Francona aggravated by Showalter’s words
Terry Francona did not take kindly to Orioles manager Buck Showalter’s comments regarding Boston’s GM Theo Epstein, and the usually reserved Red Sox manager expressed his annoyance prior to Sunday’s game against the Orioles.
“[I] just thought that was a little bit out of line — I don’t think he’d be appreciating if I said something about Andy [MacPhail, Orioles president of baseball operations], which I wouldn’t,’’ Francona told Boston reporters from the visiting dugout. “None of my business. And for the record, I think Andy’s really good.’’
Showalter addressed his much-publicized comments –which appeared in April’s issue of Men’s Journal – on Thursday and was not asked to regurgitate that discussion on Sunday. He did make clear last week that he didn’t mean for the two quotes in question to be perceived as him attacking anyone.
“I didn’t really say it in that [context],” said Showalter, who told the magazine Yankees captain Derek Jeter backs off on balls at the plate to get calls, and praise for Epstein is overrated given that Boston’s two acquisitions, left fielder Carl Crawford and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, had more to do with the club’s large revenues than the GM’s cunning work.
Francona said he initially wasn’t upset because he heard about the story “third-hand”.
But when he went back and read the article in question, he was “aggravated”.
“I don’t think that’s anybody’s place,” Francona said. “That’s my boss. I was actually kind of aggravated a little bit. It’s not the end of the world but I thought he shouldn’t have done it.”
Showalter also told the magazine, “That’s why I like whipping their butt. It’s great, knowing those guys with the $205 million payroll are saying, ‘How the hell are they beating us?’ ”
He admitted on Thursday his remarks may have had a little jealous undertone.
“Maybe it is envy or something on my part,” Showalter said on his comments. “But obviously you all know what I think of Derek and the success the Red Sox have had. Hopefully, we can get to their level one day.”
The Orioles went 3-3 against the Red Sox under Showalter, and Francona remarked that he didn’t remember Baltimore beating his club that much. Maybe it was a different schedule,” he said.
Francona added that he doesn’t plan on addressing the article with Showalter, although it clearly got under his skin. Showalter has said that he doesn’t feel a need to mend any bridges and chalked up his comments to the typical gamesmanship that goes on in baseball’s clubhouses.
Given the size of the media market of New York and Boston, Showalter wasn’t surprised that the article had become a hot-topic in New England, and MacPhail — who calls himself “conservative by nature” — told MLB.com Thursday that he didn’t have any inherent problem with what was said.
“It’s probably not my first choice [for airing opinions], but I don’t really think it’s a big deal,” said MacPhail, who added that it will all blow over in a few days.”If that’s how [Showalter] feels, that’s how he feels.
“I think we all understood when we interviewed Buck, one of the things we were looking to get was somebody that has a personality about him, has some success,” MacPhail added. “This is part of it. You raise the profile of the team which is a good thing, and we just got to do everything we can to make sure we play as well as we can. Which we’ve done.”