Showalter says A-Rod comments off record
Orioles manager's quotes in USA Today involved his catcher Wieters
BALTIMORE -- The big news at Camden Yards on Thursday surrounded Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who found out earlier in the afternoon that recent comments he made -- thinking they were off the record -- about the ongoing Biogenesis investigation were published in USA Today.
Showalter said earlier this week if Commissioner Bud Selig suspends Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, it's not fair that the Yankees would benefit financially from the salary relief.
"If Bud lets them get away with that, they're under the luxury tax," Showalter was quoted by the newspaper. "If they can reset, they can spend again, and I guarantee you in two years [Orioles catcher] Matt Wieters is in New York."
Showalter spoke with Wieters on Thursday and explained that the comment boils down to the fact that the Orioles organization would like to keep Wieters in Baltimore for the long haul.
"It wasn't meant for public consumption," Showalter said of his printed comments. "You guys know, we sit around and talk all the time about baseball issues because we all kind of love our game. We look at things and talk about it. Unfortunately, somebody decided to put it out there publicly. I said it and someone decided to print it. So, it's unfortunate. What are you going to do?"
Wieters didn't seem bothered by the comment and said, "Buck's got his way of thinking about things and being able to get across his point of view. I'm happy to be here right now and I am not thinking any at all about where I'm going to be playing in two years."
Rodriguez is the most high-profile player under investigation, and New York signed the three-time Most Valuable Player to a 10-year, $275 million deal -- including another $30 million in bonuses -- after the 2007 season. There are reports that MLB will have more news regarding suspensions on Friday.
"I have a lot of confidence in our leadership and baseball. There are finally some things in place where they can do the things they are going to do," Showalter said. "I can tell you that locker room, our locker room and I think most locker rooms -- I can't speak for other ones but I think it's the case -- the common denominator is they welcome this."
Pearce makes whirlwind return back to O's
BALTIMORE -- Steve Pearce was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday, but since the Orioles' roster reshuffling happened right around the time of the 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline, there was plenty of urgency for the call.
Pearce, who was rehabbing from multiple wrist injuries, was getting set to take batting practice with Class A Advanced Frederick, was notified at about 3 p.m. that he'd be needed in Baltimore that night.
"When you're down in the Minor Leagues that's a great call to have," Pearce said. "It was going about a million miles an hour yesterday. The bottom line is, I'm healthy, I'm able to play."
The designated hitter/outfielder has been on the shelf since June 20, after trying to play through wrist injuries for part of the season. Pearce went to Sarasota, Fla., to work his way back at the team's medical facility, where he received a cortisone shot.
Frederick is about 50 minutes west of Baltimore, so Pearce hustled to the ballpark and was the DH on Wednesday, delivering a single in his first at-bat. He batted ninth and went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and a strikeout in the Orioles' 11-0 loss to the Astros. The original plan was to have Pearce play two games in Frederick and then graduate to Double-A Bowie for three games before being reevaluated.
"It was very surprising, I was getting ready to go to Bowie. Excited to get the call," Pearce said.
Pearce said the difference between his swing now compared with before he went on the disabled list is "night and day."
"I was hoping the pain would just go away [without a DL stint]. I kept playing through it," Pearce said. "The pain was addressed when I went down to Sarasota and now it feels great."
Including Wednesday's 2-for-3 effort, Pearce is hitting .250/.323/.393. An occasional player early in the season, Pearce said he used to take a lot of swings to stay fresh and he said that negatively affected the health of his wrists.
"It took a toll on my hands. At first, I just thought it was sore, but I kept doing damage to it every day," said Pearce, who plans to cut down on his work between game action. "Less is more. That's going to be my approach."
• Jason Hammel is scheduled for an MRI on Friday morning for his right forearm. The right-hander was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday with right forearm tightness. Showalter said it affects Hammel most on his slider and Hammel said he's dealt with it since Spring Training.
• Orioles infielder Wilson Betemit (right knee) will begin playing rehab games, barring any setbacks, at the Orioles' Gulf Coast League affiliate on Tuesday. He's been out since Spring Training. Showalter said they'll "test drive" to make sure everything's OK before setting a final rehab schedule.
• Steve Johnson (oblique strain) will pitch for Double-A Bowie.
• Center fielder Adam Jones celebrated his 28th birthday on Thursday.
• The Orioles on Wednesday announced the launch of the O's Birds Nest rewards program. The interactive fan-engagement program allows fans to earn points and win prizes by using the club's digital programs and platforms, including Orioles.com, the official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. Derek Wetmore is an associate reporter for MLB.com.. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.