Before Orioles pitcher Daniel Cabrera could head to the outfield yesterday and shag fly balls during batting practice, he was required to stop in manager Dave Trembley's office for a closed-door meeting that left no doubt how his actions in Friday night's game were received.
Trembley made it clear that he didn't approve of Cabrera throwing behind rookie Dustin Pedroia's head after being called for a balk and almost inciting a brawl by yelling at several Boston Red Sox players and breaking free of umpire Bill Welke's grasp while attempting to reach them.
"Uncalled for, unprofessional, no need to do it," Trembley said.
From a baseball standpoint, Trembley noted how Cabrera could have avoided the balk - and subsequent tantrum - by pitching from the stretch with a runner on third base.
"Then you won't put yourself in a position where you get flustered by a guy that's trying to attract your attention," Trembley said. "But I wanted to hold him accountable and responsible for what happened, and I think he understands that. Unacceptable."
Cabrera said the ball slipped out of his hand, though the timing was dubious.
"The dog ate my homework, too," Trembley said.
"He was apologetic," Trembley added. "He knows he crossed the line, and we'll move on from it. I told him he needs to assume the responsibility that goes with being one of the top pitchers on this team. We've lost [Erik] Bedard, we've lost [Adam] Loewen, we've lost [Steve] Trachsel, we've lost [Chris] Ray, we've lost a bunch of guys here. [Jeremy] Guthrie's a rookie on this club. Cabrera's got the most experience. He should assume the responsibility that comes along with that and project and present himself in a way that, when he goes out there and pitches, the guys feel like they're going to win."
Cabrera maintained his innocence yesterday when approached by a small group of reporters.
"It's closed," he said. "That always happens. Anybody can have a ball slip from his hand. I don't know why everybody is making such a big deal.
"People are trying to make it like it was on purpose. I told them last night, the ball slipped from my hand."
Told that Pedroia called him an "idiot" after the game, Cabrera said: "I don't care. It's in the past already."
Pedroia shouldn't wait for an apology.
"I don't think I have to say anything to anybody," Cabrera said.
The Orioles are waiting to hear whether Cabrera will be fined or suspended. His ejection stemmed from his actions after the ball sailed behind Pedroia, not the pitch itself. And unlike the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' Carl Crawford, who received a two-game suspension last week, Cabrera didn't go after an umpire. He tried to break free of one.
"There's a key word that's been missing. It's called responsibility," Trembley said. "It's time for responsibility to be accepted by the people that have been given these opportunities."
Santos provides relief
Trembley had a busy afternoon. Besides talking to Cabrera and holding a team meeting before batting practice, he also greeted new reliever Victor Santos, who was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds on Friday.
The Reds twice designated Santos for assignment this year. He hasn't pitched since Triple-A Louisville's season ended last week, so he gives the Orioles a fresh arm.
"I've got some experience in the big leagues, and I'll help the team any way I can," said Santos, who was 1-4 with a 5.14 ERA in 32 games with Cincinnati.
Santos made the Reds as a nonroster invitee to spring training and went 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in his first 13 games. He posted a 6.25 ERA and lost all four decisions over his next 19 appearances.