Some of you have probably already seen this blog entry by Britt Ghiroli. In this entry Kevin Gregg addresses his early struggles, being booed, and the closer situation. He also does it with all of the class of an episode of “The Jersey Shore”. To put it kindly, Gregg’s comments make him seem like a real horse’s patootie. I will list Gregg’s quotes here in bold, followed by my responses:
“You just try to deal with it,” Gregg said of his struggles in Baltimore, which include two runs on Monday night and a blown save on Thursday in New York. “Am I panicked about [my performance]? No. Am I disappointed about not starting better? Yeah. But I’m not worried about it. I know it will all even out as the season goes. You have good spells and bad spells, I could easily go eight scoreless innings and at the end of that nobody would even think anything of [this].”
OK, we’re starting off here pretty vanilla, I don’t really have a problem with any of this. No one should be panicked this early in the season if they don’t start off well, fans in general are paying a lot more attention at the start of the season and most of them aren’t smart enough to recognize baseball players performances aren’t static from day 1. Let’s just stop the interview here and everything will be fine. You’re going to say more aren’t you?
“This is an extreme [case of not throwing],” said Gregg, who could only think of one other stretch in his career where he was used less.
“I’d rather throw and keep myself sharp and if that caused me to throw three days in a row and only one is a save opportunity, if the team has a chance to win it’s going to make me better in the long run. I’d rather do that. We have the arms in here where I can take a day off and if I do have to throw in games that aren’t save situations, it’s not a big deal. I didn’t want to go in this year and say,’ I only want to throw in save situations.’ It doesn’t make me any good, and it doesn’t make our team any good.”
Once again, not too many problems here. It would be nice if you just wanted to pitch whenever the manager says to pitch and get people out without worrying about whether an arbitrary statistic is attached to it, but I’m not too mad about that. All closers are going to have to pitch non-save situations and you realize that those situations help you and the team too. You seem like a good sport for the most part Kevin.
“I have had two save opportunities. And if I’m going to lose my job over a non-save situation, then I’m never pitching in a nonsave situation. All over baseball go watch closers in a nonsave situation, it doesn’t work. Because the adrenaline, the sense of urgency, it’s not there. It never works. And that’s the hardest part about doing it. We live for having the game on the line.”
You son of a bitch. I was on your side and now you just went ahead and shit all over it. I thought we were boys. You literally just said you don’t have a problem pitching in non-save situations since it helps you and the team. So, you’re ok with pitching in non-save situations but you don’t think you should be held accountable for the results? Are you fucking kidding? He’s basically saying “Hey Buck Showalter, put me in the game if you dare but if I shit the bed it is your fault. You’ve been warned.” This quote is ridiculous. There’s no adrenaline or sense of urgency pitching in the 8th inning, down by one run? Really? What did you do before you were a closer Kevin, you know, 2003-2006? Did you just mosey on down to the mound like you were ready for bed and sleepwalk through those innings? Sorry bro, the game was on the line despite it not being a save situation. If there has to be an arbitrary statistic attached to all of your appearances for them to count then how about holds? You could have possibly put a nice little W next to your name if you pitched well too. Better yet, how about you just get pumped up to get people out whenever you are asked to?
“I think the anticipation of a great team that everybody had from last year coming into this year, it gets to guys. We are all excited about it too, but we are human. We play 162 [games] for a reason. We have high expectations for [Derrek] Lee, for [Mark] Reynolds, for Vladdy [Guerrero], but they aren’t producing the way we thought they would be producing. Are we worried about it? No.”
“Hey guys, I know I’m sucking right now but other people are sucking too! Let’s talk about that!” Gregg resorted to calling out the other new Orioles as a reason that the team was going through a nice little skid. Another classy move. He definitely should have stopped after his very first sound byte at this point. Surely he is done saying stupid things right?
“Koji’s a great pitcher, he’s done great things. But what does he have, 15 career saves? I’ve saved 17 in a row, or something like that. It happens. I’ve also blown three in a row before. I’m going to guess Koji didn’t save every game he ever pitched in, either. I think people are excited about what he’s done so that’s where all that anticipation is coming from. I was in the same situation in Chicago.”
Dude, fuck you. You’re going to respond to the fans thoughts that Koji Uehara should be the one used in high pressure situations by attacking him? You’re being a real asshole. Koji Uehara is in his 3rd year in the majors, only his second as a reliever. If Koji had 15 saves (he actually has 13), that would be 14 more than you had at the same point in your career. You seem really obsessed with this save statistic, and it is quite alarming really. No pitcher that comes in to save games is successful 100 percent of the time, we understand that. The fans trust Koji more because…pay attention…he is a better pitcher than you Kevin. That is the real issue. It has nothing to do with career saves. It has to do with Koji’s career 128 ERA+ (yours is 109), including a 149 last year in his first year as a reliever, and a 273 in a small sample so far this year. His WHIP as a reliever is under 1, yours is 1.336. His K/9 last year was 11.3, yours was 8.8. He hardly walks anyone at 1 per 9 innings last year, you seem to get behind every hitter and walked 4.6 per 9 innings last year. You allow more baserunners, which usually means you allow more runs, it is a simple concept.
“I might be in trouble and I might give up a run, but I can bear down and catch myself in situations. Once it’s perspective right now. It’s April. There’s a difference…I could have 10 saves in a row and they could all be clean.”
He then added, “Unless there is no save involved, then I just say fuck it and give up runs.” I may have made that part up. The fans are pissed off because you blew a game against the Yankees, let the Twins stellar offense distance a game that was within reach, and haven’t looked that good even in the games you did save (you had to be bailed out by great plays by your outfielders both times). Obviously there is more scrutiny in April because everyone is looking but you really sound like a defensive jerk in these quotes. People aren’t happy about this but just get some people out and all will be forgiven. I just hope we have enough save situations to put you in so you actually try, who knows what could happen if you get removed from that role and have to pitch with no adrenaline or sense of urgency all the time.
I will say that so far Gregg’s appearances have made me behave similar to Nicholas Cage, and on that note…