It was the kind of "journalism" that would make Howard Cosell smile heartily.
During the last at-bat of the game — another HORRENDOUS last-inning defeat, after blowing a 3-0 lead — Melvin Mora took off for third base in an OBVIOUS "I shouldn’t be running in this situation," distracting Jay Payton and getting him a called strike. Payton was 3-for-4 lifetime against Jeremy Accardo and wound up making the last out and going after Melvin Mora as he came back to the dugout, and the few thousand Toronto faithful headed to the exits with a 5-3 victory.
After the game, Rick Dempsey and Jim Hunter made nary a mention of the "altercation" — NOT A WORD…like it NEVER happened — and threw to Gary Thorne and Buck Martinez, who BOTH hammered a very agitated Sam Perlozzo about the incident. This was an UGLY incident captured by MASN’s cameras at TWO angles! (I’m thinking this is the LAST time anything like THIS happens once the old man gets word of this…MASN HOSTS ATTACKING the Orioles!?!?!?)
Jay Payton literally went AFTER Melvin Mora…twice in the dugout! And MASN rolled the tape back twice JUST to make sure the Orioles’ fans captured the drama!
Perlozzo was holding back Mora and Juan Samuel was blocking Payton. They were JAWING! Back and forth…it was an alpha male dogfight!
And Buck Martinez said this:
"I think that Jay Payton has been very upset with a lot of things that’s gone on around here…because losing has become awfully easy here lately. And I think he expressed his opinion about what has to happen here. You gotta focus a little bit more on the details of thing and don’t worry so much about the individual aspects of the game. And I think this is a good thing. I think Jay Payton is right. He had a chance to hit a two-run home run, he was 3 for 4 against the guy…felt pretty comfortable…and then all of a sudden in his field of vision Melvin takes off for third. There’s NO reason to run there!"
God bless Thorne and Martinez for actually providing the fans some insight into what’s really happening…
Here was their initial volley at Perlozzo during the postgame howdy:
"Sam, we just showed what happened at the end of the ballgame between the two players. In case you missed what we said, we can’t understand why Melvin Mora was running to third base in the first place, and Jay Payton probably, understandably upset that it distracted him at his at-bat."
"Well…we’ve, ah, we’ve taken care of the, ah, the particular issue, ah, internally, so ah, I, ah, would think that’s a, ah, dead point now."
Sam looked like he’d seen a ghost, having to field that question from the flagship!
Martinez TOTALLY took Payton’s side — and you could see the "manager" in him come out, because what Mora did was boneheaded in that situation.
They concluded the segment by saying that the writers would be "asking about it anyway."
Let’s see if John and Peter Angelos feel that way…