Rain bounces grounders but doesn't cancel workout Orioles notes

April 06, 1991|By Kent Baker

Rain washed out the Baltimore Orioles' on-field workout yesterday at Memorial Stadium, but the team still managed to squeeze in some hitting and running.

"We did everything we normally would have, except take ground balls," said manager Frank Robinson. "So, what happened wasn't that important."

The tarpaulin was on the infield, so the hitters took their swings indoors. Pitchers limbered up in the bullpen or by running on the outfield grass.

Opening Day pitcher Jeff Ballard threw in the bullpen.

The players probably were relieved there was no full-scale workout; they didn't arrive in Baltimore until 2:40 a.m. yesterday morning and most weren't in bed until nearly 4 a.m.

* Robinson said the club will not make its final four cuts until tomorrow, when the Orioles play the Boston Red Sox at RFK Stadium in Washington in the last exhibition game.

"There won't be any cuts until the Sunday sun goes down," he said.

The team brought 31 players north, but Jeff McKnight and Luis Mercedes have been optioned to the Class AAA Rochester Red Wings, leaving 29 on the major-league roster.

The most interesting situation is at third base, where Leo Gomez and Craig Worthington both have had good springs.

But, if pitcher Ben McDonald starts the year on the disabled list, both could stay temporarily.

"There's always a chance of that," Robinson said.

* As part of Monday's Opening Day ceremonies, Pat Santarone, the team's head groundskeeper for 22 years, will officially pass the rake to his successor, Paul Zwaska.

Zwaska, who has been a member of the grounds crew since 1985, will present Santarone with a "gold rake."

* U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Delores King Williams will sing the national anthem at the opener. A member of the Army's jazz ambassadors, she is a native of Baltimore.

* The Orioles have set team spring-training records for the most runs (163), hits (300) and home runs (30).

With two games remaining, they are .002 percentage points below the club record for batting average (.287).

* Coach Elrod Hendricks will be in uniform for his 23rd opener Monday. That is a record. Brooks Robinson is next with 21.

* The Chicago White Sox will arrive in Baltimore this evening and will work out at Memorial Stadium tomorrow at 1 p.m.

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