Gonzalez’s wife is expecting their first child, which factored into his decision. It’s also clear that the Orioles would prefer that he stay in camp.
“Obviously, this is more important than me going down there,” he said. “This is my first big league spring training. I’ll be focused on doing my stuff here first.
“It was a tough decision, but you always have to think about what’s going to happen in the long run, so I think it’s more important for me to be with the team.”
The Orioles couldn’t prohibit Gonzalez from pitching in the WBC.
“They told me it was my decision,” he said. “My wife told me, ‘Hey, I think it’s more important for you to stay here.’ “
A smile creased Gonzalez’s face.
“I decided to stay,” he said.
I’ll pass along quotes from today’s press conference in my next entry, but here are a few more tidbits:
* Manager Buck Showalter, without going into detail, hinted that Brian Roberts hasn’t been completely free of any health issues this winter. He said Roberts is working out now, and Showalter remains encouraged that the second baseman will be full-go in spring training.
* Executive vice president Dan Duquette said he’s still hoping to add a veteran starting pitcher. He isn’t as encouraged about finding a hitter for the middle of his lineup. He engaged in numerous trade talks, but other teams are asking for too much of his young pitching.
* Mark Hendrickson said he felt good during yesterday’s tryout, as he continued to experiment with a new delivery. He’s been throwing with a sidearm motion, and he actually dropped down lower yesterday while working with pitching coach Rick Adair. Hendrickson never retired and will try to find a job elsewhere if the Orioles don’t sign him.
* Wilson Betemit also is working out at Camden Yards and said his right wrist feels good. He’s ready to play wherever the Orioles use him.