The newest member of the Orioles arrived too late to meet the media on Tuesday and almost too late to fill his belly. Cla Meredith, who was acquired from the Padres in exchange for Oscar Salazar on Sunday, flew cross-country to New York to meet his new team and arrived barely an hour before the scheduled 7:05 p.m. ET start time of the O’s game against the Yankees.
Meredith’s cause was aided by a rain delay that pushed back the first pitch by roughly a half-hour, a brief respite that allowed the right-handed reliever to eat before heading out to the bullpen. The Orioles had a quick turnaround for Wednesday’s afternoon game, but Meredith still took the time to greet the media and share his thoughts on the trade.
“Any time you get traded, I guess you’re surprised,” Meredith said. “I took it a lot better than I took it when I got traded from the Red Sox a few years ago. I didn’t know what it meant to be traded. I took it as kind of a demotion, so to speak, but little did I know it would turn out to be one of the better things that ever happened to me, career-wise.”
Meredith, a middle reliever, grew up in Richmond, Va., and attended Virginia Commonwealth University. The right-hander said he’s always had a connection to the Orioles, a link that dates back to his earliest days in baseball. Meredith attended his first game just days after the infamous Jeffrey Maier game in the 1996 American League Division Series.
“That was my first Major League game, and I definitely always had a heart for the Orioles,” Meredith said Wednesday. “You know, when you get called into the office and you get told you’re going to get traded, there’s a moment [of trepidation]. But this is exciting. Even Kevin Towers, [the Padres’] GM, said, ‘You’re going to like this one.'”
And so it is that Meredith, who grew up listening to Jim Palmer call Orioles games on Home Team Sports, gets to suit up for the closest thing he has to a hometown team. Meredith said he doesn’t really know any of the guys in the clubhouse and that he pitched against currently disabled Baltimore reliever Chris Ray in college, but Meredith is a quick study who has watched the O’s from afar.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things — I’ve seen a lot of good things,” Meredith said. “I’m a baseball player and I pay attention to what’s going on around the league. Things are going in the right direction here and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Meredith, who began his career in the Red Sox organization, said that he’s looking forward to the challenge of playing in the American League East, perhaps the toughest division in baseball. The ground-ball specialist said he was thankful for his time in San Diego, but he’s ready, willing and able to start his career anew.
“It was a whirlwind to travel all day,” Meredith said of his transition. “I knew what to expect as far as playing here, but it was nice to come to the new ballpark. I’ve got a lot of new faces, and I’m trying to remember the names to go with them. That will come, and everybody here has been great to me so far. I’m really happy to be here.”
Now for my part of the story. The O’s have a bright future ahead with Brad Bergesen (6-4) and Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz who are down in the minors but having success. Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, and Nolan Reimold will man the outfield in years to come with Matt Wieters behind the plate. With Brian Roberts retirement on edge in about 8 years, the O’s will look for a young second basemen to take his spot.
What a great future ahead! I can’t wait for the O’s to become awesome! Tonight the O’s will be playing the Red Sox at Fenway at 7:05. The O’s will probably get a win tonight because Brad Bergesen (6-4) the O’s ace, is pitching! If Bergesen can mow through these Sox hitters, expect for the O’s to get the win tonight!
Yesterday night the O’s lost to the Yanks 6-4, with the Yanks first 4 runs all coming in the 1st inning off of Jason Berken, who has greatly struggled. We will call him the crapper! SO, the crapper, crapped it up again last night and got the loss against the Yanks. How about just releasing the Crapper we don’t want him! Who does? The Crapper has what, 8 losses now? And his ERA is over 7 and skyrocketing. Just get him out of here, the Crapper sucks, and keeps on sucking. The big one! Dang. He sucks bad. This is for you The Crapper.