Kevin Gregg is fired up (and maybe a bit of an idiot)

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So, Kevin Gregg, who couldn’t hit David Ortiz with a pitch Friday no matter how hard he tried, took to the offensive after the game.

Gregg pretty much admitted he was trying to send the Red Sox a message with the inside fastballs to Ortiz in the eighth inning tonight.  It was obvious he was trying to drill Boston’s DH, preferably in the thigh or buttocks from the look of things, but he missed him each time.

You know what happened then.  The benches cleared after the third pitch.  After order was restored, Gregg threw a fastball over the plate that Ortiz popped up to right-center.  Gregg motioned and jawed for Ortiz to run to first as soon the ball left the bat.  Ortiz took exception, mayhem ensued and both players were ejected.

Said Gregg afterwards:

It is 3-0, they are up seven, and I think there are some ethics to this game and guidelines that you have to stay within. Run. You hit a lazy fly ball, you have to run the bases. And apparently, he didn’t like me telling him that stuff and he came out there. If he thinks there’s something wrong with me saying that, then he has other things he has to check out in this game.

Well, of course Ortiz didn’t like him saying that.  Particularly given the fact that Ortiz was running.  He didn’t stand around after the popup.  He started trotting to first just like he would have hitting a similar fly under typical circumstances.

Gregg wasn’t done, though:

They are going to whine and complain about it because they think they are better than anybody else, but we have just as much right to pitch inside. “You get tired of going out there and getting your butt kicked when you come in here you have to stick up for what is ours.

“I think we showed them we are not backing down. We are not scared of them and their $180 million dollar payroll. We are here to play the game, and we have every right to play the game and do everything we can to win.”

No, the Orioles weren’t there to play the game.   Their pitching was terrible for the second straight game, their pitching was non-existent and they lost 10-3 after dropping Thursday night’s game 10-4.  They’re now 1-7 this month.

The Orioles couldn’t beat the Red Sox on the field, so Gregg took matters into his own hands instead.  And he failed miserably because he couldn’t even make the statement he wanted to by drilling Ortiz.

But at least Gregg can take solace in the fact that his actions contributed to the five-game suspension Ortiz seems sure to receive.  If the Orioles can’t beat the Red Sox themselves, they’ve at least made it a little easier for some other team to pick up a couple of W’s against them later this year.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.