It appears as though the O’s have another veteran issue with the club.
The longest tenured Oriole on the 2009 squad, third baseman Melvin Mora has made himself clear to the public. His feelings for the Birds are ones of “disrespect.”
"I don't appreciate the disrespect, because I've been playing hurt for a guy who won't respect you. I don't deserve it," said Mora. "Whatever he [Dave Trembley] wants to do, he can do it. But like I told you before, I need to have my respect. This is not a guy who just came to the Orioles. This is a guy who's been here for nine years busting his butt for the organization."
The reasons for Mora’s frustration stem from manager Dave Trembley benching the veteran in three of the past four games, and now the player who had accepted his role on the team in the past has finally vented his frustration.
"I'm a competitor," Mora said. "I don't like to be here and [I'm] just thinking about in October [how] I'm going to go on vacation. ... I know here they're rebuilding and they bring a lot of young guys here, good players, and I know it's time for me to move on."
Analyzing what Mora had to say, all I can think of is one simple word: “Honestly?”
The corner infielder has done his job over his nine-year tender with the Birds, including a whopping .340 batting average in 2004, two All-Star Game appearances (2003 and 2005), and even a late resurgence in 2008 that put his name back on the map.
This season, however, is an entirely different story.
He is currently hitting for a .256 average with three HRs, 27 RBI, 26 R, and three SBs. All of these statistics come from a man who has retained the starting job at the “hot corner” for the entire season thus far.
All of this comes from someone who was placed in the number five spot in the batting order for the majority of the ‘09 campaign.
To put it simply: Trembley has benched him for a reason. The man is not hitting.
There is no reason to give respect when one has not done something lately to be respected.
Mora needs to understand this.
In his nine years, Birds’ fans have seen no winning seasons, and instead, we watch the growth of a new, talented young franchise.
Even Mora himself embraced the youth movement in the offseason. Now he shuns it away.
So why does Mora lash out when he knows he is truly the one to blame?
At this point, no one (possibly not even Mora himself) knows for sure.
"When you do that, especially with a guy who's been here for nine years, tried to save your butt and played hard, I think that's not respect. I always speak up. I never hide nothing and I'm an honest man, and that's the way I do it. I cannot control whatever lineup is put up there. The only thing I can control is just respect me. ... That's it."
Now he is telling the fans he won’t be an Oriole next year (I know plenty of Birds’ fanatics just jumped for joy after hearing that).
"I'm never going to forget the Orioles and whatever's going to happen next year -- next year I'm going to be with somebody else -- I'm an Oriole," he said. "The last few years, I played through injury. I played the first half [last year] with a bone sticking through my nerve and ... I came back and tried to play hard for Trembley and to try to give everything I've got for the second half. Now this year, I think I deserve more respect than what I've been getting."
Being an O’s fan who has watched him grow from a utility outfielder to a starting third baseman in Charm City, all I have to say is, “Thank you for your time Melvin, but the attitude is not welcome anymore. Good luck to you and I hope you can play for another four years like you intend to. Hopefully another club will give you an opportunity. When you leave the Birds, though, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”
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