The gathering of media at manager Buck Showalter’s pregame press conference today was larger than usual, with more local media and Boston media in attendance.
Showalter was asked about his team standing up to a club like Boston and was there any significance to what Mike Gonzalez and Kevin Gregg did in the series at Boston.
“I think how you stand up to them is you win,” he said. “They’re good, they are real good. So is Tampa, they won this division two of the last three years.
“You’ve got to play better. Play better. Practice harder. It’s not something to handicap beforehand, nobody really cares. Those are things that may sound good on the surface but you got to play better, they are very, very good for a long period of time. They’ve got good players, regardless of how and why and what have you. Play better,” he said.
Showalter was asked if there are any lingering bad feelings between these teams.
“We’re getting ready to play a game. They are a very good team obviously, we will take things as they come. We are dealing with some things physically with where we are. What happens between the lines, Tim Wakefield and the Boston Red Sox are enough challenge as it is to not, need to create something like that. You deal with situations as they come.”
Showalter said there is a chance that Mike Gonzalez will start serving his three-game suspension on Friday when the Orioles play Los Angeles. He also addressed the reduced three-game suspensions for both Kevin Gregg and Boston’s David Ortiz, which begin tonight.
“I’m a little biased on the fair part of it. I’m sure there’s a lot of thought process that goes into it that I’m not aware of. So, it is what it is and we’ll deal with it,” Showalter said.
Now with three players on the roster that can play left field in Felix Pie, Nolan Reimold and Matt Angle and Luke Scott possibly a day away from a return off the DL, will Showalter be able to find playing time for Angle, who made his major league debut here yesterday?
“I’d like to. The first question we ask when we think about bringing someone up is how would you use him. Matt brings, from a short watch in spring training, a guy that is pretty trustworthy on the bases and takes pride in the smaller parts of the game.
“He was impressive yesterday. We were impressed with how accurate he was throwing in the spring. He cares about doing the things that some other people may not be willing to do. I’m hoping there is some playing time for him, we’ll see,” Showalter said.