should not be allowed to leave his office or make calls or emails in an attempt to keep him from signing more bums,

I was clearly not pleased when they brought him in (or when they signed him).

well another orioles implosion no surprise. i guess they will resign mike gonzo and kevin gregg because there will be nothng else available in the off season. what kind of bull hockey will we be told to suckar people to the ball park next season

Gregg needs to quit whining and do his job before complaining about Bell. Tell us Kevin, did Bell make you walk in that run too? Did he make you hit a batter?
It's bad enough that the O's keep losing these winnable games, but hearing Gregg pin the blame on a teammate without acknowledging his own part in the disaster is adding insult to injury.
He needs to just shut up and do his job for a change instead of throwing someone else under the bus.

I didn't know that "impled" is the past tense of "implode." Must have written this in the wee hours of the morning. It's tough to watch the Orioles, but to write about it afterwards takes a dedicated professional.

The orioles are ruining Jones, Weters and whatever other young impressionable players by exposing them to just pathetic crappy attitudes ( Bell "wasn't motivated at Norfolk or here). "Lay down and die", is the current atmosphere. I wouldn't accept that as a little leaguer let alone as a professional. I got my pony league coach fired (actually asked to leave by my teammates) because I saw he didn't desperately want to win as much as I/we did. It's simply unacceptable. Why can't we get professionals to show the same desire. My God, does anybody on that team care?

Take a look at the two worthless head cases in the bullpen who are making 6+ million a year, each. I'm so sick of hearing about how this team can't afford front line talent.

That's over 12 million, wasted, on useless bullpen "talent". The production we've gotten from Greg and Gonzalez could have been replicated with rookies and or cheaper veterans.

Take that 12 mil, and add it to the wasted 8 mil spent on Vlad the Imploder, and there's the 20 million you need to sign real talent.

Yet all we hear is "the O's can't afford guys who make $20 mil a year".

Count up the wasted millions spent on bozos like Greg, Gonzalez, Tejada v2, Lee, and Atkins. Probably 30+ million dollars right there, and not a single one has contributed meaningfully to this organization.

The O's waste countless millions on worthless veterans, yet tell the fans they can't afford real talent. This has become the new Oriole Way.

Kevin Gregg is a horrific pitcher. He plain and simply sucks. The fact that Buck keeps running him out there is a testament to the fact that Buck's heart is no longer in the game.

Glare at Showalter. Are you kidding me? I used to have no confidence in M.G.(still have very little) but he is willing to "man up" when he blows a save. Gregg's got a lot of rocks blaming Bell. Sure, he didn't help the situation, but a single, hit batter, and walking in the tie run. C'mon. Buck should have left him out there too finish hangng himself. The game was all but lost anyway. I feel bad for Patton having to come in, in a no win situation. Whatever it takes, I don't want to see that clown back on the mound this season. Or ever again for that matter. In a game where the O's did everything possible (on offense) to win, having your so called closer blow another one is just too much for any O's fan.

I like how Gregg takes shots at other players for his poor pitching. Sure they didn't help. When you had a really bad night at your own expense, you better shut up when it comes time for laying blame. I think if he wasn't as big as he is someone would hava already taken a swing at him. He is an arrogant cancer and needs to be released.

Not retiring a batter in 2 of your last 4 outings?
$10 million

7 EARNED runs in your last 2 IPs?
Also, $10 million

Throwing your teammate under the bus?

What a class act this guy is. At least we can overlook such things because he does his job night after night.


This is what happens when this pitiful rudderless organization just sticks(blank) and (blank) players out there for the rest of the year to see what they've got. How did you like Buck's latest canned understatement? "Kevin obviously wasn't carrying the command that he's capable of and will again." No kidding Buck. Hold on to that statement. You can use it after every game. Just insert a different name for "Kevin."

I'll say it again, but anyone who continues to financially support this ongoing catastrophe is not a fan, but an enabler.

Kevin Gregg should blame no one but himself. He's a loser and he continues to prove it over and over again. What's truly pathetic is he's under contract for next season.

Gregg blames Bell? Bell didn't load the bases. This "capt. chaos" stuff is dumb, not funny or endearing. Unload or release Gregg in the off season. He has been more frustrating than Gonzalez or the rest of the team. And he should ditch the glasses, he is no 'Wild Thing'.

This guy has to be the absolute WORST closer in MLB. Then he throws his own teammate under the bus? Very unproffessional Mr Gregg.You suck.Let's wake up mgmt, time for wholesale changes here. You've got an unwatchable product out there......

