By: Bob Elliott
We thought no one would wearing a Blue Jays uniform would ever take over for former manager Cito Gaston when it comes to getting showered with boos or being disliked by Orioles fans. Yet, Jose Bautista is coming close to the overall lead. Gifted scribe Dan Connolly asks the question “Is Bautista Public Enemy No. 1 now at Camden Yards" on his BaltimoreBaseball.com blog.
New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira of nearby Annapolis. Md. who said he wanted to be an Oriole come free agent time then signed in the Bronx, plus David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox have been the most disliked players in the past .
Gaston’s crime? Well, he didn’t use Mike Mussina in the ninth inning of the 1993 all-star game. It wouldn’t have been so bad had Mussina, an Oriole at the time, not got up on his own and warmed up in the American League bullpen.
Hall of Fame manager Spark Anderson told us on the Tuesday before the game that Gaston was holding back both Pat Hentgen of the Blue Jays and Mussina for extra innings.
Duane Ward pitched the ninth in a 9-3 AL win. Jimmy Key worked an inning allowing a run, while Hall of Famer Robbie Alomar had a base hit and knocked in a run and Devon White doubled in a run. Paul Molitor, Joe Carter and John Olerud were hitless.
BACK IN SHAPE? Jesse Chavez said his back was much better after playing catch with pitching coach Pete Walker Thursday afternoon. When did he injure his back?
“Playing catch with the outfielders in the bottom of the first (Tuesday),” Chavez said.
And about then a voice from across the room said “you watch, now Major League Baseball will ban that too.”
Manager John Gibbons told reporters he didn’t think Chavez would be available.
Gavin Floyd worked two innings (33 pitches) in Tuesday’s walk-off loss to the Orioles. So, Gibbons and Walker would have available Roberto Osuna, Drew Storen, Brett Cecil, Pat Venditte and maybe Joe Biagini, who threw 27 pitches getting two outs in the bottom of the 10th before Josh Thole missed a sinker. Thole caught 94 pitches from starter R.A. Dickey -- most of them dancing knucklers -- only to have the winning run score on a sinker. It would appear from his reaction to the pitch he was crossed up by rookie Joe Biagini.
JOSE, JOSE: Booed in every at-bat, singled in Wednesday’s extra-inning loss and Bautista has now hit safely in nine games against the Orioles a stretch that goes all the way to June 20 of last season. He’s also reached 29 consecutive (including post-season) the longest in the majors and six games at Camden Yards. The Yankees are 5-for-68 with runners in scoring in their past eight games, according to ESPN’s Baseball Tonight. Bautista has six hits with men in scoring position in the same time frame, going 6-for-11 (.545).
BOMBERS: Josh Donaldson homered Tuesday and only Barry Davis, not Hazel Mae too, had to hide under the umbrella. Since the start of 2015 Donaldson leads all third basemen with 42 homers and is second behind only Colorado’s Nolan Arenado (48) who tops the majors ... Edwin Encarnacion has 72 career RBIs against the Orioles, the second most against any opponent behind only the 75 he has against the Boston Red Sox. Lifetime Encarnacion is a .300 hitter with 38 RBIs at Camden Yards.
CHIP OFF THE YOUNG BLOCK: Windsor’s Brett Siddall, son of Joe Siddall, who sometimes gets a word in edgewise on the Jays broadcasts when allowed by partner Jerry Howarth, earned Canadian Baseball Network Player of the Week honors for Week II. Siddall, drafted and signed by Oakville’s Matt Higginson of the Oakland A’s in the 13th round last year hit .455 (10-for-22) with four RBIs for the class-A Beloit Snapper this week.