Mora not happy in learning late he won't play

The Baltimore Sun

Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo tries to make the rounds in the clubhouse each afternoon to notify certain veteran players that they'll be out of the lineup the next day. It's more of a courtesy than a requirement.

It also can become an issue if he accidentally skips someone.

Third baseman Melvin Mora grew agitated yesterday upon learning from a reporter that he wasn't starting against Oakland Athletics right-hander Dan Haren. Mora criticized Perlozzo for a general lack of communication, and they engaged in an animated conversation near third during batting practice.

"The only thing that being in this organization - this is my seventh season - I think everybody here, not just me, deserves an explanation. I just prepare myself last night to know the pitcher I was going to face. And when I came here, one of the media told me I'm not going to play.

"We put everything together and I hope nothing will happen anymore. The thing is, I want communication. I don't care who plays that day. I have to support my team. I just need communication."

Perlozzo explained before the game that he meant to inform Mora on Thursday of his plans, but didn't get the chance. He told Aubrey Huff and Jay Gibbons that they would likely sit tonight against left-hander Joe Kennedy.

Mora is the third veteran this season to complain publicly about poor communication with the embattled manager. Gibbons and Kevin Millar have expressed similar concerns.

"I never have a problem with him," Mora said. "It's just when I hear on TV, when Jim Palmer was talking about how I was upset because I want to play every day. We're not talking about that. We're talking about communication.

"If you communicate with your team, what your role is going to be, like Tejada is going to be DH tomorrow - he might do something different with Crow [Terry Crowley] and work out early. We're not talking about a day off because everybody needs to play here."

Perlozzo said he apologized to Mora during their infield exchange. He also bristled when a reporter suggested that the manager didn't pinch hit Mora for Gibbons with two outs in the ninth inning against left-hander Alan Embree because he wanted to send a message.

"I don't play those games," Perlozzo said. "We've got games to win out there to let that kind of stuff to happen."

Said Mora: "I was surprised. I was ready."

Williams back in the mix

Reliever Todd Williams might have appeared to be a forgotten man in the Orioles' bullpen before working a scoreless eighth inning last night, but he wasn't available to pitch for about a week after his last appearance, May 12, because of tightness in his right forearm.

Williams said he probably could have pitched within the past week, though the extra rest was beneficial to his recovery. He felt closer to being ready the past three days.

"I threw a couple bullpens here and there, trying to stay sharp," he said.

Williams was charged with five runs in 1 2/3 innings at Fenway Park in his most recent outing before last night.

Matching thoughts

Rather than designating one pitcher as the eighth-inning setup man, Perlozzo said he's more likely to "match up a little bit, depending on who's rested."

"I could see [Jamie] Walker and [Chad] Bradford pitching there," he added. "We'll see how the game goes."

Danys Baez's slump worsened Thursday when the Toronto Blue Jays' Alex Rios homered off him in the 10th inning.

"You certainly feel for him because he made the one pitch and the guy hits it out and then he strikes out the side," pitching coach Leo Mazzone said. "He did have live stuff and his numbers were up velocity-wise. But I hope that's not because he's trying to overthrow."

Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.

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