See what I did there? “Bad to Glad”…it rhymes. Yes, I know I am a talented writer. Enough about me…the reason my view on the Orioles team went from bad to glad is because of the bench clearing incident that occurred in last nights game against the Boston Red Sox. Yes, the Orioles got trounced again, but at least they didn’t let the Red Sox bully them around.
I was actually driving in my car late last night thinking about what exactly I would write for this blog post. I didn’t want to just write about how the Orioles stink and try to figure out what they can do to turn it around. Instead I figured I would write about how the players are responsible for wins and losses and need to be held accountable for the Orioles failures. I was going to write about how the game isn’t what it used to be. There is no more “for the love of the game”. It would go on and on, but basically it wasn’t going to be in a positive light on the Orioles players. However, I heard on the radio that the Orioles and Red Sox got into a bench clearing brawl. Of course I got on the internet, watched the video, and read what happened. That is when I became glad.
For now the blog post on how disappointed I am with the Orioles players as a whole will have to wait. Instead I am here to tell you how proud I am of the Orioles as a team. I wrote back in spring training when Buck Showalter called out the Red Sox and Yankees for their enourmous payrolls how I was happy he did that. He was actually standing up to the big bad Yankees and Red Sox. I said back then and I will continue to say it…If the Orioles lose, then they lose, but at least go down fighting. Finally, Kevin Gregg took charge and did that. Kevin Gregg just got a new fan. I was even more impressed with his comments after the game.
I know I am an Orioles fan, so yes I probably tend to come to the Orioles defense more often than not, but I also will say when the Orioles just plain stink and are embarrassing themselves. Like I was going to do before the benches cleared last night. I say that because I think I am looking at what happened against the Red Sox last night as a guy who grew up playing baseball, respecting the game, and loving the game as a fan. I am only 25, but I consider my views on the game to be that of more of an old school approach. I wish I could have seen the game played when players ran hard every play. I could go on, but I think you get where I am going with this.
I am going to try my best not to watch or listen to any national broadcasters opinions on the benches clearing last night. This is because I know they are going to just point out how bad the Orioles have played and how they stink and they will use that to blame the Orioles for what happened. Maybe the Orioles deserve that after the way they have played baseball the last decade plus. However, those lazy broadcasters aren’t fairly judging what took place last night. I actually heard a radio sports talk host preview the incident by saying the Baltimore “Stinking” Orioles. Yes, they stink, I get it. Even though that is probably a reason the Orioles players emotions boiled over it wasn’t the main reason. The main reason was David Ortiz.
I didn’t watch the game, so I am relying on the video and reading the recap of what happened. First, David Ortiz hits a home run and does his usual walk up the first base line. Yes I know its a lot to ask a guy paid millions of dollars to run up the line. Especially when he is a DH and doesn’t even play the field. However, if the Orioles pitchers can’t get him out then you can’t really complain that the guy is walking up the first base line. Most hitters now do walk and watch their home runs. It’s the way it is.
Second, Kevin Gregg was pitching to Ortiz later in the game and threw back to back pitches inside to Ortiz. Now, there is NEVER an excuse to throw at a players head. Outside of that, I believe pitchers have the right to pitch inside. This is still a game played by grown men. Not ONE of the inside pitches to Ortiz was even above his thighs. Not ONE of the pitches actually hit Ortiz. Why is Ortiz so mad!? Because multiple pitches were inside? Has the game become so wussified (wussified I believe is an actual word, it comes from French origin) ((ok I made that last thing up)) that once pitchers give up a home run to a player they can’t pitch inside to them the rest of the game? If you ask me, Ortiz had NO business mouthing off acting like a tough guy after those pitches.
Lastly, Ortiz hits a fly ball that is to shallow right center and is caught. On his way to first base Gregg mouths off to Ortiz, pointing at him and reportedely tells him to either run to first base or run back to the dugout. If you ask me its tit for tat…is that the right saying? Ortiz mouths off and points at Gregg, well Gregg was just standing up to him like a man and showing Ortiz that he can also point and yell like a moron.
Then the benches cleared and punches were thrown. I saw Gregg, who is a pretty big guy himself, stand up to Ortiz. I also saw Matt Wieters right there in the middle, which I was very happy to see. Wieters, although disappointing at the plate, is really winning me over. He plays the game right, is an amazing defensive catcher, and I can see him becoming the team leader for years to come. He stood right there in the middle of everything and went after Ortiz. Also, Felix Pie has a temper, and I like it. We saw it during the off season when Pie flipped out in a winter league game and again last night. Pie makes some boneheaded decisions on the field, but he also brings a lot of energy and passion to the field and I wouldn’t mind him having my back when the benches clear.
People will mock the Orioles for being over matched on the field, meanwhile, David Ortiz cheated the game when he came up on the 2003 list of alleged drug users. Ortiz denied taking steroids, but who hasn’t tried that defense, cough, Rafael Palmeiro, cough. Wait, I forgot the coughing thing only works when your actually speaking and not writing it. So let me get this straight. David Ortiz is listed as 6 foot 4 and 230 pounds (I’m 6’5 and 230 pounds and I’m not half as big as Ortiz), but we will go with what is listed. So Ortiz is a 6 foot 4, 230 pound man who allegedly took steroids and likes to point his finger and act like a tough guy. Meanwhile he is so scared of a baseball he has to wear a giant elbow guard so he can crowd the plate. Then when a pitcher does try to pitch inside he gets mad. I can’t blame Ortiz, unfortunately the steroids probably shrunk his balls instead of that melon he calls a head. Ok, I’m getting personal, I shouldn’t of brought up his melon head…I apologize.
Anyways, for one night I am proud of Kevin Gregg for not backing down. The Orioles are over matched in talent and payroll by the Yankees and Red Sox, but that doesn’t mean they should let other teams push them around. The Orioles don’t need to play dirty, but if other teams are going to push, the Orioles should push back. Baltimore fans will hope that this lights a fire underneath the Orioles. I don’t know if it will, but for this Orioles fan and this one night, I am proud of my team.