What a "team" player Kevin Gregg is! Blames everyone on the team except hinself Perhaps he needs to take those stupid goggles off so he can actually see the plate and perhaps he can see the situation he creates every time he pitches. The Orioles have had thier share of marginal relievers, but Kevin Gregg is plain lousy and a JERK on top of it. Get him outta here!

The desire to do something and the ability to do something are not the same. This dude needs to go - now.

As famous sportswriter Will Shakespeare would say, "Failure, thy name is Angelos." This is the return on Peter the Terrible's failure to invest in scouting and player development.

Hats off to the players who are still battling through this never-ending Angelos-nightmare season.

Buck and Andy need to sit down and talk to Gregg to make it clear to him Buck is the one held accountable. PUT straight forward he would not be closing nowif we had developed a young closer and probably won't be next year inspite of his contract without his getting things done alot cleaner. At this point he looks like our Adrian Gonzales next year if we can find a closer in trade or within spring training. Simon might be there At least PATTON got an out though the run scored. WE need a couple of fireballers in the pen like the better pens we've seen this year have. Signing Young fireballers is always a risk often about control. That was where mikolio, hernandez,and hoey fit in. We need to find or develope more of them. Simon appears our best prospect to fill that role right now. I would prefer some minor league FA signed to try to find more next spring or the unprotected draft withour high pick.

Gregg is like the rest of the Oriole pitchers, which is a collection of minor league players making millions. Josh Bell has proven that he does not deserve a place on the roster.

"Obviously, I want to finish the game," said Gregg.

Obviously, for the millions you are getting paid, the fans would expect a better performance from you this year.

Obviously, after you blow a game, the fans (remember us?) would expect you to man-up and accept the fact that you failed and not put the blame on your other teammates.

Obviously, with the exception of Showalter, MacFail, and Angelos, everyone knows you cannot do the job.

"gave Showalter a long glare as he approached the mound to take the ball." Perhaps you can give yourself a long stare in the mirror and ask yourself if you deserve a job after the pitiful performance you have given Oriole fans everywhere this season.

Kevin Gregg insults my intelligence. He is weak, he is incompetent, he totally lit a match and blew up any chance for an Orioles win last night. Then he has the audacity to glare at Buck Showalter and takes it even further by stating "Obviously, I want to finish the game," Now he's a guy who has blown big games against the Yankees, Red Sox, the Rays and now the Angels. The only thing he can say "Obviously, I want to finish the game," I think Showalter has gone out of his way to be very helpful and courteous to that kid.
In fact, Showalter said this after the game "Kevin obviously wasn’t carrying the command that he’s capable of and will again," If that were me in that situation Mr Showalter, I would have called security and had them escort Gregg off the field. In fact I would have exited this guy off the field, and exited him off his feet and used his head to open the locker room door. That's how I would have done things if Gregg had glared at me. The heck with him! Give him another chance No Way!
Now, I also want to renew my plea and recommendation to either hire Marcel Lachemann or Mark Langston as the next pitching coach for the Orioles. This bloodletting must stop. Oh and BTW JJ and Jaks did a real nice job last night. Real nice job!

ME AGAIN this is how it is supposed to be for us to get better. Bell is getting his chance again and playing his way out of our plans for next year, If we can't get Fielder then maybe we get a good 3B and leave reynolds at 1B or DH. With reynolds or davis at DH we would at least have a DH who could play the field if needed. PIE is gone as far as I am concerned we have other LF candidates who can run and younger in ANGLE, HUDSON, HOES. POSSIBLY adding AVERY to that list.Reimold might fit the bell description and be playing himself out if a better LF option appears. ANGLE OR HUDSON have the speed to fill a leadoff role if neccessary.

Amazing.... if Gregg doesn't put two guys on with no outs Bell's plays don't matter/happen. Nor did Bell walk in a run. If Gregg had been pitching great this season maybe you cut him some slack, but he hasn't and he needs to learn to take responsibility for his own failures.

One word: bum

What a class act that Gregg is.....A pitcher never throws his defense under the bus. These are the same guys who will bail you out on another night. Anyone who has ever played ball knows that no one feels worse than you do when you make an error or mistake. Just remember though that this is the same Gregg who taunted Ortiz as he jogged to first, thereby causing a brawl. Yet another thing that shouldn't be done in that situation. So, is Gregg now the conscience, or policeman for everyone else? Just admit you stunk, big time, and shut your mouth, Gregg!

