September 2013

Showalter and Girardi on the stealing signs altercation

As the playoff races heat up, emotions boiled over between the Orioles and Yankees on Monday night, with managers Buck Showalter and Joe Girardi engaging in a heated on-field exchange that involved accusing Baltimore of sign stealing.

The incident –which briefly caused both benches to empty– took place after the first inning, with Showalter coming out of the home dugout to yell at Girardi, although the Yankees skipper had already made his complaint known to Oriole third base coach Bobby Dickerson.  Showalter, who held to be restrained by the umpires as he came out angrily, pointing and shouting ‘That’s not right, Joe” took particular exception to the fact that Dickerson was getting accused.

“Somebody’s wearing black and orange, I’m not going to let that happen,” Showalter said of the accusations. “I know Bobby Dickerson pretty well and so I knew Bobby might have something to say on his way back to the dugout. And he did.”

Dickerson, a first-year coach on Showalter’s staff, said the yelling from the visiting dugout started immediately when he got out there and it took him a few minutes to realize what was going on.

What were Girardi’s words?

“’I know what you’re doing’,” Dickerson recanted. “Yelling it, body language, pointing at me. That’s it. And I’m a grown man, that’s all. I don’t see why he was yelling at me. I just said, ‘You don’t know anything. You don’t even know me to be yelling at me.’”

“I assumed it [was about stealing signs] I guess after.  I was still trying to figure what happened. [Leadoff batter] Nick [Markakis] was just batting. As a matter of fact the ball was in the air and going off the wall when we were having our first exchange.”
Both  Dickerson and Showalter adamantly denied the Orioles were stealing signs, although Showalter didn’t take particular exception to the accusation so much as a member of his coaching staff taking the verbal lashing.

“I think when people are at second base you, or we, constantly change our signs with them and the other clubs that you see a lot in our division,” Showalter said. “Obviously, we’re not, in our mind, it’s not happening so … It was something in our dugout our guys were wondering what in the world [the exchange] was all about. Because obviously [sign stealing] wasn’t happening.”

Girardi declined to even confirm his accusations, telling reporters after the game only that he was trying to look out for his team.

“The one thing that I’ve done, the whole time that I’m here, and everywhere I’ve been, is I’m going to protect our players at all lengths,” he said. “That’s what I’m going to do, and there was something that I saw and I’m just going to leave it at that.”
Asked if he would reach out to Showalter, Girardi reiterated he was going to “leave it at that”, while Showalter said, even if he was planning to talk to the Yankees skipper he wouldn’t broadcast it through the media.

“I gained a lot of respect for Joe over the last couple of years, especially when he was going through the thing with his dad last year in the playoffs,” he said. “Two competitive good teams and we’re fighting for the same thing, so there’s a small margin for error. I look at those things the first 10 or 15 pitches every night. There’s certain little check points. I go around the field to see if everything’s in order before you get into the game. But Bobby’s not giving pitches.”

Following the yelling, the benches briefly emptied with order restored after several minutes and no ejections issued. Oriole starter Chris Tilman was informed of the warning before he opened the second inning and said he –like some of his teammates—were baffle as to what was going on in the rare on-field manager spat.

“I don’t get into theatrics or whatever,” Showalter said. “If I feel something, I’ll express it. Simple as that. And Joe will, too. I don’t get into the history or the protocol. I could give a-you-know-what less. It strikes a chord in me and I stand accused. And so does Joe. We’ve got two good teams and we’re competing for something very special with 19 or 20 games left and nobody’s going to apologize here for caring about giving both of our teams the best chance to win.”

Showalter and Giradi exchange words as benches clear

Both benches cleared after the first inning tonight, with Orioles manager Buck Showalter yelling at Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who television cameras caught jawing at O’s third base coach Bobby Dickerson as he jogged to the dugout.  Showalter, who had to be restrained by the umpiring crew, was screaming ‘That’s not right,” and holding up an index finger and order was restored after several minutes with no ejections.

Oriole starter Chris Tillman was issued a warning by home plate umpire Ed Hickox before the second inning started.

You can watch the television clip recapping the altercation here.

Orioles @ Yankees lineups and pregame notes

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the Orioles will start a stretch of 20 games –all against the American League East– to end the regular season. The O’s enter the day tied with Cleveland and two games behind Tampa Bay for the second AL Wild Card spot. It’s a crowded race, with the Yankees in town for a four-game set to close the Orioles’ eight-game homestand and New York is just a half-game back of the O’s.

*Nick Markakis’ wife, Christina, is scheduled to induce labor for the couple’s third son on Wednesday morning and assuming all goes well, Markakis is planning on playing later that night. Manager Buck Showalter said he has Markakis as “iffy” for that night’s game against the Yankees right now.

