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September 2, 2011

Gregg: 'You obviously haven’t acquired my taste in pitching yet.'

Even by Kevin Gregg's standards, the ninth inning tonight at Tropicana Field was pretty hairy.

The Orioles, who put together a stirring comeback, scoring three times in the top of the seventh off an otherwise dominant David Price, took a one-run lead into the bottom of the ninth.

Gregg gave up a leadoff single to Sam Fuld, then retired B.J. Upton and Sean Rodriguez, leaving the Rays with a man in scoring position and two outs. Gregg walked Casey Kotchman and pinch-hitter Matt Joyce to load the bases and bring up rookie Brandon Guyer.

That's apparently the matchup Gregg wanted. "You got to pick and choose your battles of where you go," he said. "They are going to chase pitches out of the zone, then I put myself in a good spot."

The strategy -- if that's what you want to call it -- worked, but only after J.J. Hardy fielded Guyer's ground ball deep in the hole and first baseman Mark Reynolds dug out the shortstop's low throw to end the game.

“I said in my head, ‘We are either winning or we’re losing,’” said Reynolds, who had the option of coming off the bag and making sure the ball stayed in front of him rather than taking an aggressive swipe at it. “I’m going to pick it. If I don’t, we lose. I just had the glove in the right spot. I guess I’m just getting pretty lucky over there.”

Said Hardy of Reynolds: "The way he’s played for how many weeks that he’s been over there, he’s been a Gold Glove first baseman. I looked at that on film with him afterwards, and that was not an easy pick at all. I think it clipped like the dirt or grass, so it was right in-between, probably the hardest pick that there is. He made it look easy.”

Gregg did not in picking up his 20th save, but he rarely does. He has blown six saves and allowed an eye-popping 50 hits and 36 walks in 52 innings.

"The bottom line is you obviously haven’t acquired my taste in pitching yet,” Gregg said. “It’s what I do. It’s what I’ve always done. And yeah, it’d be nice if I was like [Jim Johnson] and went 1-2-3, every inning I’m out there. But I’m not J.J. I don’t throw 97 [mph] with sink.”

Asked about his patience level with Gregg, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said: "There is a method to what he’s trying to do out there. I understand it. It’s not real comfortable all the time. He’s had some of those, but obviously the end product, he wasn’t going to let certain situations beat him."

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 11:34 PM | | Comments (40)


The defensive plays made by Andino at 3B and Reynolds at 1B were insane. Britton was fabulous. Johnson looks good with the ability to get better.

Gregg ... umm, I'm not sold on him ... and I don't believe it's a matter of taste. Walking tightropes are okay if you rarely fall off. Gregg, you may have a different perception of rarely. The O's fraternity have had guys like Gregg Olson, Stu Miller, Tippy Martinez, Sam Stewart and Don "the Man Unusual" Stanhouse -- all with varying degrees of madness, but all with a credibility of success. Gregg hasn't achieved even the success of George Sherrill, so don't talk about tastes!

I can't think of many who would want to acquire Gregg's "taste in pitching". It's like rancid meat - disgusting and makes you sick. The O's don't need a closer called Capt. Chaos, they need one called sure thing.

Oh, I get it now. Walk-walk-walk-blown save is an ACQUIRED taste. Forgive our unsophisticated palettes, Gregg. Some of us are old enough to remember the O's winning a few games years ago, and we got hooked on all those wacky strikes and outs.

Pretty sure the "97 mph with sink" quote did a fairly nice job endorsing JJ as the closer. Seriously, why does Buck keep defending Gregg? Pitch better. Manage better. Hold yourselves to a higher standard than this.

What's even more concerning is that our Mgr. seems to have bought into his "taste".

"It's what I do. It's what I've always done."

Exactly. Does this guy bother looking at his own stats? He doesn't even have good numbers for a reliever, much less a closer. Gregg's attitude has to be what I hate most about him. He could blow a lead and ruin a great game, and he just has that "meh, s**t happens" look on his face. He doesn't care.

Speaking of which, does Buck know (care?) what it would have done to O's players and fans if Gregg had blown that game tonight? Why does he insist on continuing to throw Gregg in there in close games? Especially when Johnson is more than capable of going another inning. They supposedly want to stretch him out anyway, there's their chance.

Buck needs to stop wearing kid gloves with these veterans and start managing baseball games to win.

I don't like Gregg at all, but I can't blame him. Buck gives the call and hands him the ball, is he supposed to refuse it?

Buck is supposed to be all about details...the most researched manager in the game. Yet he can't figure out that his closer currently has a 1.62 WHIP. And a 1.35 WHIP for his career. I doubt any closer in the game with as many save ops as Gregg has worse numbers. Give your head a shake, Buck. And soon.

And PS: Can we take that save from Gregg and give it to Reynolds? Gregg didn't save a darn thing there.

Gregg is wacko for even saying that ! He throws 93 mph doesn't he have any confidence in his fastball? Throw a freaking strike over the plate man! He walks too many guys --He needs to go!

