By Eduardo A. Encina
The Baltimore Sun
6:27 PM EDT, July 31, 2013
Shortly after Bud Norris was traded to the Orioles from the Astros, the right-hander made his way from the visiting clubhouse of Camden Yards down the hall to his new locker inside the Orioles clubhouse.
In between, he met with the Orioles media. Here's what the newest Oriole had to say:
On being traded to the Orioles:
The trade is exciting. My name’s been swirling for a while now so I’ve been prepared for it. I’ve seen a lot in four years down there in Houston with what’s going on. I commend them for that. It’s a very tough challenging time but I’m excited for the future. I’ve pitched myself into a situation to be traded and help out this team. This team has a great young club. They know how to contend. They had a great year last year. And I just want to be any piece of the puzzle I can to help this team keep pushing ourselves to the World Series.
On walking down the hall and going from one clubhouse to the other at Camden Yards:
Well I haven’t made it yet, but I’ll figure it out. It’s hard saying goodbye. There’s a lot of guys in that clubhouse who I’ve had relationships with over the years who I really appreciate and love and cherish including the coaches and trainers and all the rest. But getting into a new clubhouse, there are some guys I’m excited to meet, All-Stars and so forth. I’ve played against a couple guys in the minor leagues and crossed paths with other guys also. I’m excited to meet a new group of guys, a new coaching staff and really ready to show my talent to the AL East and go out there and pitch as well as I can.
On whether he thought about landing in Baltimore:
There were obviously more buyers than sellers. I think we can all speculate that Baltimore was in the hunt of things. I really thought once they got Scott Feldman my chances went down a bit but obviously we’ve got a couple guys now. You really can’t speculate too much. You can’t get your head wrapped around one city too much. It’s really out of your hands. I have no say in the matter of where I go. I don’t have any no trade clauses or anything like that in my contract. So I’m excited for the opportunity. I just want to get on the field as soon as I can and pitch. I do know they have a good young club, they’ve got a lot of good young players, Machado and [Adam Jones] and all the rest. So they’ve got some players and they want to go play.
On what he learned from being on the trade block:
I really think I’ve grown a lot, put myself in a position to just play it out. I went into spring and I had to battle to get the Opening Day nod and I did. I pitched very well up to this point but like I said, with a young team, I just felt it was in my best interest to communicate with them [and tell them] as much as I know, which is only four years worth because it’s going to help them carry along. … Now I’m excited to learn from some of the older guys on this team, because this game is never figured out. There’s no exact science to baseball. You’re always living and learning and taking tidbits here and there, so from one clubhouse to the next it’s going to be a change and a shock, but I’m going to bring my positive energy to the clubhouse and play hard.
On pitching in the AL East:
That’s what you talk about when you talk about a pennant race, this is a pennant race: The AL East. When you look at all five records in the division, they’re above and beyond most of the teams in the pack. That says something about the caliber of baseball being played in the AL East. We all know about it, the salaries and so forth – the Yankees and the Red Sox – and Tampa [Bay]. I’m here in Baltimore. I guess we’re going to fly under the radar, I don’t know, but I want to go out there and pitch and do my part.
On him pitching to contact:
I’m going to pound the strike zone. That’s my No. 1 priority as it is for any starting pitcher, to not give up walks. You have to pick and choose your sports and pitch around situationally and that’s something I’ve learned in a pitcher’s park down there in Houston. You’ve got to pick and choose your spots. But these guys have an unbelievable defense. I saw it last night on TV with their fielding percentage and so forth. All the gloves across the infield, even the stat they had across the scoreboard last night about Machado and Hardy covering that side of the infield for two years or whatever it is. It’s just crazy to know that you have legitimate gloves out there. I’ve watching Machado play out there on a daily basis. These guys can play all around. The guys in the outfield can get it too. I’m going to go out there and pound the zone, get some outs and put up some zeroes.
On whether there were any anxious moments leading up to the deadline:
It was more minutes than seconds. I didn’t know if it was going to happen early in the month or a couple days til. Seeing Feldman moved and Garza moved and Peavy moved obviously pieces were coming off the board so, like I said, I put myself in a position to be moved and show other suitor teams that I can pitch and can compete. That was really my focus. I think this is a great scenario for me and my family and I’m excited to bring everything I can to the city of Baltimore and to the Orioles.
On if he packed extra clothes in anticipation of changing teams:
I absolutely did. I didn’t bring five extra suticases like Peavy. They didn’t tell me it was imminent I was going to get traded. I still had my mind saying that it might not happen and I’d still have to pitch for two months in Houston but that’s not the case now. I definitely packed accordingly. I know we’re home for a little bit and then make a west-coast swing, which is perfect for me because I’m from the West Coast and San Franciso. I packed accordingly and I’ve got some clothes and I’m here to stay.
Copyright © 2013, The Baltimore Sun