Baltimore Orioles righthander Jeremy Guthrie was all apologies yesterday after declining to speak to reporters Wednesday night following his team's 4-2 loss to Detroit.

"I'm apologetic for not making myself available," Guthrie said, "when it was, obviously, a game in which I pitched and needed to make some comments to talk about how well the team played. I think we played really, really well defensively and we got shut down by a really good pitcher [Edwin Jackson] who was on top of his game."

Guthrie said that he understood he had a responsibility to his fans and that he needed to set a better example for the Orioles' four rookie starting pitchers.

"Ultimately, I was hoping to take a night off," he added. "Looking back it was not the right decision, especially under the circumstances. I guess my regret is that I did it and it was misinterpreted."

There was no report on how the press reacted to his apology.

In the bizarre moments category . . .

The Kansas City Royals got a surprise visitor Wednesday night in their 11-6 loss to the Seattle Mariners at Kauffman Stadium. In the sixth inning, a gray cat wandered onto the field.

"I was surprised that it wasn't entirely black," said Royals manager Trey Hillman, whose team is last in the AL Central.

"We thought the cat was going to attack [bullpen coach] John [Wetteland], so we had to divert it away from him," said Mariners reliever Shawn Kelley. "It scaled an eight-foot wall. We thought John was in trouble."

The cat later took off down the right-field line when Royals catcher Miguel Olivo made a lunge for it. It escaped into foul territory.

Just what the fans want to hear

Faced with financial issues and his team in fourth place in the AL Central, Cleveland Indians owner Paul Dolan tried to explain the trades of Cy Young winner Cliff Lee to the Phillies and all-star catcher Victor Martinez to the Red Sox. His words did not seem encouraging to Indians fans.

Cleveland is expected to lose $16 million this season despite revenue sharing.

"Every four or five years, if we can have a shot at the World Series and compete in the playoffs like we did in 2005, that is as good as it gets," Dolan said. He said the trades of Lee and Martinez were necessary long-term moves.


The New York Yankees acquired righthander Chad Gaudin from San Diego for a player to be named. Gaudin, 26, went 4-10 with a 5.13 ERA in 20 games for the Padres. . . . Pitcher Jake Peavy, acquired by the Chicago White Sox from the San Diego Padres seconds before last Friday's non-waiver trade deadline, is expected to begin a minor-league rehab stint on Thursday. The righthander is battling arm problems.