Taste in pitching?? This idiot is NOT a closer. He's got the nerve to say something about the way Johnson pitches?? Get rid of this guy, do we actually want him to be an example?? I don't care if he talks to the younger pitchers, he must be saying don't pitch like me. He blew it for Guthrie the other night when the guy needed a win, that constututes taste? He almost blew it for Britton tonight when he needs wins too. It took two great plays to bail him out at the much for taste. Drop the "c" off closer and thats what Gregg is. I don't care if he made the 20 save mark. To me he personifies a bad Oriole season and two bad "closer" decisions by McPhail in two years...him and Gonzales. We better develop another one because I've lost my taste for Gregg.

He's quite correct. We have no taste for blown saves or for delusional egomaniacs. Send him somewhere where there are no fans to criticize him.

Does anyone think it's exciting watching Gregg try to close out games?This is why no other teams were desperate enough to make him an offer anywhere close to the one the O's did.Unless they dump him and eat his contract,we the fans just might be stuck watching this ugliness next year.He saved 30+games for Toronto last year and still,they couldn't wait to dump him.It's really sad seeing this happening to our,once proud team and franchise,sad......

Some people eat human placenta, some eat monkey's brains. I think I'll pass. Yes we all have different tastes. Does that make me a bad person? Or does that make Gregg a foul tasting pitcher? I noticed he accidentally threw a couple of balls for strikes. Did he tell himself...'I'll never do that again!'? Perhaps if he believed in himself, or if he actually had the control to get the ball where he wanted it.
Ah forget it. He sucks!

McPhail got rid of Koji, then Michael Gonzalez, but they keep Gregg. Haa? If the front office is going to clean house to make sure that the pay roll is minimal (with the exception of Roberts & Markakis') for the 2012 GM, and of course to make Angelos (a.k.a. Peter Profit) happy again, then please lose the loser too. Trading Gregg will bring the same level of useless minor league player that Gonzo & Koji did.

Gregg should not be the closer and why Buck defends him is troubling. Walks do in closers and he issues far too many. Please get some people in this organization that reinstill some pride in the Orioles. Gregg has an ego that his results cant live up to.

Nick Markakis...Nick Markakis...Kevin Gregg isn't Nick Markakis...Somebody ask me about Nick Markakis...This lipstick looks nice on me...Nick Markakis...Nick Markakis...Kevin Gregg isn't Nick Markakis...Why won't anyone write about Nick Markakis...Why won't Nick Markakis return my letters...Nick Markakis...Nick Markakis...

Glad Gregg thinks the fact he is terrible is funny.

How about you let your strikes do the talking? Oh that's right, you don't know how to throw them.

it taste like S#&$@

There are 26 games left in the season, and there is much else for Buck to say at this point. It would be stunning to see Gregg in this role next season, but you can't put too much stock in the fact that Buck isn't dumping on the closer he inherited.

The O's need to ship Gregg to some other team that appreciates his ineffectiveness and refusal to throw strikes.

It's time for a shutdown closer. Surely there is someone in the O's organization who isn't afraid to throw heat, throw strikes, and challenge hitters.

Gregg: 'You obviously haven’t acquired my taste in pitching yet.' I will say this about Kevin Gregg, he has a sense of humor that I didn't know he had! Alas, that's all I can say about him. Jim Johnson was on last night. 3 up and 3 down for both innings he pitched. That's the way it drawn up on the drawing board. You can't pick and chose the way you do in the Majors, Kevin! That's why your ERA is over 4! Also, I was reading on another blog this morning, I don't post there. I read it, I just don't post there, too much of a hassle to do so.
Anyway, he feels it should be Jim Johnson, Hardy or Jones for MVO. I don't feel that way at all. As an Orioles fan I had high expectations of these fellows. I didn't have high expectations of Robert Andino. I always liked Robert Andino, I just didn't know what to expect out of him considering he was probable # 25 out of 25 on the roster coming in from "Spring Training" What I am trying to say is, Andino should be our MVO. He has the best glove on the team, he's made some phenomenal plays at 2nd, SS and 3rd base. At times he has swung a good bat. Yeah, he's made some base running errors, his small ball game aka bunting leaves a bit to be desired and sometimes it appears he doesn't run out all the ground balls, although I think that's more out of frustration then lack of effort. He can work on all that stuff for next year, it's fixable. The bottom line is Robert Andino should be the 2011 MVO. At least that's the way I feel about it!

Lastly, I still don't get all these bloggers blasting Vlad Guerrero. Last night, if Vlad Guererro didn't score the 1st run, there would have been no three run rally. He's been doing the job very quietly for the O's this year. The problem is he's 36 years old and not the same player when he was 28. Then again who is. To be honest, if the O's can't get any big bats next year or even if they do. I am kind of in favor of re-signing the guy, if they can get him at a reduced rate (Vastly). They guy can still hit and he's a very intelligent base runner, grant it slow. Still very intelligent and that's that!

I don't think Bucky has bought in. With the dearth of good pitching, he's stuck. He needs JJ where he is because he can get two good innings from him. He might have a heart attack if he had to watch Gregg for more than three outs.

