O's Myers, Johnson agree to disagree Manager defends pulling of closer in 9th

September 20, 1996|By Jason LaCanfora | Jason LaCanfora,SUN STAFF

NEW YORK -- Orioles closer Randy Myers reiterated his disapproval of being removed from Wednesday's 3-2 loss, and manager Davey Johnson defended the move yesterday.

Myers walked the first two batters with a one-run lead in the ninth inning, then got the first out before being replaced by Alan Mills. Myers told reporters after Wednesday's game that he believes it is the closer's job to get three outs before allowing a run, and Johnson did not give him a chance to do that.

Yesterday, Johnson defended his insertion of Mills, who had retired 18 straight batters, and said he "did not take kindly" to Myers questioning his decision.

"This is not the place [New York] I want to start having discussions with my players, with all of the media attention," Johnson said.

The manager also said it was "a little bit disturbing" to see Myers nibble with the first two batters he faced rather than going after them.

"He's a good competitor," Johnson said. "I'd like to see him be a little more aggressive in the strike zone.

"Maybe it was just the situation he was in. The closer doesn't think that anybody should ever come behind him, but the guy coming behind him [Mills] has good stuff, too."

Myers wasn't convinced.

"I don't know too many teams that win, or have won, with multiple closers," he said. "If I am a left-handed setup man, that's what I have to live with. He's been putting me in one-run games and having me finish them. Last night he didn't do that and it came back and bit us."

Myers said his removal is a sign to him that Johnson also will be willing to pull his three, four or five hitters in the ninth inning if they don't match up well with a certain closer.

"If you're going to [replace your closer], then you're telling your team that you're going to do that in every position," Myers said.

Pub Date: 9/20/96

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