Umpires show fear of Red Sox in O’s series

A struggling Orioles team limped into the All-Star break after suffering a four game sweep delivered by the Boston Red Sox. The Orioles had issues in every aspect of their game during the series, their starters didn’t go deep enough, their defense hurt their run differential and the offense didn’t get it done with runners in scoring position.

These are the things that the Orioles have some control over while on the diamond. What they cannot control is an overwhelming Boston fear by this particular umpiring crew over the weekend.

Some Baltimore fans will tell you that umpires favor Boston, but I’m sure that like the rest of the country, they can’t stand the obnoxious atmosphere brought by the charming fans of Boston. No, umpires certainly aren’t bias when it comes to the Sox, they’re afraid.

The Orioles scuffle with the Red Sox on Friday night went well documented. Kevin Gregg threw inside to David Ortiz, Papi left the batters box to yell at Gregg, the benches cleared, Gregg yelled at him when he flew out and a brawl ensued. That was two games into the series.

On Saturday, John Lackey hit Nick Markakis after the Sox took a 3-0 lead and the umpiring crew said nothing. Markakis had a word with the ump after the inning ended, but no warnings were issued. Lackey hit Lee later in the game and then both benches we warned. So, after a brawl the night before which was started by a pitch inside to a Boston player, the Sox were allowed to retaliate twice and the Orioles were warned for it. Figure that one out. “Retaliate” isn’t even the right word, Ortiz never even got hit. Keep in mind too that the Red Sox lead all of baseball in hit batsman.

If the umpires weren’t afraid of the Red Sox, they would’ve thrown out Ortiz after he left the box to jaw at Gregg on Friday. This would have eliminated the brawl and the other plunked players. That didn’t happen. The teams should have been warned when the lineup cards were submitted by Buck Showalter and Terry Francona on Saturday after their respective teams were throwing punches the night before. That didn’t happen. John Lackey should have been thrown out for hitting the Orioles best hitter, Nick Markakis, after his team took a three run lead. That also didn’t happen. Lackey should have also been ejected for hitting Derrek Lee, but like you guessed, he wasn’t and the umps gets the brouhaha alive again.

Which brings us to Sunday. Kyle Weiland hit Vladimir Guerrero and Mark Reynolds and was ejected. A frustrated Jeremy Guthrie, who hit Kevin Youkilis, vented about the umps to Jeff Zrebiec of The Sun.

“I’ve said it before: Sometimes those who are in control of the game — I know the umpires have to control it — show a lack of feel by not understanding what is going on,” said Guthrie, who hit Kevin Youkilis with a changeup to load the bases with two outs in the fourth inning, resulting in plate umpire Marty Foster’s warning both benches.

“I think that’s … not having been in the situation, not having played the game at a high level, probably. You got first and third and you throw a changeup to the guy trying to get a ground ball, and I miss up and in. If they really had issues with people being hit, they could have warned the benches the second time one of our players were hit versus the third hit batsman of the game on a changeup on a situation where I clearly wasn’t intending to hit a gentleman. It’s difficult, but I’m sure nothing will happen and we’ll just keep going forward from there.”

Simply put, this is poor game management by this umpiring crew. An issue that could have been resolved before a brawl even ensued Friday night escalated into mayhem for three days because this crew is afraid to discipline the Red Sox. It’s ridiculous. Absolutely absurd. Major League Baseball needs to look long and hard at this series and at how Marty Foster and his crew handled every situation. The Orioles, victims of their own play over the past week, also became the victims of poor game management and game awareness by umpires and that is simply unacceptable.

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and host of the BSR Podcast. He's a loyal Orioles, Ravens and Capitals fan who is obsessed with baseball, loves traveling, In-N-Out Burger and Walt Disney World.

