Going into last night's game there were two questions in everyone's mind:
- Would Friday night's brawl clear the air for the O's and perhaps propel them to play better?
- Would there be any retaliation on either side?
- The O's lost 4-0 last night so if you're basing it on wins and losses I suppose the answer is no. However the Birds didn't appear to have the tightness or stiffness that's been commonplace over the past couple of weeks, and they most certainly didn't get blown out of the water as they have in so many other games. After Friday's game the entire clubhouse appeared to be united around Kevin Gregg; Adam Jones specifically said he had "no problem whatsoever" with how things went down. So let's say it's a work in progress.
- Nick Markakis was hit on the elbow, however in my opinion that didn't appear to be anything for the most part. In fact, I think you'd have to try to hit someone where Markakis got plunked. However in the 7th inning Derrek Lee was very suspisciously hit in the back by John Lackey, which appeared to very much be on purpose. (Both benches were warned immediately.)
Prior to last night's game David Ortiz publically apologized for the fight, however he did still come out and blame Kevin Gregg for what happened. Gee, that was some apology. I'm still a bit frosted that Ortiz neglected to speak to the media after Friday's game, which I see as an act of cowardice. Gregg on the other hand was very open about what happened, and he even still seemed to take that same standoffish attitude. So then Ortiz comes out with his passive-aggressive slap across the bow (disguised as an apology) in his normal jovial manner, and...you can guess where public opinion lies. In reading various blogs, message boards, etc. this morning, most people are siding with David Ortiz. When I say most people, I'm saying most non-Oriole/Red Sox fans. In his "appology," Ortiz said that the Orioles don't play the game as it should be played which is why they're losing. Excuse me Mr. Papi sir, the game isn't supposed to be played by showing up your opponent every opprotunity that you get. To put that in a broader fashion, we're not all as infatuated with you and your teammates as all of you are.
All day yesterday I expected that the umpires would issue formal warnings to both dugouts when the managers exchanged lineup cards, which did not happen. That provided the Red Sox the opprotunity to plunk an Oriole without much fear of retribution, because they knew that both dugouts would be warned once it happened. Bad move on the umps' part; had they warned both teams beforehand it would have cut all of that off right away. Going into today's game if both benches are issued a warning, that would basically not allow the Orioles that same courtesy of retaliating. So the question is, whether to retaliate or not to do so? Speaking for myself, I have no problem cutting off my nose to spite my face to prove a point.