Team honors Price's request to be releasedPitcher Joe...

Orioles notes

April 26, 1991|By Kent Baker

Team honors Price's request to be released

Pitcher Joe Price, frustrated by his performance and lack of motivation, has been released by the Baltimore Orioles at his request.

Price, 34, who has been pitching for the Rochester Red Wings after agreeing to sign a Class AAA contract, said: "I don't want to go out and shortchange myself or these guys. I just can't see continuing like this. I want to go home and re-evaluate what I want to do."

He had appeared in a club-high seven Red Wings game, mostly with poor results. His ERA was 16.20, and he had lost his lone decision.

"There are no assurances he would have been brought up May 1," said Orioles assistant general manager Doug Melvin. "A lot of this has to do with the emergence of Mike Flanagan and the fact that Paul Kilgus is pitching pretty well in the big leagues."

Price's case was unusual in that he became a free agent after last season when the Orioles, concerned about the back injury he suffered during the summer, declined to pick up his option. TTC The team offered a lower salary ($200,000), but Price decided to test the market and found it shallow.

He then re-signed with the Orioles, but the Player Relations Committee would not waive a rule that prevented him from playing in the majors until May 1.

"My back is OK," he said from Rochester. "The disappointing thing about the whole ordeal is that I could have been in the big leagues if I hadn't signed late. It's hard to adjust to being where I am. My concentration wavers, something that wouldn't happen up there. I can't get over the mental hump, and it has snowballed into a mess."

Price said he doesn't think he will surface quickly with another team unless it is "an ideal situation. Right now, I don't anticipate playing for a while."

Bautista assigned to Miami

Pitcher J. J. Bautista has been assigned to the Miami Miracle of the Class A Florida State League after clearing waivers.

Bautista, who was designated for assignment April 19, lives in Miami, where the team is operated by Major League Baseball. He will join another Orioles farmhand on the club, outfielder Paris Hayden.

"We want him to continue to pitch in a starting role and see if he can gain back some confidence," said Melvin. "With the rainouts and backups we've had at Rochester and elsewhere in the system, we're already struggling to get all our pitchers work."

Bautista was 0-1 with a 20.77 ERA in four games for the Orioles.

Night in the stands for workers

The Orioles will play host to more than 1,000 members of the Camden Yards construction crew and their guests tonight, including Beth Cline, known as "The Singing Plumber," who will sing the national anthem.

Memories: Phoebus' no-hitter

In keeping with the theme "Thanks for the Memories," former Orioles pitcher Tom Phoebus will return to Baltimore tomorrow to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of his no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox. Now a teacher in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Phoebus will be honored with a video of his gem.

First ball for Clancy

Maryland native Tom Clancy, author of "The Hunt for Red October" and other best-selling novels, will throw out the first ball tonight. He will be attending the game as part of Drug Prevention Night ceremonies.

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