The right fielder, marred in the most prolonged slump of his career, is leading off tonight with second baseman Brian Roberts getting the day off in favor of Alexi Casilla. Casilla is 16-for-31 off Yankees starter CC Sabathia and Showalter said this was a good spot to give Roberts a breather with the team having just one more schedule off day.

*Steve Pearce got a cortisone injection in his ailing wrist on Friday and Showalter hopes he can return for the club relatively soon. Pearce’s first eligible date is the 12th, which is probably a reach at this point.

*Infielder Alexi Liddi has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk, the Orioles announced this afternoon.

*The Orioles will host the team’s Fall Instructional League at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota from September 16 through October 8, with games free and open to the public.

The O’s roster features 54 players total, including 27 pitchers, 10 infielders, 10 outfielders and seven catchers. An additional six players, including top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy, were listed as rehabbing. Their top two draft picks this year, pitcher Hunter Harvey and outfielder Josh Hart, are on the active roster as well as Cuban outfielder Dariel Alvarez.

The games are played on the Main Field, with parking available in the East Lot at no charge. Spectators may enter the ballpark through the East Gate. The full Instructional League season schedule is available online at www.orioles.com/sarasota, with the home schedule below:

Monday, September 16 – 1:00 p.m. vs. RAYS
Thursday, September 19 – 1:00 p.m. vs. RAYS
Friday, September 20 – 12:00 p.m. vs. TWINS
Saturday, September 21 – 10:00 a.m. vs. ST. PETERSBURG COLLEGE
Monday, September 23 – 1:00 p.m. vs. RED SOX
Monday, September 30 – 12:00 p.m. vs. TWINS
Tuesday, October 1 – 1:00 p.m. vs. RED SOX
Saturday, October 5 – 10:00 a.m. vs. PHILLIESc
Tuesday, October 8 – 10:00 a.m. vs. PIRATES

Here are your lineups…

YANKEES LINEUP
Brett Gardner CF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Curtis Granderson DH
Eduardo Nunez SS
Lyle Overbay 1B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Austin Romine C

CC Sabathia LHP

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Manny Machado 3B
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Danny Valencia DH
J.J. Hardy SS
Michael Morse LF
Matt Wieters C
Alexi Casilla 2B

Chris Tillman RHP

Orioles @ Indians lineups and pregame notes

Greetings from Cleveland where the Orioles will go for the series in the rubber game and conclusion of a three-city, nine-game road trip…

*Jason Hammel will be activated when the team returns to Baltimore, although he’s probably not available to pitch until at least Friday. Hammel made his second rehab start for Double-A Bowie last night and you can read more on that here.

*The Orioles announced the addition of three new members to their Sarasota staff today: Amy Tuten has been named Manager of Sponsorship Sales, Kirsten Ladendorf has joined the club as Manager of Catering and Suites and Scott Moudry. Trevor Markham has been promoted to Director of Operations.

*Brian Roberts is DH’ing for the second consecutive game, which is a product of manager Buck Showalter wanting to work some guys –like Ryan Flaherty– back in the mix. It’s been a long trip and this is a little breather for Roberts, who has posted up every day.

*The Casey Cares 5K race, held August 3 at Camden Yards, raised 69,642.65 for the Casey Cares Foundation, more than doubling the amount raised at any of the previous three races. The organization provides uplifting programs with a special touch to critically ill children and their families.
ORIOLES LINEUP
Brian Roberts DH
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Matt Wieters C
Nate McLouth LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty 2B

Zach Britton LHP

INDIANS LINEUP
Michael Bourn CF
Nick Swisher 1B
Jason Kipnis 2B
Carlos Santana DH
Yan Gomes C
Asdrubal Cabrera SS
Ryan Raburn LF
Mike Aviles 3B
Drew Stubbs RF

Zach McAllister RHP

More on the rotation shuffle

Left-handed pitcher Zach Britton will start Wednesday’s series finale against the Indians as Baltimore goes to a six-man rotation for at least the next week.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter met with the starters prior to Tuesday’s game in Cleveland and let them know the plan moving forward —which involves moving back the rest of the rotation a day—is basically to play things by ear.

The O’s, who are vying for a playoff spot, will now have ace Chris Tillman pitch against the Yankees on Monday, with the rotation for the four-game White Sox series that starts Thursday lining up as Miguel Gonzalez, Scott Feldman, Wei-Yin Chen and Bud Norris.

“We’ll revisit it around the ninth,” Showalter said of the rotation, which could include rookie righty Kevin Gausman later this month. “The first time we really have two guys to pick from.”

Britton, recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Monday, is coming off his best start of the season Wednesday for the Tides and he’s worked hard to get back to his delivery from 2010.

