TORONTO – As far as Darren O’Day is concerned, the recent exchange between him and Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista is over.
But the Baltimore Orioles reliever believes there’s a double standard when it comes to on-field celebrations for pitchers and hitters, and he indicated that Bautista irked him Saturday.
“I don’t understand why people make a big deal of it,” O’Day said before Sunday’s series finale at Rogers Centre. “You watch football, you watch basketball and that’s just sports. It’s competitive guys. I don’t even know what he’s so worked up about. It’s sports.”
Bautista hit a go-ahead, two-run home run Saturday, and as he rounded the bases he gestured and spoke to O’Day. Bautista said after the game that he was responding to Friday’s game, when O’Day was visibly excited after retiring Bautista.
O’Day said he heard Bautista’s message Saturday. Whether the 30-year-old sidearmer agreed with it is another matter.
“You can say whatever you want on the field,” O’Day said. “Obviously it’s two competitive people playing a game they care a lot about.
“I got excited and he took exception to it which is kind of ridiculous when you see the way that some of these guys walk to first base and flip their bat halfway to the pitcher’s mound, do whatever they want when they do well.”
O’Day says it’s unrealistic to expect subdued reactions from pitchers when position players celebrate their big hits.
“Guys can do what they want now when they hit home runs,” O’Day said. “It’s kind of the way the game is. Guys get excited when they do something good and I get excited when I do something good, too. It’s just the way it goes.
O’Day indicated that the matter has been resolved as far as he is concerned. Now it’s simply a question of retiring Bautista the next time they face one another.
“I could face him again today,” O’Day said. “I could face him again for probably a lot more years and we’ll see who comes out on top in the end.”
JANSSEN WATCH: Casey Janssen said before Sunday’s game that he’s not ruling out a third consecutive appearance.
“We’ll see,” said Janssen, who threw seven pitches Friday and 13 pitches Saturday.
The right-hander has yet to pitch in three consecutive games this season, so an appearance Sunday wouldn’t seem particularly likely, especially at a time that other Blue Jays’ relievers have been pitching well.
Janssen said he feels healthy, but declined to speculate on his availability, explaining that generally speaking teams can preserve a competitive advantage by selectively disclosing plans for their relievers on a given day.
Though Janssen has thrown just 20 pitches in the last two days, warming up can also take its toll.
“It’s real,” he explained earlier this year. “You’re getting ready to get in a major league game and you’re firing at least the last few [pitches] as hard as you would on a game mound. It’s not pitching in a game, but at the same time it does take its toll.”
The Blue Jays have managed Janssen’s workload cautiously because the 31-year-old has experienced shoulder soreness.
GOING FOR 11: One of the primary reasons the Blue Jays have won 10 games in a row is their strong starting pitching.
Darren Oliver believes the team’s rotation has been the driving force behind the recent streak, but noted that there are other factors in play as well. For example, the Blue Jays have finally been getting some breaks to go along with their improved play.
“Those (Orioles) are hitting the ball hard,” Oliver said. “But they’re hitting them right at people. We’re getting a blooper here and there where we might not have gotten that the first month of the season. But it’s great to see the ball bouncing our way a little bit.”
With a victory Sunday, the Blue Jays would tie a franchise record for consecutive wins. Josh Johnson opposes Freddy Garcia in the series finale.