For Melvin Mora, it was the tipping point.
Angry at his manager, Dave Trembley, for "disrespecting" him, Mora sounded off to the Baltimore Sun about his frustrations.
After sitting out on Friday night (a 6-5 Sox win), going 1-for-4 on Saturday (a 4-0 Sox win) and sitting again on Sunday (a disastrous 18-10 Sox win), Mora saw no reason for his newfound spot on the bench.
"Don't give me the excuse that I cannot beat John Smoltz, that I cannot beat Josh Beckett or I cannot beat [Jon] Lester or I cannot beat Pedro Martinez or I cannot beat nobody here because I've been here for nine years," Mora told the Sun. "All those guys in the [American League] East, they know me. They know me and you don't make the All-Star team for nothing. You deserve respect. That's the only thing I can say.
"When you [bench a player], especially with a guy who's been here for nine years, tried to save your butt and played hard, I think that's not respect. I always speak up. I never hide nothing and I'm an honest man, and that's the way I do it. I cannot control whatever lineup is put up there. The only thing I can control is just respect me. … That's it."
Trembley, naturally, had a different opinion on the matter.
"Melvin's been a very good player for a long time, but we don't show disrespect to anybody," he told the Sun. "I'm trying to help people. I'm not trying to hurt anybody. If I give a guy a day off — guys who are up there in age, they've played a long time, guys who are struggling — I'm trying to help them. … You've got to be a 'team guy' here. It's not about one guy on this team and everybody knows that. We need to stay away from that and we will stay away from that."
Mora, the longest-tenured member of the Orioles, was far from finished, as he all but guaranteed the team would not be picking up his option next season.
"I'm never going to forget the Orioles and whatever's going to happen
next year — next year I'm going to be with somebody else — I'm an
Oriole," he said. "The last few years, I played through injury. I
played the first half [last year] with a bone sticking through my nerve
and … I came back and tried to play hard for Trembley and to try to
give everything I've got for the second half. Now this year, I think I
deserve more respect than what I've been getting."
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