Baltimore reliever Steve Kline's comments to the Post-Dispatch that he wished he still played for the Cardinals raised much more of a stink with Baltimore fans, some of whom wanted to ship him right back, postage paid, than it did in the Orioles' clubhouse.
Kline did some damage control, addressing his team before a game at Tampa Bay on Wednesday night and then he went out and gained credit for a victory.
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."
Kline, who received attention last year for flipping off Cardinals manager Tony La Russa in the bullpen, joked that he got a new haircut to avoid being recognized. The lefthander struck out Tampa Bay's Aubrey Huff to stop a Tampa Bay rally Wednesday and the Orioles then went ahead in the next inning.
"I figured, if I (mess up) right now, they may as well shoot me," Kline said.
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.'"