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Showalter fires back at irked Yankees

Baltimore Orioles Manager Buck Showalter. (Aug. 20, 2011)

Baltimore Orioles Manager Buck Showalter. (Aug. 20, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

BALTIMORE -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter fired back at the Yankees regarding their complaints about the rescheduling of Saturday's doubleheader.

"Their opinion on what the Baltimore Orioles should do for their fans and for their organization isn't really that relevant to me personally," said Showalter, who managed the Yankees from 1992-95. "We'll do what's best for our fans and for our organization and we expect it back that they're going to do the same on their side."

Between games of Sunday's twin bill, an Orioles spokesman -- in response to a question about the time of a makeup game -- said enough is enough.

"There has been a hurricane causing millions of people to lose power, tens of millions of dollars in damage and multiple deaths," O's director of communications Greg Bader said in an email. "We need some perspective here. We will be playing the game on September 8 and we will select a game time and announce it shortly. It is time to move on to more pressing matters."

But before doing so, the Orioles capitulated to one of the Yankees' requests -- that if a makeup game has to be played Sept. 8, that it be in the afternoon. It will begin at 1:05 p.m. Sunday night, Yankees player representative Curtis Granderson said "it's resolved'' for Sept. 8, meaning the Yankees will no longer fight playing that day.

The Yankees were angered twofold Friday -- first that the Orioles didn't acquiesce to their desire to play a doubleheader Friday before the arrival of Hurricane Irene, which was sure to, and eventually did, postpone Saturday's scheduled doubleheader.

The Yankees -- who said they initiated conversations at midweek and felt the Orioles sat idly in the face of dire forecasts -- also thought the Orioles unilaterally implemented the one plan they didn't want, scheduling a makeup game for Sept. 8. On that day, one of two off-days remaining, the Yankees planned to fly to the West Coast; they start a series in Anaheim the next day.

Granderson said Friday, and again Sunday before the Orioles made their announcement, that if the game had to be Sept. 8, the Yankees' preference was that it be played in the afternoon. But he said the Orioles were insisting on a night game. Bader's email response was to an inquiry about whether Granderson's interpretation was correct.

Playing Sept. 8 still wasn't the Yankees' preference, but MLB didn't warm to two other suggestions by the Yankees -- to play a day-night doubleheader at Yankee Stadium when the Orioles are in town Sept. 5-7, with the Orioles battling last and getting the proceeds of the makeup game, or to play the game after the regular season if it's needed.

The Yankees rejected the Orioles' proposal to play doubleheaders Sunday and Monday. "Physically, how do you do that?" Joe Girardi said Sunday. "How do you physically do that when you're playing day after day after day? Talk about risking injury to players. I don't think it's physically possible and it's not fair to the product of the game."

During his meeting with local reporters Sunday, Showalter invoked longtime Orioles pitcher, executive and broadcaster Mike Flanagan, who committed suicide last week. "I felt that some of the stuff was a little disrespectful to Flanny, quite frankly," he said. "That didn't sit with me very well. I can tell you that."

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