Orioles will go as far as long balls take them

The Inside Stuff

April 16, 1991|By Bill Tanton

Six games into the season it's already clear that the Orioles are going to rely on home runs for their offense.

The O's have hit seven of them -- all in the last three games -- and scored all their runs yesterday on homers in a 7-2 win at Milwaukee. Sam Horn, who hit his third career grand slam, has two home runs and seven runs batted in -- yet he's batting only .143.

The O's saw something else yesterday that makes them feel better. Chris Hoiles, who caught the game, is a good hitter but there have been questions about his arm. Twice Milwaukee tried steal on Hoiles. He threw out both runners.

* What's the matter with the Washington Bullets players? These guys turn up with weight problems, they can't be located, they're always getting hurt.

Now we see that the Bullets' Ledell Eackles doesn't feel like playing until coach Wes Unseld climbs all over him -- usually at halftime. Says Wes of Eackles: "He's unbelievable when he wants to do it." Handling players like these is a strain even on a strong coach like Unseld.

One of the rare bright spots in the Bullets' picture this year is Tom Hammonds' recent improvement. For two years people have wondered how Hammonds, who was so impressive at Georgia Tech, could be such a bust in the NBA.

Hammonds had 15 points Sunday in the 101-96 win over Miami. He's getting more minutes now -- 26 in that game. Milwaukee plays the Bullets at the Capital Centre tonight.

* Did you notice who threw out the first ball for the Yankees in New York yesterday? Gen. Colin L. Powell. And we got Dan Quayle.

* Maury Schwartzman, who'll be honored at the Baltimore Tennis Patrons' banquet April 26 at the Hyatt, continues to amaze even those who know him best. Says Denis Rende, pro at Bare Hills along with Schwartzman:

"Maury has unbelievable energy. At the age of 78, he's on the court -- teaching -- 20 hours a week, four hours a day, five days a week. People half his age play twice a week and think they're playing a lot of tennis."

Elise Burgin will emcee the tennis fund-raiser. For tickets, call Lisa Robertson at 821-6206.

* People are always telling me they'd like to see a club lacrosse game, but don't know where teams such as Latshaw, MAB Paint and the Maryland Lacrosse Club play.

Here's a good one for you: This Saturday at 2 p.m. at Loyola College, Mount Washington, the best of all the clubs, vs. Chesapeake, one of the top contenders. Both have lots of former college stars and are 2-0 in league play.

* Yesterday was the anniversary of Rube Marquard's 1915 no-hitter for the New York Giants against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Marquard lived in Baltimore for most of his post-career life and played golf regularly at the Suburban Club. He used to tell me a pitcher's legs were the key to a healthy arm.

"At spring training," Rube said, "we all lived together in the hotel and our manager, John McGraw, made us run the five miles to the ballpark -- and run the five miles back. Our legs were in great shape. I pitched 18 years in the big leagues and never had a pain in my arm. Pitchers today don't run enough. That's why there are so many sore arms."

Running seems to have been good for more than the Hall of Famer's arm. Marquard was 91 when he died in 1980.

* Brian Williams may be 6 feet 10 and talented, but he's not my kind of guy. He came to Maryland to play for Bob Wade and after one year he quit. He transferred to Arizona and now he has told that school he's leaving early to go hardship in the NBA draft. This man doesn't know the meaning of the word commitment.

* Jimmy Connors, who turned pro 20 years ago after finishing second in a tournament at Towson State (and winning only a watch), was thought to be finished a few years ago. He's 38 years old, and coming off wrist surgery. Yet, he's still surprising people.

In the Japan Open last weekend, Connors gave eventual winner Stefan Edberg a tougher three-set battle than runner-up Ivan Lendl did. Says Connors, who believes he can play three or four more years: "One day when I wake up and decide I've had enough, I'll give up for good."

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