Orioles sad to see pals leave team

January 10, 1991|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Evening Sun Staff

Mike Devereaux has been through this himself, so he knew what former Orioles outfielder Steve Finley was feeling in the wake of the trade that sent Finley, and pitchers Pete Harnisch and Curt Schilling, to the Houston Astros for slugger Glenn Davis.

"Steve called me this morning," Devereaux said today. "We're great friends and it's sad to see someone you're great friends with get traded. But that's the way baseball is. You have to go on.

"He's never been traded before. You have to get through the shock of being traded before you're happy or sad about it."

Devereaux was traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Orioles in March, 1989. He knows a little, but not much, about Davis from his time with the Dodgers.

"All I know are his stats," Devereaux said. "I've seen him play when I was with the Dogers. I don't know him as a person, but I understand he's a good man.

"He'll definitely bring power to the team. I'm sure he will fill the hole we have there."

Davis, who will be 30 in March, hit 22 homers and drove in 64 runs for the Astros last year, playing at the spacious Astrodome. He batted .251, and was on the disabled list from June 25 through Aug. 29 with a strained rib-cage muscle.

The arrival of Davis leaves the Orioles with a crowd of first basemen, including incumbent Randy Milligan.

Milligan said this morning he felt a "sense of relief" at hearing the news of the trade because his name had come up prominently in trade rumors. "I didn't want to go to Houston," Milligan said. "I like it here, I like Baltimore. To know that deal is done and I'm still here, I'm very excited, very happy.

"I thought it was a good trade. I've played against Davis. He's a good ballplayer, an all-star definitely, a power hitter and one of those type of players who can't do anything but help our club.

"Of course it has an impact on me. The guy's an all-star first baseman."

Milligan didn't want to speculate on how the logjam at first might be resolved.

"It's tight," he said. "With Dwight Evans, me, Glenn Davis, there are not enough positions, unless . . ."

There's another trade?

"Hopefully, this is it," Milligan said. "Because I don't want to go anywhere. Baltimore is a class organization."

In Houston, Astros general manager Bill Wood said, "You always have mixed feelings when you have to say goodbye to someone that's been an integral part of your ball club for a 10-year period.

"Glenn signed in 1981, came up through our system and certainly developed into the power hitter we hoped he would be. You hate to say goodbye to a solid individual of that caliber.

"On the other hand, his value becomes more important on the trade side in the midst of a rebuilding program. We've helped ourselves immensely with three individuals who are highly regarded."

John McMullen is attempting to sell the team and trying to keep the 1991 payroll as low as is possible. Harnisch made $120,000 last season while Schilling made $103,000 and Finley $125,000.

Since the end of the season, the Astros have gotten rid of Davis and allowed pitchers Dave Smith, Danny Darwin, Larry Anderson and Juan Agosto, first baseman Franklin Stubbs and outfielder Terry Puhl to sign with other teams as free agents.

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