explaining himself to his teammates before the game.
The day began with Kline (1-1) doing a little damage control inside the visitors' clubhouse, a meeting held at his request to explain comments he made in a St. Louis newspaper about regretting his decision to sign with the Orioles.
Bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks hugged Kline and said, "Daddy still loves you." A teammate, also finding the whole situation amusing, said, "Unlike Kline, I'm happy here. Cut me, and I bleed orange."
"I figured, if I screw up right now, they may as well shoot me," Kline said.
Said Mazzilli: "That's what he's supposed to do, go out and do the job. And he did it in a tough situation. I didn't expect anything less from him."
Players waited in front of the dugout to congratulate Kline.
"You can see how good we can be, and I feel guilty for two of the three losses we have," Kline said. "My team picked me up big-time. They showed me a lot of love. I'm happy about that.
"We had a good talk today. They told me, 'Don't worry about it, big boy. Just go out and throw your game and bring us home some victories.'"
But the Baltimore Sun's David Steele isn't so forgiving.
Your apology to your teammates and your employers yesterday down in St. Pete has been duly noted. But your apology to your new city might need some work. Nice of you to throw some bouquets to your fans from your Cardinals days, but did you really have to fling the fertilizer in the other direction?
"It came out wrong" won't cut it. You might find out how much it doesn't cut it as early as tomorrow night at Camden Yards. As you so thoughtfully put it in yesterday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the paper in the town for which you obviously still carry a torch, "There's nothing worse than getting booed at home."
Thanks, by the way, for adding, "St. Louis fans are too good for that. They understand the game more than most people." Meaning, we assume, people who can read and can get Internet access. Apparently, you figure that did not include Baltimore people. We got computers, ee-leck-tricity and ever'thang.
Oh, and feelings. I'm not even from here, and that entire out-of-town diatribe hurt my feelings. Almost as much as watching those two gag jobs in the late innings last week.