31 Comments

  1. albuquerque

    July 11, 2011 at 8:07 am

    You’re right. The Orioles are a far better team than the Red Sox. They just had some “issues to work out with their hitting, starting pitching and defense, and then there were the scared umpires”. If it wasn’t for all that , they are a superior team. :D :D :D

    Showalter embarrassed himself with the preseason GQ interview that was basically parrotted by him and Gregg in their postgame comments Friday night. They acted like a hysterical/scared Don Knotts character while yelling “They have all the advantages and we have none!!!!!” As mentioned, Showalter started that rant even before the season started.

    Your headline should be corrected by replacing “Umpires” with “Orioles”.

  2. Bard

    July 11, 2011 at 8:08 am

    If the umpires are afraid of the nation, then that is all the other team’s fans fault. Be better fans and maybe umps will side with you. Go Sox.

  3. Greggb

    July 11, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Couldn’t agree more that the umpiring crew didn’t handle things well. But your version of events is incredibly one-sided. Gregg didn’t just “throw inside” to Ortiz — he tried to hit him with three straight pitches. When Ortiz took steps toward the mound, the ump should have thrown out both Gregg and Ortiz.

    There were times when both teams threw at the other; there were times when players on both teams were hit without intent. The crew didn’t seem to mix up the two.

    I agree they blew it — but because of incompentence, not being afraid to discipline the Red Sox. If I had only read your article and not watched the series, I would think that only the Orioles were punished. Nonesense — I think four Red Sox were tossed, if I’m not mistaken the same number as the Orioles.

  4. Carl

    July 11, 2011 at 8:28 am

    @albuquerque

    Writer never even inferred that the Orioles were the better team, how did you get that out of this article? Go back out to your desert, find yourself, smoke some hippy lettuce and do whatever other Zen crap you do out in New Mexico.

  5. Zach Wilt

    July 11, 2011 at 9:13 am

    @Bard – Yeah you’re right. O’s fans should starting throwing batteries at outfielders. No onse should strive to be like Red Sox fans. They’re the most obnoxious in the country.

  6. MungoJerry

    July 11, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Ortiz has had a miraculous recovery from when he couldn’t hit water if he fell off a boat.

    Cheater.

  7. Storm

    July 11, 2011 at 11:32 am

    @Bard – Look, the Red Sox have the populous northeast all to themselves, dozens of large cities with millions upon millions to draw from. Baltimore has, well, Baltimore, a mid-sized city. Unless the Orioles won the WS every year and attracted regional bandwagon fans there are other markets that will always have more potential fans. MLB should strive for fairness despite this, no?

  8. Kobefan

    July 11, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    @ Storm: What a buncjh of excuse makers.

    It’s one thing to lose. It’s another for the manager, players and fans to blame it on everything other than performance.

    There’s a word for people who spend more time explaining away their deficiencies on everything other than the person in the mirror.

    The Orioles and their fans are just embarrassing themselves at this point.

  9. The Intimidator

    July 11, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    @KOBEFAN? You base your name on one of the biggest whiners in basketball, blaming his teammates and refs every game as well as the woman he raped in Colorado. And then you say Oriole fans are embarrassing themselves with the whinning… Really “Tiny Dancer”?

    No Oriole fan is blaming anyone, just showing the preference that some teams get. Your the typical idiot that see’s only one thing. Bet you think that every foul should go Kobe’s way…

    Your the type of clown that goes around telling everyone you were in “Nam”. But you don’t tell them that you oversaw a sweatshop there in “93”. That Muchacho does not count as a tour of duty…

  10. J Jones

    July 11, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Teams that struggle always find superior issues away from the field. Look Os, if you are going to throw at a Boston batter your selection has to be their lead-off hitter and top infielder. You have to take him out of the game or several games. Do not be kind and throw behind an old man. In the next series be prepared to do that. Boston and New York are in pennant drives. If they want to engage in throwing at a last place team, well, that is just plain dumb by their manager. Francona green lights the throws. If he is that stupid, then oblige him. He has more to lose than to a team struggling again to stay out of the cellar. And if you are an Os pitcher you always, always deny you throw at any one, in fact do not even respond to the damn question. If you want to fight, find a ring. Like a championship kind.

