After getting benched for the third time in four games, Melvin Mora went off Sunday, particularly at Orioles manager Dave Trembley. From the Baltimore Sun:
"I don't appreciate the disrespect, because I've been playing hurt for a guy who won't respect you. I don't deserve it. Whatever he wants to do, he can do it. But like I told you before, I need to have my respect. This is not a guy who just came to the Orioles. This is a guy who's been here for nine years busting his butt for the organization...I'm a competitor. I like to compete. I don't like to be here and just thinking about in October I'm going to go on vacation ... I need to sit down in my house, see what team [wants] to win. I know here they're rebuilding and they bring a lot of young guys here, good players and I know it's time for me to move on. It's time for me to move on."
You can certainly appreciate Mora's fire here. He's stuck on a team that's 18.5 games out - a common theme in early August during Mora's 10-year tenure with the club - yet he's still fighting to stay in the lineup and wants to play every day. Sure beats a guy who's complacent and content with playing out the string on another lost season.
That being said, Mora's line this season reads .256/.321/.330 with only 3 HR and 27 RBI. He's homered only once since May 7 and has only 15 extra-base hits all year. Without knowing how the benching was handled, it's probably fair to say that Trembley's lineup shakeup had more to do with Mora's meager offensive output than a sign of disrespect.
By most accounts, Mora is a prideful guy and a good teammate, so it seems like this is a situation where a struggling player is fed up with making outs and seeing his team lose all the time. It probably didn't help that his buddy David Ortiz supposedly asked him "Why are you hitting seventh? I've never seen you hit there."
Maybe not, but Mora has never been this brutal at the plate, either. With the O's likely to decline Mora's $8 million option for next year, it seems he'll likely be released or traded (if he makes it through waivers). Either way, he may have played his last game for Baltimore.