O's get intensity with Balfour

O's get intensity with Balfour
December 18, 2013, 11:30 pm
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Part of the repertoire that Grant Balfour will bring to his new role as Orioles closer is an intensity that includes yelling at himself on the mound and engaging in stare-downs with opposing hitters.

During October’s American League Division Series between Balfour’s A’s and the Tigers, the closer took issue with Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez doing the staring thing. Next thing you know, F-bombs were flying between the two and benches were clearing.

Part of Balfour’s explanation for the confrontation: "He gave me the death stare. I said, ‘If you have a problem, come on out.’ And he came out."

Though the tension was heightened in that incident because it came during the postseason, Balfour brings a semi-controlled rage into any ballgame.

“He's got that Aussie Rules Football mentality. He just wants to hit somebody,” said Sean Doolittle, a fellow reliever with Oakland.

"It's just the way I am," Balfour, who is Australian, told CSNBayArea.com last summer. "I'm fiery and competitive.”

Two Balfour tidbits, courtesy of CSNBayArea.com:

*He met his wife when he went in for surgery on a torn rotator cuff in 2005. Angie Balfour worked as an assistant to the orthopedic surgeon who performed the operation.

*When they were teammates with the Brewers’ Triple-A Nashville club, Balfour saved R.A. Dickey from drowning in the Missouri River. Dickey, now with the Blue Jays, was trying to win bets that he could swim across the river at Council Bluffs, Iowa, and got caught in the current. Unable to swim back to shore, Dickey did manage to get close enough that Balfour could reach out and pull him from the water.