Simon talks about his return, Lee says little

I’ll start with Derrek Lee, since it’s the shortest transcription.

Lee is clearly frustrated that he’s on the disabled list. Can’t say that I blame him after dealing with thumb, wrist and foot questions in spring training. A strained oblique is the cherry on top of his melted sundae.

Reporters got their first chance to talk to Lee today since he went on the disabled list. He was nice enough to grant an interview and he remained courteous as always, but anyone who’s had contact with him since he joined the Orioles would recognize the change in his demeanor.

Asked if he’s frustrated, Lee forced a slight grin and replied, “I’m on the DL.”

Will he be ready after the 15 days are up?

“That’s what it is, 15 days,” he said.

Lee said he feels OK and improvement comes “day to day.” Unlike shortstop J.J. Hardy, who also had a strained oblique, Lee doesn’t think he’ll need at-bats at extended spring training or on a rehab assignment. However, manager Buck Showalter indicated later that Lee will need to get at-bats somewhere before being activated.

“Fifteen days,” Lee said. “That’s what I’ve got to wait.”

Lee shook his head when asked whether he’d undergo an MRI. All he’s doing is waiting to be activated on June 1.

Alfredo Simon met with reporters on the other side of the clubhouse and said he’d only take baseball-related questions. The Orioles removed him from the restricted list and placed him on the 25- and 40-man rosters, though they haven’t made an official announcement. It’s coming, though.

“Right now, I feel really happy I’m back with my teammates. I’m here to help my team win some games,” Simon said.

“The plan was they wanted me to be a starter, so I had to be ready to go. It took like a month to get ready, so I’m ready right now. They’ve got to decide what I’m going to do, if I’m going to be in the bullpen or be a starter. So I’m ready. Whatever they want me to do, I’ll do.”

He’ll be a long reliever until told otherwise.

“I can be a starter because all my career I’ve been a starter, so it’s not going to bother me,” he said. “Right now, my arm feels strong. I’m ready to go.”

Asked to describe his emotions, Simon said, “I feel happy because my teammates, they recognized me. Nothing changed. These are my teammates and they like me. I love them, too. I’m happy.

“I knew I was going to be here. I was late, but I’ve got major league stuff and I know when I was ready they were going to bring me over here.

“I feel comfortable with every pitch that I throw.”

Simon said he’s been able to concentrate on baseball despite a report that he’ll stand trail in the Dominican at an undetermined date as the primary suspect in the shooting death of a 25-year-old man on New Year’s Day. Simon was jailed for almost two months but never charged with a crime, which has forced some people in the organization to question the validity of the report.

“Yeah. I’m concentrating,” Simon said. “My mind is clear and every time I go out there I’m going to do my job.”

Simon is prepared for harsh treatment from some fans at home and especially on the road.

“I know the fans are going to say a lot of things and whatever, but I’m not going to listen to them,” he said. “I’m going to do my thing, the thing that I like. I’m going to take the ball and just do my job, do my thing.”

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