Men in black

Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said before Saturday’s game that you can’t really see balls and strikes from the dugout, but hours later, he saw enough to back one of his players. Early in the game, Trembley saw that second baseman Brian Roberts was jawing back and forth with home-plate umpire Doug Eddings and charged out of the dugout to intercede.

The game continued after a brief delay, but both teams seemed to deal with an inconsistent strike zone throughout the night. Most of the players chose not to comment on the floating zone, and Trembley spoke about his plate conference with appropriate caution.

“I have to be real careful,” he said. “Let me put it to you this way: [Josh] Beckett is a great pitcher. He doesn’t need any help. Our guys are just as good as anybody else and they should be afforded the same amount of respect that everybody else gets. The strike zone is the strike zone. You guys up there could see it.

“No one’s perfect. I can’t argue balls and strikes, but I’m going to keep Roberts in the game and I’m going to let Doug know that Beckett is pretty good. He doesn’t need any help and if you’re going to do it, do it for us as well.”

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