The fiasco that took place at Fenway Park is the responsibility of one man, Buck Showalter. This all began before the season began when Buck took a shot at Theo Epstein and the high payroll Red Sox. Showalter started to back track on these statements not too long after they came out. Maybe he realized he was the wrong person to criticize high payroll teams since his previous stops were all on high payroll teams. Showalter is still the ring less wonder. The best moves his previous teams made was to let him go as both the Yankees and Diamondbacks won championships the very first year without Buck. There is no question Buck is bitter about this. The chip on his shoulder coupled with his enormous ego make for a dangerous combination. This combination blew up Friday night in Fenway Park.
The Orioles and their “genius” manager were obviously upset because of the Red Sox eight run first inning. It went against the plan Buck had at the start of the season to “kick the ass” of these high payroll teams. So in the eighth inning Kevin Gregg attempted to hit David Ortiz with a pitch. He failed the first time and tried again, and failed again. He tried one more time, and one more time he failed. Three pitches, all way inside, but none making contact with Ortiz. It was obvious what he was doing even though he lacked the actual ability to do it. Ortiz took exception and both teams were warned. It was now a 3-0 count and Ortiz took a huge swing and popped it up. Gregg then motioned to Ortiz and shouted something in his direction. Immediately he was ejected by the home plate umpire just as Ortiz went and charged the mound.
The post game comments are the key. Kevin Gregg was apparently upset that Ortiz was swinging at a 3-0 pitch in a 10-3 game. Once again it appears the Sox had hurt the feelings of the Orioles, the team that is supposed to “kick the ass” of the high payroll teams this year. Gregg then talked about the pitches he threw at Ortiz and gave the standard line of trying to control both sides of the plate and that the Red Sox are whiners. Gregg’s comments smell of Showalter. The “we won’t back down to anybody” mantra is the preaching Buck has been doing with this team and Gregg has apparently bought all in. A once proud Oriole franchise has been a joke for quite a while now and they took another step back with the Showalter hiring, and now their behavior at Fenway has them crashing to a new low.
“What do we have to whine about?” asked Jonathan Papelbon following the game. Great point, the team that has the most to whine about on the field Friday night was not the Red Sox but the Orioles. The good news is they are only one move away from winning it all. Just ask the Yankees and Diamondbacks what that move needs to be.