Orioles manager Buck Showalter responded to the suggestion that he was practicing some pregame gamesmanship before Tuesday's game when the Camden Yards field was tarped after the Orioles completed batting practice, preventing the New York Yankees from taking their BP session on the field.
"We have a lot more important things to worry about than that," Showalter said.
A New York Post story claimed the Yankees were unhappy with the timing of the tarp covering the field, indicating that Showalter was behind the move in an effort to gain a competitive edge.
Showalter downplayed the story, saying that based on what he heard, he believed Yankees manager Joe Girardi's words were made to mean more than what he intended.
“I don’t know if they [are angry],” Showalter said. “I think Joe said something and then someone wrote an article that said, ‘Hmm, they’re taking the tarp off.’ I haven’t heard anything else. God bless them. … I understand how this goes. Do you think we get up in the morning trying to figure out a way to stop them from hitting BP? ... What we should do, maybe we’ll go inside tomorrow, and they hit out.”
Showalter said that the forecast called for rain to start at 5 p.m., and the Orioles actually started their batting practice session early and completed it early in an effort to allow the Yankees a window to hit. The field was covered right after the Orioles completed hitting in preparation for a storm that never came.
Showalter said head groundskeeper Nicole McFadyen, who makes calls on when to tarp the field, was upset by the story.
"[It] bothered me because it insulted her integrity and she's the best in the business I think," Showalter said. "So she's not real happy about it. I think if you have experience being next to the Chesapeake Bay and the weather says it's going to storm in two minutes … She takes a lot of pride being the best in the business and that's really an insult to her, that a writer or someone would insinuate that. We have a lot more important things to worry about than that.
"You know this is serious. When you insult her integrity, that bothers a lot of people here. She's really good. … That someone would let themselves be told what to do for something they're responsible for? I don't think so."
Just how upset the Yankees were remains unclear. No formal complaint had been filed with the league office as of Wednesday evening, but officials did reach out to both clubs earlier in the day about the issues, as is standard procedure when these instances arise.