Russ Canzler, the Matador

March 08, 2013|By Dan Connolly | The Baltimore Sun

We’ve been telling you for the last year that the Orioles clubhouse is pretty loose. Here was another example of that, courtesy of newcomer Russ Canzler’s big day on Wednesday against a Team Spain club made up of minor leaguers and independent leaguers.

Canzler, who is fighting for a reserve job as a first baseman-outfielder, didn’t realize that his two-homer, six RBI performance Wednesday wouldn’t count toward the spring stats until after he came out of the game and got some razzing from his teammates.

“Steve Pearce said to me as soon as I got off the field, ‘Too bad those don’t count,” said Canzler, who is fighting with Conor Jackson, Pearce and others for a job. “And I said back to him, 'Hey they really don’t count anyway. All these games don’t really count.’ But it’s in good fun, though.”

Canzler said the best shot about his dominance of Team Spain came from Orioles closer Jim Johnson.

“Jim Johnson called me the Matador [on Thursday morning] when I walked in,” Canzler said. “I thought that was pretty funny. That was pretty good.”

I told Canzler that the press had actually dubbed him, “The Conquistador.”

“I like that, too,” he said, smiling.

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