Gregg, Jones, Markakis & Britton on the melee
Here’s the reaction from the Orioles’ clubhouse tonight following a 10-3 loss in which four players –including Kevin Gregg and Jim Johnson — were ejected two outs into the bottom of the eighth.
Gregg told David Ortiz –who drew a 3-0 count and took offense to the inside balls — to run out the fly ball he hit and Ortiz charged the man. Chaos ensued as both benches and bullpens cleared.
Here’s what they had to say..
[on what happened]
To me it’s a situation Ortiz, the place to get him out is in. you got to pitch him in. The first pitch wasn’t too far off the corner and he jumped away like it was at his head. Next pitch was a little bit further in, he didn’t like it, he stared at me. I’m still going to go in there, I’m not going to let him lean over the plate like he did to [Brad Bergesen] lined a ball back up the middle. Or he’s hitting stuff off the wall, he’s real comfortable in there.
The best way to get him is out is pitch him in, I’m pitching him in. 3-0 they are up seven. I think there is some ethics to the game you got to stay within. [So I told him to] run. Hit a fly ball, a lazy fly ball, you got to run the bases. Apparently he didn’t like me telling him that stuff and he came out there. It’s part of the game, he has a right to come out there. I’m going to defend myself if he comes out.
[on taking the inside part of the plate back]
There’s 17 inches on the plate. You got to use all 17 inches. If you don’t you are going to get your ass kicked every time you go out there. So that’s what we’re doing, that’s what I was doing when I was out there. They are going to whine and complain about it because they think they are better than everybody else. But no, we have just as much right to pitch inside as they do.
[on if he felt the game simmering earlier]
No, we are playing the game of baseball. You got to go ask David what he was thinking. It’s 3-0 and you are up seven runs and the opposing pitcher gets upset with you hitting a weak fly ball and not running. If he thinks there’s something with me saying that, than he’s got other things he needs to figure out in this game.
[on the Orioles entire team backing him]
This is a team sport. I take offense to every run scored off every one of our pitchers, I take offense to every one of our hitters that’s hit every time out there. we are a family we spend more time with these 25 guys than I do with my own family. And I take it personal.
And so, to be able to go out there, you get tired of getting your butt kicked every night when u come in here. I’m going to stick up for what ours and try to get the plate back.
I think you showed them that we are not backing down. We are not scared of them and their $180 million payroll. We don’t care. we are here to play the game, we have just as much right to play the game here. And we are going to do everything we can to win.
You hate to see it, but it was sure-as-[heck] necessary in that situation. We’ve been getting hit around a bit and [forget] it, we took some blows back. That livens everything up in here. We need to come out and use that as some ammo.
[on the situation]
You have to stand up for yourself. I’m not mad as how that situation escalated one bit. We’ll just use it as an ammo and get after that, and hopefully that energy carries us into tomorrow, and the second half o the season.
[on if he's proud of Gregg:]
Exactly, 100 percent. Couldn’t be prouder.
[on what happened]
I like the guy, I like Ortiz. I respect the way he plays the game, but I think it was a little bush league, bottom of the eighth, up by six, two outs, swinging 3-0. I don’t think we were hitting anybody intentionally there.
If it has to come down to that, it has to come down to it. He knows how to play the game. I think he’s going to look back at it and realize that he screwed up there, but what happened, happened. It’s over.
[on Ortiz charging the mound]
I don’t understand why he went after him. It’s a 3-0 pitch, two outs and you have a guy tagging up and a guy swinging at a 3-0 pitch in a six-run game. It doesn’t make sense. He knows the game better than that. Put them on our side and us on their side. It’s a little bush league. Like I said, I’m sure he’s going to look back and realize that he made a mistake, especially charging our pitcher regardless of what was said.
[on if this moment can help the Orioles]
If you ask me, this happened in the right spot at the right time. We still got two more games left with these guys and we have seven more games after the break. We’re going to see them. We’re going to get our opportunities and they’re going to get their opportunities. We’ll see how it works out.
[on the 8th inning]
Pretty crazy. It’s part of the game but those two pitches, I was in here watching the game, the two pitches that Gregg threw to Papi weren’t even close.
So it was unnecessary for him to stare in and act like a tough guy, Kevin’s not going to back down if you are going to stare at him like that. There’s no reason we are trying to hit him. We are getting our ass kicked, we are not trying to hit him. That’s what you get. Big papi, he is what he is. And that’s what happens.
[on the post fight feeling]
The atmosphere in here right now is great. I’m not saying this is what baseball is about, but I think this brought us a little closer. Hopefully we can start playing some good baseball the next two days and it starts with the starting pitchers.
We kind of got to pull our head out of our ass and start pitching because otherwise we are not going to be here very long. So it’s really frustrating. You can make excuses all you want, this is only my first year, I’ve only faced them twice, but at the end of the day pitching is pitching and we had to do something right to get to this level and obviously I’m not doing it right now.
[on his outing]
[I'm] pretty much embarrassed, I think. It’s unacceptable. If you want to pitch at this level you can’t do that. Especially since the way we’ve been throwing the starting rotation, to go out there and not even get out of the first inning it’s kind of a joke.
I really need to step up my game and start going deeper into games.