First baseman Randy Milligan acknowledged yesterday that he will not be returning to the Baltimore Orioles lineup this season, though not for lack of desire to test his ailing shoulder.
He said yesterday that he has been told that he will not be reactivated this year.
"They pretty much told me to shut it down," he said. "They just think it's the best thing to do, because there's no real reason to come back."
Milligan took batting practice yesterday and said he felt fine, but he admits that he would not be as comfortable playing defensively, since he still is experiencing pain when he reaches straight up or across his body.
He is aware of some sentiment that he could have been back sooner, but doesn't know what he could have done differently.
"I know I did the best I could," he said. "What more could I do? I couldn't even lift my arm. If you look at the overall picture, I suppose I could have come back 2 1/2 weeks ago. I could have had the cortisone shots sooner. But we slipped out of the pennant race, and I still would have been hurting and there's no way I could have played in the field."
* Sixteen stitches were required to close a gash in the right forearm of Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Rob Deer. He suffered the injury in a fight at Mount Washington Tavern late Thursday night.
Several Brewers players were involved in an altercation with apparent party crashers at a team gathering. Deer was injured when he caught his arm on the jagged bracket of a broken stair rail.
The number of players involved in the brawl is not certain, but the Brewers denied a published report that they were fighting among themselves.
* The Orioles lead the American League in games decided in the seventh inning or later (59), a statistic that figures to mean different things to different people.
It is a telling statistic for the Orioles, whose 28-31 record in those games illustrates both an inconsistent middle-relief corps and an uncanny ability to win in extra innings. The Orioles are 11-4 in extra-inning games, but they are 10 games under .500 in games decided by one or two runs.
The Oakland Athletics have the best record in games decided after the seventh (25-13) and the Brewers have the worst (17-26).
* Manager Frank Robinson spent time Friday reviewing architectural details of the new stadium. Robinson has been involved in the design of the field, dugouts and clubhouses.
"We have been involved in a way that we can have some impact, and that's exciting," Robinson said. "We're not tailoring it to the ballclub, but we're helping answer the question, 'What would make for an exciting ballpark?' There are going to be different angles in the outfield, comfortable dugouts and a relaxing type of clubhouse."
It is just a coincidence that Robinson also has been involved the past couple of days in meetings that will determine the shape of the ballclub for years to come. The organizational contingent moved to Frederick yesterday for a tour of the new instructional-league facility.
* Actress Cicely Tyson and Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke attended last night's game to kick off Baltimore's "Shots for Tots" program, which provides free immunization for children at local hospitals through Monday.
* The Orioles played host to representatives of baseball federations from Poland and Czechoslovakia at last night's game. The group is here to get a closer look at American baseball, as well as to observe instructional techniques. The members will also spend four days with the Orioles' instructional-league team.
* Pitcher Jeff Ballard and Gov. William Donald Schaefer will take part in a tree planting and beautification project in the Cherry Hill area of Baltimore. The Orioles, including the Memorial Stadium grounds crew, will construct a baseball field in that neighborhood as part of the program.