    Next, one thing Os pitchers are very good at. Well, that is missing the location almost all the time. I’ve never seen a staff year in and year out that can not locate. Velocity is one thing, but location is another. When you come to majors you should damn well know how to locate or be willing to stay down until you do.

    The pitching staff is depleted…6-20 lately…ERA almost 7.00…get the work in … save the throws, but build the arms. 2011 is now a bust. And it only took one bad month. Bring up Fox, put Weiters at first…ship out those last season acquisition power slots [trade, release, whatever it takes to clear from the roster] their RBI production is zero…rosters should have productive players or they buy a ticket to the game with the other fans …no starter over 4-5 innings…locate inside away from power … same old issues … need two power pitchers, more hitters on the left side … and five solid day-in and day-out positional players.

  11. nick

    July 11, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Listen here all you stupid ass orioles fans, you are the cock suckers that are in last place and can’t you guys can’t take a sweep. Go cry somewhere else. Go red sox.

  12. Kobefan

    July 11, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    @ “Intimidator” (aka, 97 lb Nearsighted Asthmatic)

    Kobe = 5 Championship Rings

    Angelos’ Orioles = ?????????

    I hate Boston as much as the next (they’re the only ones who’ve had more Championship Parades than us the past decade), but they stomped you after your unbalanced manager said how much he loved kicking their ass in GQ last spring.

    That’s an epic and public STFU for Showalter.

  13. Kobefan

    July 11, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    David Zurawik in the Baltimore Sun calls out the ENABLERS.

    There’s a culture of enabling in Oriole land. I’m sure Zach Wilt is a great kid, but this is a cultural problem in “Charm City”.

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/tv/z-on-tv-blog/bal-baltimore-orioles-tv-baseball-masn-20110711,0,6533433.story

  14. The Intimidator

    July 11, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    @KOBEFAN – You’re something of an idiot savant aren’t you Warrior? You pegged me… Wow… That’s the type of man you like isn’t it? You have quite the eye for the “dice dangling Latin lover types”… Save your breath Dingo, you’ll need it to blow up your date…

    Enough of your personal life, lets get back to sports…

    You mention ass stomping which in a way is kinda like your Kobe getting his ass stomped this year by the Mavericks 4 games to zip in the playoffs. You recall right? Kobe was crying the blues about the refs and yelling at his teammates. You know, blaming everyone else for the ass stomping he got.

    As much as you like to attack the Orioles, from 2010 back 20 years the Orioles are 108-97 against your Los Angeles / Anaheim / California / New Mexico / Guatamala / Las Vegas / Hollywood / Sausalito Angels… So even as the O’s are bad they still seem to beat the “Hippie Lettuce” out of your team…

    So look “Movie-star”, go back up to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and continue selling your “Maps to the Stars Homes” cause someone is waiting to see where Steve Buscemi lives…

  15. The Intimidator

    July 11, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    @NICK – Your a real asset to this conversation Champ… You sure they didn’t over drug you today down at the Free Clinic Muchacho?…

    BTW, how’s that prison shank coming?

  16. Carl

    July 11, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    @nick

    Typical Red Sox fan. Listen here Dicky Eklund, take yourself on down to the corner “bah”, score yourself another bag of smack and sharpen up your four letter vocabulary. Lowell is a beautiful place for you to continue your miserable existence before you OD on some bad stuff.

  17. albuquerque

    July 11, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    I guess the only time Baltimore gets some national attention from other fans is when the play NY or Boston.

  18. Carl

    July 12, 2011 at 7:57 am

    @albuquerque

    Yea, kinda like the only time you get attention is when you parade around in your drag queen clothes.