To me, it goes against all managing precepts of 'put your team in the best situation to win'. We get few enough wins around here, it's like rubbing salt in the wound to have to watch that mess a few times a week when we DO have a chance to win.

I'm starting to question Showalter's sanity here by keep running this trainwreck to the mound in save situations. My fondest hope here is the new GM cleans house from top to bottom and that includes Showalter..

Not my taste. So Move on

Sounds like Gregg wants to be the next GM.

This guy may not be able to close out a game to save his life, but that is a funny.

You've heard of Christmas in July?

Gregg's save last night was Halloween in September!

I'm sorry, I didn't realize blowing saves and costing your team games is an acquired taste. What a jackass. I hope he gets cut the day after the season is over and he can go take his "taste in pitching" elsewhere.

Why all the surprise that Buck sticks with Gregg despite horrible #'s. He also kept Lee in the 3-hole when he had the worst BA with runners on in MLB and Vlad @cleanup when he's on 60 RBI pace. Buck appears to be more interested in massaging egos than winning games.

Next time Gregg starts speaking of his "method", someone should remind him of Crash Davis's evergreeen words of baseball wisdome: "Don't think, it can only hurt the ball club."

Was going to post but after reading all the others not much left to say except yes he sucks and I agree with the comments. Forget trading, just releasing him would be an asset. Being at the game and sitting next to the O's dugout made it even worse having to watch all his junk. And last nite there was an umpire who was calling balls strikes all nite and Gregg still couldn't get close. It's a joke. When people around me saw him come in they said thanks.

After reading this, I had the sudden urge to twist Gregg's head off and use it for a soccer ball.

Oh for God's sake, there is no method to his madenss. He's just a mediocre mlb pitcher. Does anyone really believe he tries to pitch that way?

Yes, Kevin... I GET it.
But I do not buy into it.

Closing is and has always been a job for the pitcher with the most challenging stuff and the most efficient use of it.

Closing brings all the drama and adventure of the first eight innings down to the quick and merciful conclusion of the final three outs.

Closing puts a "sure thing" label on a team's otherwise questioned ability to hang on to a lead for that one final remaining inning in order to preserve a win.

I understand Kevin Gregg's convoluted philosophy regarding his role. He's explained it. He's rationalized it. And he forces anyone watching to experience it each and every time he enters a game.


The Baltimore Orioles need to find someone with both the talent and the mentality of a real closer.
I'm talking about someone like Lee Smith or Randy Myers.
Even George Sherrill put it all together for us a couple of years ago.

But Kevin Gregg...... he's not a closer.

I am truly an oriole fan period.I won't even comment on greggs pitchingsince I can think of nothing positive when discussing him. Strop looked good in his debut. POWER arms like his and simon are what we need we need to sign as many power armed minor league FA and some lefties as well as we can. Most will not pan out but if you hit with 2 or 3 you have really helped the BP. IF we do not get fielder I would feel pretty good leaving reynolds there and going after a big bat 3B. A power hitting LF may be high on the list too or consider Angle, Hudson, Hoes, or Avery who could fill the leadoff role if roberts does not get back. But the #1 or #2 priority should be a solid starter or even two if they trade Guthrie. I hope the new GM has more of BUCKS outlooks on pulling the trigger faster. I like the 2B outlook with Adams, Hoes, or Miclat if brian doesn't get back. Yes the o's still say they project hoes at 2B. OUTSIDE of bell all the 3B candidates are A or lower. But there is no high end starter at AA or AAA this year. Maybe next year guys like Bascom,Drake or either Bundy might move into dominance but not this winter. Simon, Strop,Patton, or Eyre might be a start on next years bp but I don't see that probability in starters at this time.

I don't have to read the article, the headline is insulting enough and the taste is sour.

I also haven't acquired a taste for walking on a tightrope suspended between skyscrapers but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like it.

Gregg is the perfect closer for a loser team, manager, front office and owner. Wow, talk about consistency, we have it here.

What bothers me the most about this awful so called "closer" : Buck Showalter continuing to use him as though he really was a "closer." And then make excuses for him --- MacPhail somehow thought this guy was worth bringing to the Orioles: he was not. But it hurts more to see a manger we thought would bring some self-respect back to The Baltimore Orioles continue to use this bad player, bad teammate. Buck we expected more from you..

monday afternoon, Labor day, I'm watching the O's and yanks. the score is 8 to 5 in favor of the yanks 2nd inning, matuz doesn't have it any more he might as well plan on working for a living the rest of his life I think base ball is out of the picture! the O's just need a lot of help and I'm not sure buck is the man to manage bad teams I think he is more geared to manage good teams! honestly I think the O's need some good ball players but I also think they need a new coaching staff. If the pitcher is in trouble and keeps on giving up hits and walks and runs keep crossing the plate I think the pitching coach should come out and talk to the picher not wait until he keeps giving up runs and your team falls so far behind but that seems to be the way he operates! I don't know if that is Buck's orders or not!

Gosh, Don Stanhouse even had SOME control. Then again he had Earl Weaver as his manager too.

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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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