By Peter Schmuck, The Baltimore Sun
6:19 PM EDT, September 18, 2011
First baseman Mark Reynolds was out of the starting lineup Sunday for precautionary reasons after he was hit in the head by Los Angeles Angels pitcher Ervin Santana in the third inning of Saturday night's game.
Reynolds said Sunday morning that he felt fine except for a sore spot above his left temple. He also left no doubt that he feels Santana hit him intentionally in his first at-bat after he slammed his 34th homer off the Angels right-hander.
"I think he hit me on purpose,'' Reynolds said. "I don't think he tried to hit me in the head. I think he hit me on purpose. He threw a first-pitch slider. Why would he throw me a first-pitch slider and then hit me with the next pitch? Why didn't he just hit me with the first pitch?"
If Reynolds seemed to be arguing at odds with himself at the end of that comment, he apparently was wondering aloud whether the pitch sequence was evidence that Santana might have thrown the first pitch outside to mask his intention.
Manager Buck Showalter chose to keep his opinion to himself during his pregame news conference Sunday when he was asked if the Santana was intentionally targeting the Orioles when he hit both Nolan Reimold and Reynolds.
"I'm not getting into that 'he said, she said,'" Showalter said. "It's a baseball game played by competitive people. If you can think about what people do, you know Santana that well, to know what he's going to do. No one does. I'm not going to sit here and critique it. … I don't know. I don't put myself in anyone's brain and emotions."
It didn't take long to find out if there would be an on-field response. Alfredo Simon hit Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo with a pitch in the first inning, drawing a warning to both benches by home plate umpire Laz Diaz. Simon admitted after the game that the pitch was retaliatory.
"We just got hit yesterday and I'm going to defend my players,'' he said. "We just got hit hard and that's what happens in the game. I'm going to defend my hitter, my team, so that's what happened.
Later in the game, Brad Bergesen hit Angels catcher Jeff Mathis squarely on the helmet with a pitch, but Mathis stayed in the game and Diaz did not eject anyone. Bergesen immediately covered his head as the ball hit the batter, which seemed to indicate that he was surprised that the pitch got away.
Jones gets Wheatley Award
Center fielder Adam Jones has been recuperating from a thumb sprain, but he still made a nice catch before Sunday's game. He received the Tim Wheatley Award in a pregame ceremony at Camden Yards.
The award, which is given annually, was created by the Baltimore Sun Media Group to honor a local athlete whose contributions off the field are as important as the ones on the field. Wheatley, The Baltimore Sun's sports editor from 2006-2009, was killed in a car accident while driving his daughter, Sarah, to school on Oct. 5, 2009. Wheatley was a strong believer in community service.
This is the second year of the award. Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth won the first Tim Wheatley Award.
Gammons rips Orioles
Baseball guru Peter Gammons used the occasion of Mike Flanagan's memorial service in New Hampshire to take a shot at the Orioles for not attending. Specifically, he tweeted that "[Peter] Angelos and his pitiable Orioles were nowhere to be found."
The Orioles were taken by surprise by the criticism, since they were not invited to the private memorial. Club officials say that if they had been invited, the Orioles certainly would have been well-represented at the service.
The notion that the Orioles might have a reason to stay away defies logic, since Flanagan was one of the team's greatest pitchers and was well-liked by everyone in the organization.
There will be a memorial service for Flanagan here in Baltimore, which will be organized by the family and hosted by the Orioles. The date has not yet been announced.
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