Apr 21, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) is restrained by second base umpire Tripp Gibson (73) as he engages in a verbal altercation with Baltimore Orioles players prior to the eighth inning at Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays won 13-6. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Birds of a feather flock together. And there is no flocking going on right now between the Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays. In the real world of birds, blue jays as a species are the ornithological version of a cross between the town bully and village idiot.
The Orioles were indeed mugged by the Jays on Tuesday night 13-6, and frankly, it wasn’t as close as that score would seem to indicate. It was one of the poorest games I’ve witnessed the Orioles play since the infamous days of the Dave Trembley era. Buck Showalter said in his postgame interview on MASN …
"We didn’t play very well in a lot of areas of the game … We did a lot of things wrong that we normally do right, and I’m not happy about that."
As the game was progressing, I was thinking about how totally annoyed the O’s manager must have been with what he was seeing. The Orioles were making poor plays in the field, bad reads on balls in the air, missing cutoff men and allowing extra bases, and throwing the ball around like a beer league softball game. At the same time it must be said that Toronto was hitting the ball well.
However, this O’s team is one that is going to score runs most nights. If they can get some pitching, not be crazy on defense, and simply keep hanging around, they have a chance to get themselves back into a game where they’ve allowed some early runs by the other team.
Even so, no team can survive a starter giving up nine earned runs in 2.1 innings and hope to win a game. And that is what Bud Norris did on yet another night when his command iss missing, too many pitches are up in the zone, and even with decent velocity there is no late movement. He was shelled from both the top and bottom of the lineup. Norris is fooling nobody right now.
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A question that might be asked is how long can the Orioles go with a guy sporting a 17.42 ERA in hopes that his historical performances will return. I don’t know. Another two or three starts?
But the flying feathers of this orange and blue bird fight came particularly from Jose Bautista. When rookie Jason Garcia threw a ball behind him, he gave the “Don’t you know who I am?” glare at the 22-year-old. Unless Darren O’Day is paying off Garcia to throw at Bautista, I don’t think there is any chance at all that there is intent.
Of course, as would happen, Bautista immediately sends a homer over the center field wall, admires his shot, flips his bat, and displays a blue jay-like Blue Jays attitude with a slow trot around the bases. It did not sit well with the alpha oriole Adam Jones. It took little lip-reading ability to see that Jones was yelling, “That’s bull poop, and you know it!”
So there is some bad bird blood between these teams, and we haven’t even mentioned the Manny Machado / Josh Donaldson disaffection. Then there is the offseason crap that happened with this organization. But I cannot say that I dislike this emotion and commotion. Bring it on; it is interesting and will add to the fun of seeing the O’s defend their top perch from attack by the bullies and idiots.
Fortunately the loss only counts as one loss, and the Orioles will go at it again on Wednesday night with Ubaldo Jimenez taking the hill. Wow, it must be a new year when we are looking at UJ as the current ace to settle down a pitching staff that is getting hit all over the field.