The Baltimore Orioles are preparing to name a new director of scouting, but general manager Roland Hemond said yesterday that the decision could be a few more weeks in the making.
"It should be before the first of the year," Hemond said, "but there's no real rush. We've got everything under control."
The club apparently will promote someone from within the organization to replace former scouting director John Barr, who left the club in October for a job with the San Diego Padres. But the timing is not critical, because most of the scouting information gathered during the 1990 season was submitted and reviewed during the club's organizational meetings in September.
"All the reports have been turned in," assistant general manager Doug Melvin said. "At this time of year, you can survive without one [a scouting director], but it's getting close to the time where we will have to name one."
The in-house candidates reportedly include Hemond's assistant, Gordon Goldsberry, and Orioles regional scouting supervisor John Cox. It would seem logical to make the appointment before the Winter Meetings (Dec. 1-5), but Hemond said that the annual trading convention -- which also is the site of the Rule V major-league draft -- is not viewed as a deadline for filling the scouting vacancy.
"That information [for the draft] already has been turned in," he said.
The high season for the scouting department is in the spring, when clubs scout high school and college players in anticipation of the June free-agent draft.
In the winter, clubs send scouts to the various winter leagues to scout players who might be left unprotected for the Rule V draft. Melvin said the Orioles will be well-represented, particularly in the Dominican Republic, where Rochester Red Wings manager Greg Biagini is managing the Estrellas club for the organization.
* Shortstop Cal Ripken is getting into a new racket. He'll team with Pam Shriver in a celebrity doubles match against Julius Erving and Elise Burgin as part of the First National Bank Tennis Festival Nov. 27.
The annual charity event, presented by The Baltimore Sun and held at the Baltimore Arena, benefits Children's Hospital and Center for Reconstructive Surgery, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Maryland and the Greater Baltimore Tennis Patrons Association.
Ripken's reputation with a baseball glove is well-known. He also is an excellent basketball player. But he said that tennis is not his game.
"I've only dabbled in it," Ripken said. "I've never really played the game [seriously]. I played in gym class and I've messed around with it a few times, but I have virtually no experience playing tennis."
If that's the case, why is Ripken willing to put his inexperience on display in front of an audience?
"Pam has always been such a goodwill person for Baltimore that I've always wanted to help out," Ripken said. "She has always done such a good job with this event in the past and I've always wanted to play, but never had the time. Now, I have the time, and I'm not going to miss it."
* While the Orioles brass go shopping at the winter meetings in early December, the club will hold its annual Holiday Benefit Sale Dec. 1-8 at Memorial Stadium, where the Bird will make daily appearances and various Orioles players will appear on weekends. Sale hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekend days (Dec. 1, 2 and 8) and noon to 7 p.m. on weekdays.