Reliever Ross Wolf was excited to have his parents fly into Norfolk yesterday. He had no idea that their arrival would come on the same day that the Orioles traded him to the Oakland Athletics for utility man Jake Fox.
"Bittersweet," he said.
I had a brief chat with Wolf this afternoon while he waited for his flight to Las Vegas, where Triple-A Sacramento was playing later that night.
Wolf, 27, said he found out about the trade after arriving at the ballpark yesterday, though both teams kept it quiet until today. His wife had just dropped him off, and pitching coach Mike Griffin was waiting for him.
"He told me to go straight to the office, and don't say anything to anybody," Wolf said. "To be honest, I was surprised. I had no idea. I've never been traded before. Of course, I'm excited, but I'm also shocked."
Wolf, signed by the Orioles as a minor league free agent in 2008, posted a 2.11 ERA in 25 games with the Tides. He was 4-2 with a 3.95 ERA last season, but never drew serious consideration for a promotion. The Orioles invited him to spring training, but that's it.
"Anytime you're traded, it's a great opportunity," he said. "I'm getting to the point in my career where I've got to get up there somehow. Don't get me wrong, I love the Orioles organization. They've always treated me well. No complaints. But I've got a better opportunity.
"Their arms are stacked right now, especially in the bullpen - Norfolk and the big leagues. It's stacked. You've got Dennis (Sarfate), (Armando) Gabino, Jim Miller is throwing well. That's just how it is. It's a business.
"I remember talking to my dad and brother on the phone. I'd be like, 'Man, what else do you have to do?' But this is an opportunity, that someone else out there likes you and wants you. It can be the jumpstart to my career."
I used to pass Wolf and his wife, Lynn, in the second-floor hallway of the Hilton in Sarasota just about every day at spring training. Wolf was always pushing the stroller that held his six-month-old son, Eli.
"Everything I do is for him and my wife," he said. "It changes your life. And it's sad leaving them again. I just got back from a nine-day road trip and saw them for a day. Now I probably won't see them for a week."
The Orioles are trying to see their first lead tonight, but they're running out of time. Luke Scott's sacrifice fly in the eighth reduced Florida's lead to 7-4.
Hanley Ramirez has 14 RBIs in his last four games against the Orioles.
Tough night for second baseman Scott Moore. He missed a line drive that drove in a run, appeared to be late covering second on a stolen base and committed a throwing error while trying to turn a double play that allowed the Marlins' seventh run to score. He's 1-for-3 at the plate.