BALTIMORE—It’s not often that a pair of relievers from the same team get to pitch in the All-Star Game. Zach Britton and Darren O’Day.
“Getting named as an All-Star is pretty special. It’s not something I expected,” Britton said.
“You thought about it, but I think sometimes you lose track of it. When you get to the big leagues, you want to stay in the big leagues. Sometimes you don’t think about being an All-Star.”
Britton was encouraged by Orioles’ vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson to excel.
“I want you to be a really good major league player. I want you to be not just a guy who gets there and stays there. You need to want to be an All-Star,” Anderson said. “That’s what you need to think about, not just want to be there.”
For O’Day, the guy who throws sidearm and nearly lost out to Zach Phillips for the final spot in 2012, the All-Star Game experience is real.
“It’s really challenging for a middle relief guy to make it. We pitch a lot of tough innings,” O’Day said. “A few years of consistency got me into the All-Star Game as a reliever.”
Britton, the closer knows how hard it is for a middle man to get in.
“Those guys definitely get overlooked,” Britton said. “You realize how tough it is to do what he’s done for the last few years and get recognized for it.”
O’Day watched All-Star Games in the past and hoped that he would get the call.
“I always thought I had a chance,” O’Day said “Maybe an injury, a starter hurts his back getting his luggage of the plane, and they call me the day before the All-Star Game and I have to jet out there. I never expected to be a manager’s selection. I never expected to be one of those guys picked.”