John Russell praises Matt Wieters for protecting Bud Norris on Saturday

The Baltimore Sun

BOSTON -- Orioles catcher Matt Wieters jumped in front of Boston's David Ross when he started yelling at right-hander Bud Norris on Saturday to defuse a tense situation.


It's not something that catchers necessarily learn, but Orioles catchers coach John Russell said it's an unspoken rule of the game that one of the catcher's main jobs is to protect his pitcher.


After taking two sliders that sailed up and in while trying to bunt, Ross yelled to Norris.


"It's been in baseball forever," Russell said. "You're taught as a catcher that, if a guy charges the mound, your job is to not let him get to the mound, if you can. If they start saying something or whatever, and they start going that way, your job it to get in front of it and diffuse it quickly, if you can.


"Matt got in front of it. That's what you're supposed to do. The thing as a catcher is that you never let a guy get to your pitcher. You just try to get in front of him or chase him down if he starts running. I think the big thing is you try to stop it before it starts."


That's exactly what Wieters did, jumping in front of Ross — a fellow catcher — to calm him down and tell him that Norris wasn't try to hit him.


"As a catcher, you hear and see things around the batter's box, and your job is to avoid them before they get started," Russell said. "And if they get started, your job is to protect your teammates, and first and foremost, would be your pitcher."

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