Gene J. Puskar/AP
Baltimore Orioles general manager Dan Duquette made headlines in December when he said his team had no interest in signing slugger Jose Bautista because Baltimore fans didn’t like him.
On Tuesday, MLB.com caught up with Duquette and asked him about Bautista, who has since re-signed with the Blue Jays.
In the interview, Duquette reiterated that Baltimore fans really, really don’t like Bautista.
“[O]ur fans just don’t like Jose,” Duquette said. “We play those guys 25 times a year and he’s the face of the Blue Jays. He’s the villain in the play whenever we play the Blue Jays.”
Duquette then said that he, along with Baltimore fans more generally, instead prefer “working-class” and “gritty” ballplayers.
“I like our guys. Our guys are good. [Mark] Trumbo is like a working-class-type baseball player. If he was going to work every day on a construction site, you would understand that he brings that kind of work ethic every day. That’s the kind of player that our fans identify with. We try to get gritty players that work hard every day and give their best effort every day. Our fans seem to like that and respond to it.”
Trumbo will make $11 million this season, as compared to Bautista’s $18 million. One has to suspect that Duquette’s latest comments will inspire Bautista during those 25 games.