“It’s exciting,” Britton said of getting the nod. “Another opportunity to come up here and show that I’ve made adjustments. Hopefully, [I’ll] give this team some innings and give the other starters a little breather, which is nice in September.”

In two career starts at Progressive Field, Britton is 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA and he will take the spot of Gonzalez, who is coming off his worst outing this season. The right-handed Gonzalez has never faced the White Sox and will now get an extra days’ rest and pitch at home.

Britton will have a full week between starts, but said he doesn’t think that will be an issue because Norfolk was on a six or seven-man rotation for most of the year so he’s used to it.

“It doesn’t…for example, Tillman makes the same number of starts,” Showalter said of the move. “We have some other options, too. See where Gaus is most valuable for us. It plays into who is healthy in our bullpen right now and who might need someone else down there.”

Orioles @ Indians lineups & Pregame notes

*Zach Britton, who was recalled yesterday from Triple-A Norfolk, will start tomorrow’s series finale against the Indians. Britton is coming off his best start of the season Wednesday in Triple-A and the move allows the rest of the Orioles rotation to be pushed back. The rotation for the White Sox series that starts Thursday will now be Miguel Gonzalez, Scott Feldman, Wei-Yin Chen and Bud Norris.

“It’s exciting,” Britton said. “Another opportunity to come up here and show that I’ve made adjustments. Hopefully give this team some innings and give the other starters a little breather, which is nice in September.”

Britton made four starts in the final month of the season last year and said it’s more exciting to get this opportunity given that the O’s are in must-win mode.

“There’s more weight on these games,” he said. “So, you’re excited to go out there and give this team a chance to win. Hopefully I’ll give us a better chance of going to the postseason tomorrow.”

In two career starts at Progressive Field, Britton is 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA. Gonzalez, who is coming off his worst outing this season, has never faced the White Sox and will now get an extra days’ rest and pitch at home.

Britton will have a full week between starts, but said he doesn’t think that will be an issue because Triple-A Norfolk was on a six or seven-man rotation for most of the year. He’s used to it by now.

*The Orioles officially added four players today in Ryan Flaherty, Jonathan Schoop, Josh Stinson and Henry Urrutia. For more on those moves, you can read yesterday’s item here.

*Major League Baseball announced the postseason schedule and you can find all the dates and times here.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Brian Roberts 2B
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Michael Morse DH
Nick Markakis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Nate McLouth LF

Chris Tillman RHP
INDIANS LINEUP
Michael Bourn CF
Nick Swisher 1B
Jason Kipnis 2B
Carlos Santana DH
Michael Brantley LF
Asdrubal Cabrera SS
Jason Kubel RF
Yan Gomes C
Lonnie Chisenhall 3B

Ubaldo Jimenez RHP

Rodriguez earns Pitcher of the Week

Orioles pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez has been named Eastern League Pitcher of the Week for the week ending Monday, Sep. 2.  Rodriguez is the second pitcher for Double-A Bowie to win the award this season, joining Eddie Gamboa.

Rodriguez had a strong finish to the season, going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA over 14.0 innings in his final two starts. He allowed seven hits while striking out 11 batters and walking just one.

The youngest player in Major League Spring Training, the 20-year-old lefty was ranked the Orioles third-best prospect by MLB.com entering the year.

In his final four starts, Rodriguez went 3-0 with a 0.36 ERA and overall was 4-3 with a 4.22 ERA in 11 Double-A starts. He went 6-4 with a 2.85 ERA in 14 starts with Advanced-A Frederick to start the season.

Os to add Schoop, Urrutia and Stinson

The Orioles are expected to add four additional players to their roster in advance of Tuesday’s game in Cleveland in outfielder Henry Urrutia, infielders Ryan Flaherty and Jonathan Schoop and pitcher Josh Stinson.

Flaherty, who was optioned to the Minor Leagues last week, will be recalled from Class-A Frederick while the rest are coming from Triple-A Norfolk whose season ended with a 1-0 extra-innings loss on Monday. Stinson would have started for Norfolk had they advanced to the postseason and the right-hander will join lefty Zach Britton –recalled on Monday– in adding some length to the Orioles bullpen.

Urrutia spent some time with the big league club already this year and was optioned in mid-August to get some consistent at-bats. He had a .269/.269/.308 slash line and two RBIs in 21 games with the Orioles. Schoop, the club’s top position player prospect, hit .255/.298/.397 through 69 games with Norfolk and missed part of the season with a lower back injury. He will be play in the Arizona Fall League along with Urrutia.

The organization will also send a group of reserves to Sarasota, Fla. to continue working out in an instructional league of sorts in case they’re needed later in the month. Lefty starter Tsuyoshi Wada and outfielders Chris Dickerson and Jason Pridie are among that group.