  19. spy

    July 12, 2011 at 9:52 am

    The umps are doing the right thing , the O’s don’t deserve any consideration with the pitiful team Angelos and Andy put on the field,,,,,,,,,,Until they are serious about putting together a real team they will get shunned and rightly so,,,,,,,,,,,this team is a joke a is being treated as such , the truth hurts , Angelos continues to shaft the great fans of Baltimore , you should be used to it by now,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I can’t believe anyone still follows this team…………

  20. Pingback: Ohmygod SHUT up. You are making baseball look bad! « Too Soxy for my Shirt

  21. OriolesWhine

    July 12, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    The Orioles are pathetic losers. All they do is whine. That is what happens when you are inept at your job on the field as is EVERY SINGLE current Orioles player.

    If you can’t handle the heat stay out of the kitchen. You started the fire then whined when you got burned. Classic loser.

    Your team is full of losers. Your media is full of losers and the fans that don’t support your team unless the Sox or Yankees are in town are also losers. In fact your whole state is full of losers.

    If The Intimidator with his 1970′s mustache is the best you’ve got calling yourself a fan then no wonder your team is so pathetic.

  22. Lauren

    July 12, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    The Orioles embarrassed themselves and their fans with their poor sportsmanship.
    But it didn’t really impact the Red Sox, see. The Red Sox couldn’t hear all the whining from waaaaayyyyy up at the top of the ALE.

    I don’t blame Kevin Gregg, really. Or Gonzalez. Or Guthrie. I don’t usually blame the toddlers. I blame the parents. Shame on you, Bucky.

  23. The Intimidator

    July 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    @ORIOLESWHINE – First let me say that your wife enjoys the tickle of my mustache so as long as it please’s her then you should be happy because your wife was telling me that having sex with you is like a roller coaster ride. Over far too quickly and afterwards she wants to throw up.

    Luckily for you she doesn’t know about your other life and how your “friend” doesn’t respect you Dirk Diggler… You work hard washing dishes at “IHOP”, making the big bucks, however he’s still cruel and laughs at you when you’re naked, but you keep going back for more… Why? Because he’s the only male prostitute you can afford…

    2nd Dingo, its always funny that clowns like you run their mouths like little bitches only to put up a fake name or no pic.

    And then Rainman goes and throws out the ole “If you can’t handle the heat get out of the kitchen” comment… Can’t wait till you use “If you can’t run with the BigDogs, stay on the porch”… or “Catch you on the flip side”… or “Nanoo, Nanoo”…

  24. C. Shumyungi

    July 12, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Missy lauren you barras youself with you comments.

    ORIOLEWHINEPRUNK you no not what you say. you jerkboy. you come here tralk trash but fraid of mister MG, Mister intimidator, mister SPRY, Mister Carr, mister zach wilt. where you rive jerk? what you favrite team. do you have go to ribrary to use computer? i see you as rittle boy who rives in mommys basement reading comic brooks and do hippree rettuce

  25. Carl

    July 12, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    @OriolesWhine

    Yet another Dicky Eklund in the house. Crawl back to your crack pipe and tell us again how great Lowell is.

  26. Carl

    July 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    @Lauren

    So you’re going by “Lauren” now? The operation is done?

  27. Ravens2488

    July 12, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Carl, He’s “Lauren” now? Wow! Good for him getting the operation.

    OriolesWhine might be a little upset cause he enjoys the “Dangling Dice”. But he always has Bruce in Cell Block 6 that he can go back to. The yell of “Choo Choo” can be heard when OriolesWhine goes prancing by.

  28. C. Shumyungi

    July 12, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    mister Carr you funny guy. i rike you humor. you, mister mg, mister Pole, Mister SPRY, MISTER Intimidator all bust on goofs Orioleswhine, Rauren (she was guy), arbequrque, Kobrefan and they go pray in mommy basement with barbie baby.

  29. C. Shumyungi

    July 12, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    ha ha crowns

  30. C. Shumyungi

    July 12, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    probrum?

  31. Pingback: An Everyday Story of David v Goliath – Red Sox “Entertain” The Baltimore Orioles « Seven and Seven Eighths