DETROIT, SEPT. 28 -- A day after he criticized fans who've booed him and his teammates, Baltimore Orioles first baseman Eddie Murray said he didn't want his remarks to be misinterpreted beyond what they were.
"I heard people say I meant this or that," he said. "That's not so. What I said is what I felt, and that's all I had to say. Case closed. It's not this or that, it's just what was on my mind. The guy asked a question, and I answered it."
During a pregame interview Sunday with Rex Barney of Home Team Sports, the Orioles' cable television outlet, Murray said, "It could be time for me to move on. Sometimes, you say you've worn out your welcome here."
He admitted that being booed by fans in Baltimore bothered him.
"I don't know what they expect of me," Murray said. "I'm doing things, but obviously it's not enough."
However, he stopped short of asking to be traded.
"I don't know what to say about that," he said. "That's not in my hands right now."
Today, Murray said people had interpreted the interview as a sign he was leaving.
"I'd told Rex I would go on and this was the last chance," he said. "But it's funny the way things get turned around. I had people call from California last night, asking, 'You said you wanted out?' I told 'em that's not what I said."
Still, Murray has not rescinded the trade request he made last season, and apparently won't.
Several of his friends say he's eager to leave, and other sources say the Orioles have offered him to several teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, who still appear to be interested.
Today, his teammates generally supported his comments, although they stopped short of criticizing Orioles fans.
"The Orioles have been successful for so long that the fans expect it," said center fielder Fred Lynn. "I think they're as disappointed in us as we're disappointed in ourselves. We're in a rebuilding period, and it's tough to take when you're accustomed to 90 wins every year."
Outfielder Larry Sheets added, "It hasn't hit me the same way it hit Eddie, but I haven't had to deal with the booing like he has. I think a lot of it has to do with the news media. The media seems obsessed with Eddie not talking to the press. Isn't that his right? Look at what the man does on the field first, and Eddie has always been the same."
Indeed. Murray is finishing up his fifth 30-home run season, a club record. With tonight's two-for-two effort against Detroit, he has hit in 19 of 20 games, leads the team in hits and total bases and shares the team lead in homers (30). His 91 runs batted in is one behind team leader Sheets and his 88 runs scored is second to Cal Ripken Jr., who has 94 to go with 91 RBI of his own.