View single post by lobo316
 Posted: Sun Apr 16th, 2017 05:59 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 14th, 2007
Location: Raptorville
Posts: 44038
Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter has some interesting thoughts on Eric Gagne, the former closer and Cy Young winner whose 84 consecutive saves streak stands in the way of Zach Britton's pursuit of history.

Following the club's 6-4 win against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday that saw Showalter's All-Star closer notch his 54th straight save, tying Tom Gordon for second all time, the long-time manager said he believes Britton is already tied in first because Gagne admitted to taking human growth hormone.

"Gagne doesn't count," Showalter said, according to Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun. "So (really) Zach is tied for first, OK? Really, that doesn't have an asterisk next to it?"

The 41-year-old Gagne, who is seeking a return to the majors, was listed in the 2007 Mitchell Report linking him to performance-enhancing drugs. He later revealed in a 2010 interview that he used HGH to help him recover from a knee injury.

Britton, meanwhile, has been brilliant on the mound and one of the game's best dating back to 2014. He's coming off a year that saw him yield his first earned run in August, a season when he finished with a combined 0.54 ERA and a league-leading 47 saves, while placing fourth in American League Cy Young voting.

"He's set a standard that I don't think you'll see in your lifetime," Showalter said. "It just won't happen. I tend to try to enjoy it and watch it and realize how lucky I and we are to have a seat to watch it instead of trying to critique it every night. It's hard to do. If the fans and people think they have higher expectations of him, they're not higher than Zach Britton. I can tell you that."

That's high praise given by Showalter considering he opted against using Britton in the 11th inning of last year's AL wild-card game, leading to former Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion's walk-off, three-run home run.