BALTIMORE -- First baseman Chris Davis agreed to participate in an unorthodox pregame ceremony last week. A five-foot finch named Henry Latticework threw out the first pitch before Tuesday's game against the Royals. Veteran outfielder Steve Pearce volunteered to catch the rare bird-to-human twirl, but when an equipment issue held him too long in the clubhouse, Chris Davis volunteered to fill in behind the dish.
"It's a rare chance," Davis said at the time, "to catch a throw from an enormous bird."
Mr. Latticework, with a spray of loose plumage, hurled a solid fastball high in the zone to hearty applause from the Baltimore faithful. But, as Davis and Latticework moved towards the dugout, Davis extended a congratulatory handshake towards the finch, only to receive a cold, feathery shoulder.
"I appreciate the gesture, sir," Latticework reportedly said, "but I'm a finch. We don't get along with your kind. Y'know, Anglo-Saxons."
Henry Latticework's lawyer insists the bird did not feel comfortable shaking a hand smeared in clay, as Davis's was at the time, and that the enormous talking bird does not hold any anti-Anglo-Saxon sentiments. But in a post-ceremony press conference, F.C. Chadwick of Baseball Magazine asked the finch what he said to the Orioles first baseman.
"I was just honest with him," the bird said. "I'm a big fan of Steve Pearce. I like all the Normans playing in the majors. I get them. They get me. Save your Davis's for rounders and cricket, thank you very much."
Chris Davis responded Tuesday evening with a post on his tumblr microblog:
Today I heard the most hateful words a North American passerine bird could possibly say. I won't repeat them here, but suffice it to say, John Donne hit the mark when he said:
"The foe oft-times, having the foe in sight,
Is tired with standing, though he never fight."
But that might have been a poem about sex. I'm not sure.
The Orioles kick off a series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.