Regardless, the dugout-emptying confrontation between Orioles pitcher Bud Norris and Red Sox catcher David Ross in the Orioles’ 4-2 loss is an example of the intensity of life in the American League East no matter the date on the calendar.
All was normal until Ross stepped in to the batter’s box with a man on first and no outs in the seventh inning with the game tied at 2-2. Looking to bunt, he didn’t like that he believed some of Norris’ deliveries were coming in close to his head.
So after Ross squared to bunt and a 90-mph 2-1 pitch rode high and in on him, the veteran catcher yelled out to Norris, “Make an adjustment” twice as he made a step toward the mound.
The Orioles’ 6-foot-5 catcher, Matt Wieters, stepped in front of Ross quickly in a get-through-me manner and exchanged words with him before anything could escalate. Players and coaches flooded out of both dugouts but cooler heads prevailed.
“The emotions are running high,” Orioles first baseman Chris Davis said. “It’s the Red Sox. It’s a rival. It’s a part of the game. We don’t back down. That’s our thing. We have each other’s backs. If somebody wants to run their mouths, we’ll stand up to them.”
This wasn’t the knock-down, drag-out Kevin Gregg-David Ortiz brawl of three seasons ago at Fenway Park, but rather a reminder to the Red Sox that under Manager Buck Showalter, these Orioles have thrived with a chip on their shoulder, so they weren’t going to back down to the defending World Series champions in any situation.
“I guess he thought somebody was throwing at him after two breaking balls and a fastball away,” Showalter said. “I don’t know. It’s emotional. Ross is a good player, a good catcher and a pro. But I know Matt. He’s not going to allow somebody to yell at his pitcher like that, especially when he doesn’t have any reason to.”
— Baltimore Sun