This week, I spoke with recently acquired pitcher Bud Norris. We talked about his recent turn of events, his new teammates, the city of Baltimore, and what pitchers he watched growing up.
Q: How crazy were those couple of days when you first got traded from the Astros to the Orioles?
BN: It's been a rollercoaster, for sure. But I'm excited to be here, and do my part and just go out there and play the game. They got a great core group here of players and I just want to pick up and then kind of help them out as best I can and make a run at it in the playoffs and hopefully a World Series ring.
Q: How nice was it to get your Baltimore career underway with a good start?
BN: It was important. Like I said, I wanted to go out there and show these guys that I'm a ballplayer first and a pitcher, and I can attack the strike zone and get outs. I hope they saw a good little piece of me and there's a lot more to come, too.
Q: Is it hard to switch teams mid-season?
BN: You know, I kind of prepared myself for it. My name had been swinging through wires for a while so I knew that it was a possibility. I was still focused if I was going to stay in Houston or not, but like I said, I'm here now, I'm very excited. Like I said, it's still baseball, I still want to go out there and pitch and play hard and enjoy the game.
Q: Was it different to just walk down the hallway and join the Orioles because you guys had been playing them when you were traded?
BN: It was pretty surreal. Usually you figure, grab your baseball bag, go to the airport, and fly to a new city. But really I just had to go from clubhouse to clubhouse. The guys opened the doors and all said Hello, the coaches have all been great, the club has been great. So it's been a pretty nice, easy transition.
Q: How exciting is change to a contending team in the middle of a playoff race?
BN: Extremely exciting. That's why you play the game. You play the game to win, to make a run at the playoffs and the World Series title. We're in the thick of things right here and I just want to do my part and help us win some ballgames.
Q: How nice is it to join a team with a lineup like this with some guys having some really good seasons?
BN: It's special. You look at the numbers across the board in the lineup, any guy can do some real damage anytime. As a pitcher, it gives you a little more comfort to just go out there and throw strikes. ... You just keep the game close, these guys are going to score some runs.
Q: Were you excited to go on this west coast road trip, as that's where you are from?
BN: It'll be nice to make a couple stops, but like I said, the No. 1 priority's going out there to win ballgames.
Q: You've only been here a little while, but how have you enjoyed Baltimore?
BN: I know Baltimore, but I haven't been here in a long time. It's a great city, it's got a great history as far as the Orioles, and even the Ravens were the Super Bowl champs. So there's great history here. ... I'm excited to see the city, get to know everybody, and to see it all.
Q: Who was your favorite baseball player growing up?
BN: I enjoyed a lot of players. I grew up in the Bay area, so watching the Giants and A's was fun to me, to watch [Barry] Zito in his prime and Jason Schmidt growing up. The Roger Clemens' and the Nolan Ryan's, you try to watch good pitchers across the game and try to learn from them and take a little bit from them just by watching. There's no one specific guy, but I learned from a lot of them.
Q: You got a couple pies in the face after your first start, how did that feel?
BN: It was pretty exciting. It was exhilarating, I hadn't had one before and usually with the pie you did something right.
Have a question for one of the Orioles? Email it to jake.rill@carrollcountytimes.com.

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