With ice bags strapped to his knees, Seattle starter Chris Bosio found a cool, quiet spot just in front of manager Lou Piniella's office after last night's 9-3 loss to the Orioles.
Bosio's postgame calm was an interesting counterpoint to the fire he had shown about an hour before in the seventh, when he nearly went toe-to-toe with second-base umpire Joe Brinkman and had to be restrained by teammate Ken Griffey.
"[Brinkman] was talking about Chinese food, basically," cracked Bosio. "I don't want to go into it more than that. We were talking about our favorite restaurants. He likes the hot food and I don't like it."
The seventh inning of a 6-3 game is hardly the time for an on-field debate on the merits of Cantonese vs. Szechuan food.
Really, Brinkman admonished Bosio not to throw inside to Oriole hitters, after Mark Eichhorn had hit Seattle right fielder Keith Mitchell in the top of the inning.
In the sixth inning, Bosio sent Orioles catcher Chris Hoiles sprawling with a high, inside pitch.
Trying to keep a lid on the situation, Brinkman, the crew chief, said he had not formally warned Bosio initially, but only asked him to keep his cool and not work so close.
"I told Lou I wasn't going to give a warning, but as long as it [the discussion] has been this long, I might as well," said Brinkman.
Home plate umpire Mike Reilly said he also didn't give Bosio a warning, but said the matter that triggered the pitcher's consternation "was just a little baseball thing."
Said Piniella: "A warning was issued. That's two games in a row our hitters have been hit and we haven't hit anybody and we've been issued warnings. I don't know why anything was said or done."
Well, for anyone else who has forgotten, Bosio was one of the dTC main combatants in the most celebrated brawl in baseball last year.
The battle came last June 6 at Camden Yards, when Mike Mussina hit catcher Bill Haselman, after Bosio had thrown behind Mark McLemore and Harold Reynolds.
Players from both sides stormed the field and play was interrupted for more than 20 minutes.
Bosio, at that time, had just returned to the Mariner roster from a broken right collarbone, rebroke the collarbone in the scrap.
There were no incidents in the three subsequent series covering last season and this season, but the umpiring crew moved quickly yesterday to make sure nothing of the sort would happen again.
"I guess the problem was from last year. At the same time, last year was last year and this year is this year," said Piniella.
More apropos to Bosio's problem yesterday was the general failure of the Mariners to make key plays at the right time.
Take the second inning, for instance. With one out, Harold Baines at second and Leo Gomez at first, McLemore hit a soft grounder to second baseman Rich Amaral.
Amaral tried to tag Gomez as he ran by, but dropped the ball for one error. He compounded the problem by throwing the ball into left field, scoring Baines.
Gomez would score two batters later when Brady Anderson doubled. Those two unearned runs, combined with a similar run in the fourth, brought the Seattle total to 57 unearned runs on the season, the highest in the majors. The Orioles have allowed only 11 unearned runs. Amaral was pulled for Luis Sojo in the third.
"How many times over and over are we going to see the same thing," Piniella fumed. "They [the errors] sure as hell didn't help. What do you want me to say?"
Bosio did give up bases empty homers to Gomez and Hoiles, but he only allowed three earned runs in seven innings.
l,2 The Mariners, however, got a runner aboard in each inning, but left runners on in each inning except the ninth, when a double play ended the game, for a total of 11.
"You can't stake a team like that to early runs and you can't leave guys on base," said Bosio. "Everything we did in New York, we left it there. You can't win like that. It's not good fundamental baseball. When you can't play catch, it hurts."