CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Pete Stanicek, once the Baltimor Orioles' second baseman of the future, was released from the minor-league camp yesterday.
Stanicek, who had been attempting to battle back from a series of injuries, last played for the Orioles in 1988, when he batted .230 and stole 12 bases in 83 games.
When Bill Ripken came up from the minors, the team tried Stanicek at third base and in left field, but he couldn't stay out of the training room long enough to become a starter.
"That was a minor-league decision," manager Frank Robinson said. "I guess he just ran out of time."
The highlight of Stanicek's career might have been April 29, 1988, when he scored two runs and drove in one in a victory over the Chicago White Sox that broke the Orioles' 21-game season-opening losing streak.
* The road show that has been this season's Orioles spring training is taking its toll on the players.
"You can't do anything," Randy Milligan said. "You're off the bus and taking batting practice five minutes later. Everybody's legs are dead and hamstrings are tight.
"I don't want to sound like I'm crying, but we thought it would be better than this."
The vagabond Orioles have played only four home games, one of them at Bradenton, 35 miles from their Twin Lakes Park base.
"They're wearing guys out," Milligan said.
* Milligan still is not enchanted with playing left field.
"I can play out there, but no doubt I'd rather be at first base," he said. "My arm hurts because of the change of motion, but I guess that was to be expected.
"It's not that tough. Just call it power shagging, but it's not where I want to be. I guess you gotta do what you gotta do."
* Left-hander Dan Boone, hoping to catch on with another organization before it gets too close to Opening Day, has asked the Orioles to try to trade him.
"I'd be glad to go to Rochester," he said, "but I just don't want to get released around Opening Day, when it's so hard to catch on with anyone else."
Boone pitched against the Texas Rangers' Class AAA Oklahoma City 89ers yesterday, apparently with Rangers scouts in
attendance. Several teams are searching for left-handed relief help, but it might be tough for a 37-year-old knuckleballer with minimal major-league experience to convince anyone that he can help.
"I really thought after last year that I would have a chance to make the ballclub here," Boone said. "The only thing I can figure is that Frank is scared to death of knuckleball pitchers."
In Boone's only appearance for the major-league club this spring, his wild pitch allowed the winning run to score in extra innings.
* Brooks Robinson will represent The Topps Co. Inc. and help promote its 40th anniversary sweepstakes. The announcement was made before yesterday's game.
"I'm very enthusiastic about representing a company that brought me so much enjoyment as a teen-ager, when I collected cards of my favorite ballplayers," Robinson said.
Topps is giving away 300,000 vintage cards printed from 1952 through 1990. Those cards are randomly inserted in packs.
* Dave Johnson started yesterday and had a customary outing, keeping the Orioles safely on top with six creditable innings. He lowered his ERA to 5.29 from 5.73 and retired 12 in a row at one point. "I was very pleased with his outing," Frank Robinson said. "But I looked for him to be a little sharper. . . . Mark Williamson's ERA rose to 7.27 after he issued a bases-loaded walk to Dale Murphy, a bases-loaded double to John Kruk and a run-scoring single to Charlie Hayes in the Phillies' six-run seventh. . . . Chris Hoiles is 6-for-15 (.400) after an RBI double. . . . Fellow catcher Jeff Tackett was optioned to Rochester along with Anthony Telford but also doubled in the game and hit a fly ball to the center-field wall. The game was called after 12 innings with the score tied, 9-9, and the Orioles out of pitchers they wanted to use. "The main thing down here is to get your work in," Robinson said. . . . Dwight Evans hit his first spring homer, off Dave LaPoint in the first inning.