The Virginian Pilot first reported the callups.

Orioles @ Indians lineups and pregame notes

Greetings from Cleveland, where the Orioles will try to follow up yesterday’s 7-3 sweep-avoiding win in New York. They’ve got three against the Indians to cap a three-city, nine-game roadtrip.

Here are your pregame notes..

*The Orioles have recalled lefty Zach Britton from Triple-A Norfolk and he will provide some length out of the bullpen. Britton found out about the promotion yesterday and arrived this morning in Cleveland. Coming off his best start of the season, Britton said he worked with pitching coach Mike Griffin on getting back to his old delivery, finding old You Tube footage from Double-A Bowie in 2010 and the pair tried to mimic that in every bullpen session.

Britton joins catchers Chris Snyder and Steve Clevenger as new additions with the roster expansion and he could be a starting option moving forward.

*Orioles manager Buck Showalter could also give rookie Kevin Gausman a start soon. Gausman, who tossed two scoreless innings for a back-to-back outing in relief on Sunday, could pitch through the end of October as a starter and be OK innings-wise.  The question now becomes what’s best for the team? Gausman has pitched well out of the ‘pen, but with some recent shaky starts and a September with no off days, Showalter could give the young righty a start down the stretch.

*Ryan Flaherty, who was optioned to the Minor Leagues last week, is expected to rejoin the team for tomorrow’s game in Cleveland. Flaherty is currently with Class-A Frederick and their season ends today so he’s eligible for roster expansion.

*Matchups for the final two games of the series are RHP Chris Tillman vs. RHP Ubaldo Jimenez and RHP Miguel Gonzalez vs. RHP Zach McAllister.

*Some good stuff in the Orioles pregame notes for today…

Designated hitter Danny Valencia has recorded six straight multi-hit games dating back to Aug. 4, batting .591 (14-for-22) with four doubles, two homers, five RBIs and four runs scored over that stretch. The last Oriole to post seven straight multi-hit games? Vladimir Guerrero from May 14-21, 2011.

J.J. Hardy –who homered yesterday– is one homer shy of becoming the fourth active player and ninth player since 1901 to record three or more seasons of 25-plus homers as a shortstop. He would join Alex Rodriguez (seven), Miguel Tejada (six) and Troy Tulowitzki (three). The five retired shortstops with three or more 25-plus home run seasons are Cal Ripken Jr. (eight), Ernie Banks (seven), Nomar Garciaparra (four), Jose Valentin (three) and Vern Stephens (three).

Hardy is the third Oriole shortstop with three consecutive 20-plus homer seasons.

Here are your lineups as Bud Norris faces the Indians for the first time in his career…

ORIOLES LINEUP
Brian Roberts DH
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Nick Markakis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Nate McLouth LF
Alexi Casilla 2B

Bud Norris RHP

INDIANS LINEUP
Michael Bourn CF
Nick Swisher 1B
Jason Kipnis 2B
Carlos Santana C
Michael Brantley LF
Asdrubal Cabrera SS
Jason Giambi DH
Lonnie Chisenhall 3B
Drew Stuffs RF

Justin Masterson RHP

Orioles @ Yankees lineups and pregame notes

*The Orioles made a flurry of catching roster moves today, designating Taylor Teagarden for assignment, purchasing Chris Snyder’s contract and recalling Steve Clevenger from Triple-A. Teagarden was informed of the move last night and he has enough service time that he can reject an outright assignment if he does clear waivers. The Orioles could also explore a trade.

Why the additions? Snyder had it in his contract that he would be part of September’s roster expansion while Clevenger is someone the Orioles want to take a look at and could compete for the backup job next spring.

*They also designated Triple-A outfielder Eric Thames for assignment and purchased the contract of Double-A Bowie’s right-handed pitcher Eric Beaulac and put him on the 15-day disabled list. It behooves you at this point in the year to have as many guys on the DL as possible since they become potential postseason roster spots.

*Manager Buck Showalter said the team could add some pitching in advance of Monday’s series opener in Cleveland, although they have an eight-man bullpen as it stands right now and since starter Scott Feldman went deep yesterday they’re in pretty good shape. That could all change today, of course.

*One potential callup is lefty starter Tsuyoshi Wada, who threw six scoreless innings for Triple-A Norfolk last night. Wada is expected to be part of roster expansion later in the month.

Here are your lineups as the Orioles try to avoid a series sweep….

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Manny Machado 3B
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Michael Morse LF
Danny Valencia DH
Matt Wieters C
J.J. Hardy SS
Brian Roberts 2B

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

YANKEES LINEUP
Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Vernon Wells RF
Mark Reynolds 1B
Eduardo Nunez SS
Ian Stewart C

Andy Pettitte LHP

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