BALTIMORE — Buck Showalter was not amused at Joe Girardi’s insinuation.
About a minute after the Orioles finished BP Tuesday, the Orioles grounds crew pulled the tarp on the field before the Yankees could start BP and Girardi was miffed.
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“They’re covering the field?” Girardi said as he talked to the media before Tuesday’s game. “Of course, they hit and (now) they’re covering the field.”
Girardi’s comments appeared in a couple of publications Wednesday, including Newsday, and Showalter fired back before Wednesday’s game, specifically on behalf of head groundskeeper Nicole McFadyen.
“I do know Nicole was upset about it, which bothered me,” Showalter told Baltimore reporters Wednesday. “It insulted her integrity because she’s the best in the business, I think. She’s not real happy about it. I think if you have experience being next to the Chesapeake Bay when the weather says it’s going to storm in two minutes . . . She told us it was supposed to rain around 5 o’clock, and we actually started our BP early so our guys could and actually got off the field early to present a window for their guys to hit.”
Girardi shrugged before Wednesday’s game.
“It didn’t seem to rain much,” Girardi said. “That’s the grounds crew’s choice.”
He didn’t directly accuse Showalter, with whom he has had a somewhat cool relationship with over the years, of gamesmanship but it wasn’t difficult to read between the lines.
“If you know Nicole, if someone came up to her and instructed her how to do a tarp something, you know where she would tell us . . . we’ve all had that told to us,” Showalter said. “She takes a lot of pride at being the best in the business. That’s really an insult to her that a writer or someone would insinuate that. We have a lot more things to worry about than that.”