Obviously, I want to finish the game," said Gregg
Obviously he DID finish the game. By blowing it!

Yes, Bell is bad at third base; nobody can deny that. Nevertheless, for Gregg to put all of the blame on him is ridiculous. I am sick of Gregg walking and hitting batters. I am sick of everybody saying "he doesn't give in." You cannot continue to put men on base and expect to get out of jams. Over the long run, somebody that pitches like Gregg will lose many games. You just cannot pitch that way for long. His bad pitching is finally catching up to him. It is just a shame that we have to live with this guy for another year.

After Thursday's day game, you expressed that you don't usually don't like to get into game strategy. Generally I don't either, but
today's managers are so much more mechanical/robotic than those of previous generations. They appear to ignore what they see in favor of "roles" or match-ups.

Multiple cases in point. Buck's been complaining (rightfully so) all season how the bullpen has been overused due to the starters failing to go deep into games. Yet, in Thursday's game, he pulls Troy Patton for Jason Berken in the A's eighth with the Orioles down 6 - 4, two outs and no one on because a right handed batter was next up. At that point, Patton had thrown only 22 pitches to record 5 outs and was very effective in his 1 2/3 innings. As the Orioles' record at that time was 1 - 68 in games where they trailed after eight innings, there was a very low probability of the team taking the lead. Why bring in another reliever in that situation when you've been complaining about bullpen overuse all summer?

In last night's game, two things stood out. In the ninth, prior to Andino stealing second, Reimhold squared to bunt. So Buck was willing to give up an out to get Andino into scoring position. Yet, after Andino stole second, Buck ordered Nolan to hit. Why? If it made sense to bunt a runner over to second with one out, wouldn't it make even more sense to bunt him over to third with one out.....where a wild pitch/passed ball/sac fly could have plated the run?
[The fact that Bell struck out is irrelevant.]

Then in the 12th, Buck brings in Gregg who has been struggling. Again, why? Just because he's the "closer?" Jakubauskas had only thrown 11 pitches in the Angels' 11th inning, striking out one and allowing no hits. So Buck "saw" that Jak was very effective and efficient with his pitches. Why can't he follows his eyes and at least allow Jak to start the 12th instead of managing by-the-book? Again, the fact that Gregg imploded is irrelevant.

Finally, how much longer will it take for the Orioles to acknowledge that Josh Bell is NOT a major league player? I can't remember the last time I saw a guy so overmatched both at the plate and in the field. He has no clue regarding the strike zone....took two third called strikes last night that nearly cut the plate in half. It looks a lot like the Felix Pie fiasco wherein the team doesn't want to admit that they made another mistake in evaluating a players potential even know the fans can see it every day. And all the while Blake Davis did Ryan Adams before him.

They say there's a fine line between comedy and tragedy. Yet, the Orioles
seem to be doing just that by straddling between being laughable and pathetic.

Finally, the Orioles should feel fortunate that they don't play in Chicago where the media (particularly the Daily Herald's Mike Imrem and Barry Rozner) have excoriated Tom Ricketts over his ownership of the team using language I've never seen written or uttered in Baltimore

buck you got to wake up the few chances we have to win . you keep bringing in one of the worst closer i have ever seen period ; what a shame for jones and nick and the few that keep giving 100 % every night , at this point you might think about useing jackabackass to close

Buck isn't the one picking up Toronto's castaways like Gregg and Accardo, it's the moron who runs the team, whether it's Angelos or McFail or whoever. And once again we see the Cubs connection with Gregg that seems to be a prerequisite to getting signed to this team. Like the Cubs they should show the fans that they have at least a small measure of respect for us and fire McFail right now!

Another comment regarding Kevin Gregg. He has pitched for the Angels (4 yrs.), Marlins (2 yrs.), Cubs (1 yr.) and Jays (1yr.). Don't know about the Angels, but all of the other teams didn't try to keep him on their squads. The Jays made absolutely no attempt to resign him after the 2010 season ended. Yet, the Orioles believed that he was the answer even after seeing how effective Koji was as the team's closer in 2010.

Also, much has been written regarding the disparity in talent between the Orioles and the other AL East teams. What better way to illustrate this than by pointing out that the O's took three guys from the Toronto system since the end of 2010--Gregg, Jo Jo Reyes and Jeremy Accardo....and the Jays are only the fourth best team in the division. Also, one of our top starters last year--Kevin Millwood--couldn't even make the major league rosters of the Yankees or Red Sox this season. After pitching in both of their minor league systems, he left and hooked on with the Rockies.

