Trembley, Mora Say They've Worked It Out

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Notebook

Manager, Third Baseman Meet In Private Before Game

August 04, 2009|By Dan Connolly | Dan Connolly,dan.connolly@baltsun.com

DETROIT -- A day after third baseman Melvin Mora publicly called out manager Dave Trembley for disrespecting him, the two met behind a closed door for about 15 minutes to clear the air.

"We had a very nice conversation today. I always feel that 24 hours after, you have an opportunity to communicate and express some thoughts and concerns," said Trembley, who was joined in the meeting by third base coach Juan Samuel. "I think [Mora] did that and I did that, and I think everything is completely understood."

After not being in the lineup for the third time in four days, Mora verbalized his frustration Sunday, saying he didn't accept Trembley's reasons for the benching and felt the move was personal.

On Monday, a much calmer Mora, who again sat in favor of Ty Wigginton, said he felt there was "miscommunication" that has been cleared up.

Trembley "just wanted everything to move forward from now," said Mora, who entered Monday batting .256 with three homers and 27 RBIs in 285 at-bats. "My problem is not playing time. I cannot go out there and ask for playing time when I'm hitting .250 or .260. Come on. I cannot go out there and ask to be in there every day. We never talked about that. We talked about respect, and that's the only thing."

Mora said he believes the lineup is the manager's decision and that he didn't need an explanation for why he was sitting. But he said he felt the ones Trembley offered weren't completely honest. And, as the longest-tenured Oriole, he said felt he deserved that courtesy.

Mora said he's "not to that point" of asking for his release but assumes this, his ninth year as an Oriole, is his last.

"Whatever happens the next 24 hours, the next week, the next two months," Mora said, "I just want to walk out of here with my forehead up so that everyone can remember me as a great Oriole and not as a son of a gun."

Mora also said he doesn't regret speaking out.

"I'm glad I said it because that's the way I feel," he said. "When I feel something like that, I'm always going to tell everybody."

Wieters to catch Matusz ...

Brian Matusz will be the sixth starter to make his major league debut for the Orioles this season, but his will have a different twist.

When Matusz, the club's first-round pick (fourth overall) in 2008, takes the mound Tuesday at Comerica Park, 2007 first-round pick (fifth overall) Matt Wieters will be behind the plate.

"I think it is a very special, special game to have two first-round guys, in Matusz and Wieters, back-to-back years, to be here together," Trembley said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence."

Trembley was criticized last week for not having Wieters catch top pitching prospect Chris Tillman in his debut, instead choosing Gregg Zaun, who caught the Orioles' other four big league debuts this season. The Orioles are 5-0 in those games.

"I think it is a little bit different than Tillman. Tillman is a guy we acquired [from the Seattle Mariners]. This is an Oriole guy, Matusz, and so is Wieters."

Matusz worked out at Comerica Park on Monday in preparation for today's start but was instructed not to talk to the media because his recall won't be officially announced until today.

"I brought him in and talked to him a little bit, and he said, 'Hey Dave, you think I can get an Oriole hat?' He said, 'The only hat I've got is a Bowie Baysox hat,' " Trembley said. "I said, 'I think I can take care of you.' "

Trembley said he's excited for Matusz's debut.

"For everybody that's been an Orioles fan, it's Christmas Eve," Trembley said. Today "we get to open another present. That's how I look at it."

... Zaun to catch Guthrie

Trembley said there's a secondary reason Zaun isn't catching Matusz today.

"It also allows Zaun to try and see what he can do to try and get [Jeremy] Guthrie back on track" Wednesday, Trembley said. "But I think the first issue overrides the second."

Guthrie, who is 7-10 with a 5.37 ERA in 21 starts, is 6-1 with 4.44 ERA and has allowed seven homers in nine starts with Zaun catching. He is 1-6 with a 6.69 ERA and 13 homers allowed in nine starts throwing to Wieters. Earlier in the season, Guthrie was 0-3 with a 5.14 ERA and allowed six homers in three starts with Chad Moeller catching.

Around the horn

Left-hander Chris Waters joined the team at Comerica Park on Monday but has not been activated. He is there as insurance in case the beleaguered bullpen needs an extra arm. ... The Orioles will have to make a roster decision today when Matusz is activated. It's likely they'll send struggling starter Jason Berken (1-9, 6.93 ERA) to Triple-A Norfolk. Waters could be a candidate to take Berken's scheduled start Friday. ... Trembley said he would prefer keeping lefty Mark Hendrickson in the bullpen for now. ... The Tampa Bay Rays released 2005 first-round pick Wade Townsend, who battled injuries and never made the majors. He was the Orioles' first-round pick (eighth overall) out of Rice University in 2004 but didn't sign.

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