BALTIMORE -- Disgruntled third baseman Melvin Mora lashed out at Baltimore Orioles manager Dave Trembley on Sunday after being benched for the third time in four games."I don't appreciate the disrespect, because I've been playing hurt for a guy who won't respect you. I don't deserve it," the 37-year-old Mora said. "I need to have my respect. This is not a guy who just came to the Orioles. This is a guy who's been here for nine years."
Mora is a two-time All-Star who hit .285 with 23 homers and 104 RBIs last season despite being bothered by a foot sprain for several weeks. This year, however, Mora is batting .256 with only three homers and 27 RBIs.
Trembley stuck with Mora until recently, when he began giving veteran Ty Wigginton more playing time at third base. Trembley acknowledged Sunday the switch was made in part because Wigginton's contract extends through next year and Mora will become a free agent after this season.
Mora expects to be playing elsewhere in 2010.
"I need to sit down in my house, see what team [is] thinking to win," he said. "I know here they're rebuilding and they bring a lot of young guys here, good players. I know it's time for me to move on."
Mora insisted the benching wasn't as maddening as the reason he was given for the move.
"Don't give me the excuse that I cannot beat John Smoltz, that I cannot beat Josh Beckett or I cannot beat [Jon] Lester or I cannot beat Pedro Martinez or I cannot beat nobody here, because I've been here for nine years," he said. "I've been here for nine years and all those guys in the East, they know me. You don't make the All-Star team for nothing. You deserve respect."
Told of Mora's comments, Trembley said, "I'm disappointed that he feels that way, but that's really nothing for me to comment on because I'm not going to get into that. Melvin's been a very good player for a long time, but we don't show disrespect to anybody."
By benching Mora on Sunday -- a day game after a night game -- Trembley believed he was doing the veteran a favor.
"If I give a guy a day off -- guys who are up there in age, they've played a long time, guys who are struggling -- I'm trying to help them. I'm not trying to hurt them," Trembley said. "It's easy to look at things from the negative. You've got to be a team guy here."
Mora said he would continue to do his job, even if his role is reduced.
"If he wants me to pinch hit, I'll pinch hit and help my teammates," he said. "My job isn't to go into his office and tell him I want to play tomorrow. That's not my job. Whatever he wants to do there, he can do it. But like I told you before, I need to have my respect."
mora looks likely to bolt. hope it works out.