If one were to compare our players position-by-position and their production
to their counterparts on other AL East teams, the disparity would jump off the page. By doing this, we can see that, while Robert Andino (of 18 rbi fame) has exceeded expectations perhaps, it's only relative to how abysmal his teammates have been. On a comparative basis, his production is so weak that he can not be considered for next year as a starter if the Orioles have any interest in competing.

Showalter has no choice but to bring in Gregg. Just think how much madder Gregg would have been at him had he not been in to close. Looks like The inmates are in charge of the asylum!

Doug wrote "(Gregg): should ditch the glasses, he is no 'Wild Thing'."
He may not be Wild Thing, but he is certainly a wild thing!

As for ditching the glasses, I'm not sure I agree. We've all seen how sporadic he is finding the strike zone with glasses, just imagine what he'd be like without them!

Oh, okay, why not, Doug. Let's see him without them. This season's already securely down in the dumpster, so maybe we'd get some laughs at watching him try to pitch when the batter, catcher and umpire look like a blur of colors. Still, in the name of decency, have Buck only use him when the fate of the game is not in the balance.

Gregg drives me crazy. Is it possible that he may actually challenge a hitter once in a while? Maybe he needs to "give in" sometimes.

If he did his job, Bell would never have been in the position to show us why he is not a major league 3B.


Off Season Shopping List:
1. Starting Pitching
2. Closer
3. Clean-up hitter
4. Lead-off hitter

1 - Even before the 12th, I commented that if Bell is the best we have on the farm for 3B, we're much worse off than even I thought. This guy needs to find another profession - today.

2 - Can't believe I'm saying this, but time for Gonzalez to return to closer.

I could not agree more with a letter than I do Harvey's. If you have a pitcher doing his job and giving the other team fits, why replace him just because of the "situation"? Maybe some teams have the bullpen depth to get away with it, but obviously the Orioles don't, so its just a matter of time before you bring in the guy who stinks up the place and loses you the game. I am sick of managers who manage this way and it seems like most of the Oriole managers going way back to Grover have done this. Whatever happened to common sense and instinct?
Of course if you did'nt trade (er, give) away the few guys who are actually doing there job (Koji, etc) then maybe we would have some bullpen depth.
It is clear that the team is taking extended looks at certain players to see if they are going to make-or-break it. The season is lost so I agree with this strategy as these "certain" players have been in the background for some time, in effect clogging the development and chances for other players. If they don't live up to the fantasy potential that the Orioles's Mgt has endowed them with, (and I certainly see no evidence of that potential), then I hope the team does the right thing and sends them on their way somewhere else and give some of the other guys a chance. The farm system is not as devoid of talent as it has been made out to be and it is hard to believe we could bring up anyone that would be worse. It is important to note that we don't need an entire team replaced just a few key spots.
This has been a hard season on the team, fans, and players. I think back to my excitement subscribing to so I can pick up the games, and how the season started off with such promise. For those fans AND players that have not given up, my hat is off to you. Those of us who have been fans for years (50+) and remember what it was like during the glory days, probably would agree that this has been the toughest season ever.
Its time for some changes...

Greg is just one loser on a team full of losers. Blow the whole team up and start over especially leaving this bum for some other team to pick up.

And who's fault was it last Sunday when Gregg issued three hits, two bases loaded walks and a hit without retiring a batter?

To me, this is why Andy is a bad GM (and why saves alone are a flawed stat). Gregg has horrible numbers for his career as a closer and he has proven this year how ineffective and unreliable he is. If he's still the closer next season, then definitely no one in that F.O. knows baseball.

With a lot of games left within our division we can probably overtake KC for the second pick in the draft. But we're probably too far behind the Astros to get the top pick.

However, I still might want to beat the Red Sox if TB gets close enough to possibly knock them out of the playoffs.

Everyone has got to realize that there are no top end free agents who will come here no matter what they get paid. All the free agent talk is bull@#%$. The only way out is to get major league pitchers who are medium tier and try to develop the hitters. It would really help if the front office knew what they where doing with drafts and trades. We've had plenty of high draft picks but look at our minor leagues. They dwell in the basement also. Bad management always shows in business as well as sports. Rebuilding should start in the warehouse and move onto the field.

A reason to just fast forward to 2013 and skip 2012 ?

McFail has us on the hook to Gregg for at least one more season.

If PA won't can McFail, he should at least cut off the electricity to his office so he can't sign any more Greggs, Gonzos, or Atkins.

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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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