Orioles, Tigers deny there are hard feelings


Monday's bench-clearing incident doesn't carry over to last night

May 02, 2007|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN REPORTER

DETROIT -- A day after both benches cleared following a verbal altercation between Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada and the Detroit Tigers' battery of Jeremy Bonderman and Ivan Rodriguez, both sides said there was no lingering animosity.

"I'm not mad at anybody ... but there is no doubt in my mind that [Gary] Sheffield was thrown at on purpose," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I don't have any ax to grind with anybody from Baltimore. I love Sam Perlozzo. He's a good guy. I don't know Tejada that well, but Tejada is a great player and personality. ... But there are two sides to every story. ... It happened, it's over and it's forgotten about. We aren't making a big deal about it."

The benches cleared Monday when Bonderman threw a ball that was headed for Tejada's legs before he jumped out of the way. It occurred two innings after Orioles pitcher Daniel Cabrera hit Sheffield on the arm with a pitch.

After he was nearly hit, Tejada pointed his bat at the pitcher and started exchanging words with Rodriguez.

However, both teams acknowledged the impetus for the fracas was Tejada's at-bat in the third inning. Bonderman threw a pitch that got far in on Tejada, who felt he needed to swing to protect himself. The ball, which went in fair territory, shattered Tejada's bat in two. After the inning, Tejada was seen in the dugout angrily gesticulating and even pointing toward the Detroit dugout.

"I don't blame their pitcher one bit," Leyland said. "You've got a superstar veteran player that thinks, which was not the case at all, that he was being thrown at. Well, he swung at the pitch. He's ranting and raving. Well, his young pitcher - you've got a superstar veteran player and you've got a young pitcher - what do you think he's going to do? So he drilled him. OK, Sheffield went to first. He knew he drilled him. But then to put on that show after he comes up - there ain't no free lunch."

An angry Tejada said after the game that he didn't tell Cabrera to hit any Tigers, but he did tell him to "make sure you pitch them the same way they pitch me."

Penn out till August

Orioles vice president Jim Duquette confirmed yesterday that Hayden Penn, one of the organization's top pitching prospects, will have surgery today to repair a bone chip in his right elbow. The surgery, which will be performed in Baltimore by team orthopedist Dr. Andrew Cosgarea, will keep Penn off the mound from 10 to 12 weeks.

"It's something that he's been dealing with for the last couple of years," Duquette said. "It's been manageable, but [the chip] has gotten larger and progressively worse. The doctors felt that it was best to have it removed now."

Duquette said the organization hopes Penn will be able to pitch in August or September and then pitch in a fall league. Penn, 22, made just one start for Triple-A Norfolk this year before he was sent to the club's minor league facility in Sarasota, Fla., to rehabilitate.

Millar, Perlozzo meet

A day after saying he was getting frustrated with his lack of playing time and he didn't know what his role was, Kevin Millar had a lengthy, closed-door meeting in Perlozzo's office. Perlozzo urged Millar, who was in the starting lineup for just the third time in the past eight days, to stay patient.

"It was a good conversation," Millar said. "The bottom line is, be patient with the situation. It's not going to resolve itself out today or tomorrow or the next day. We've just got to play it out, and we'll see where we're at. You get frustrated because of the wins and losses. This isn't about me. It's about the Baltimore Orioles. At times, my emotions get heated, but Sam and I have a good relationship that way."

Perlozzo said he had no problems with Millar's comments on Monday.

Around the horn

On the disabled list with right triceps tendon tightness, reliever Scott Williamson made a rehabilitation appearance for Single-A Frederick on Monday night and gave up one run and a hit in an inning. Perlozzo said the reports were fine and Williamson will make at least three more rehabilitation appearances, two two-inning outings, before he is activated. ... Injured starter Jaret Wright is expected to have his shoulder examined tomorrow in California by Dr. Lewis Yocum.


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