Last summer, reliever Kevin Gregg won over a few Orioles fans by yelling at David Ortiz, standing his ground when the burly designated hitter took a few steps toward him and ripping the Red Sox for their sense of entitlement.
Now it's Mark Reynolds' turn.
Reynolds already had been cheered more after heating up at the plate during the last homestand. Fewer people were wondering why he was in the lineup and on the 25-man roster. Fewer people were demanding that the Orioles eat the rest of his contract and point him toward the back exit of the clubhouse.
Last night, Reynolds went on the verbal attack following his ejection in a 5-3 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park. He basically undressed the umpires - chest protector and all - during a tirade that's going to cost him heavily in fines and perhaps retribution.
Let's just say, Reynolds won't be getting any close calls the rest of the season. In fact, he may be called out at the plate after completing his next home run trot.
Reynolds has always been one of my favorite interviews because of his sense of humor and honesty. If he's going poorly, which has been the case for most of the season, he won't come across as delusional and insist that the emperor is wearing clothes. He's willing to undress himself, too.
I found it refreshing earlier this week that he kept telling reporters it was "only one game" after being touted as a hero for homering against the Red Sox. In Reynolds' eyes, one swing wasn't going to erase four months of his season. Good for him.
It's also too late for Reynolds to erase the transcript from his tirade in Detroit. I've heard part of it - I'm trying desperately to get the video posted on this blog - and I'm not sure which line will cost him the most. You can choose between:
A. "It's embarrassing that they would overturn a call that obviously has an impact on the game in the middle of the pennant race."
B. "It's a shame they don't have accountability. If they make a bad call, it's like, 'Ho-hum, next day is coming.'"
C. "They're probably over there right now laughing about it, because they don't worry about it."
D. "It's almost like, 'Screw the Orioles' by the umpires.
I'm going with D.
I found it amusing that Reynolds said, "There's just so many words I can't say on this camera right now that I want to say." Trust me, Mark, you said plenty.
Fans for years have complained about the umpires' lack of accountability, about how a player gets sent down or released for failing to do his job properly, but the men in blue show up for work the next day without any repercussions. Reynolds actually "went there" following last night's game. Good for him. And bad for him.
Almost lost in all of this is how third baseman Manny Machado made a nice play by backhanding the ball and firing to Reynolds with his momentum carrying him into foul territory, and how Reynolds once again made the catch while ending up on his belly. It's become his patented move. Only this time, he didn't save a teammate from an error. Machado was charged with one, adding to the absurdity of the moment.
The Orioles reached the boiling point because plate umpire Tim Timmons blew a call in the first inning that cost them a run. Fuses already were short, if I can mix my metaphors. First base umpire Jeff Kellogg made the correct call on Jhonny Peralta in the fifth, consulted with Timmons after Tigers manager Jim Leyland argued, and reversed it.
Reynolds was ejected after spiking his mitt. Manager Buck Showalter pushed him out of the way and also was ejected. Only one chose his words carefully following the game.
Reynolds chose to accept a heavy fine.
Anyone willing to take up a collection for him?