Gregg missed Ortiz, but is a hit with the fans

So this is what it took for some Orioles fans to get behind Kevin Gregg?

Based on calls to my radio show last night and some posts on here since the benches-clearing incident that started between David Ortiz and Gregg last night, most fans are thrilled with Gregg’s actions on the field. Some are just as pleased with his post-game comments.

When Gregg said “we are not scared of them and their $180 million payroll” you could almost hear more O’s fans cheering for him than at any point this season.

Buck Showalter said “there were a lot of things that led up to that and some people probably didn’t notice. We did.”

I wonder if he was talking about Ortiz standing at home plate and admiring his first-inning, three-run homer, which is exactly what he did.

Rick Dempsey, on the O’s Xtra postgame show last night said the Red Sox have been throwing at O’s batters for years and finally the Orioles said and did something about it.

“I used to watch the Red Sox throw at Tejada and Roberts (when I was coaching first) and no one on the Orioles club seemed to understand they were being thrown at on purpose. I love Big Papi, but sometimes Boston can go overboard,” Dempsey said.

We are all waiting to find out if this incident brings the Orioles together more as a team and pumps more life into this team.

It was nice to see them take a unified front in backing Gregg, who did not back down to Ortiz. The Orioles have been pushed around on the field for two nights by Boston and maybe they just finally got tired of all of that.

By the way, apparently Ortiz did not stick around after the game to answer any questions from the Boston media. That is pretty lame.

The incident certainly adds some spice to tonight’s game. Will the Orioles play then be as spirited as they were with their post-game comments last night?

Time to promote something: I get asked often about the Orioles efforts in international scouting. Coming up next week, I will examine this issue with in-depth interviews with Andy MacPhail and Ben Badler of Baseball America. You will read here starting Monday what MacPhail says on this topic and how Badler sees the O’s doing on the international front. I recently had a very long interview with MacPhail on the subject and will publish that interview in this space on Monday.

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