Milligan glad Oates tossed out outfield experiment
First baseman Randy Milligan went along with the left-field experiment, saying all the right things and working hard to make it successful. But now that new Baltimore Orioles manager John Oates has decided not to send him back to the outfield, the truth can be told.
"I never liked it out there," Milligan said. "I never got comfortable. I won't say that I hated it, but it showed me that I'm not a rookie anymore. There are limitations to what I can do."
The move made perfect sense at the time. Glenn Davis was going to play first base every day. Dwight Evans figured to be the right-handed designated hitter. Things just didn't work out the way anyone had expected.
Davis has been on the disabled list for a month, so Milligan moved back to first base. Evans has been the regular right fielder, though a strained groin muscle has kept him out of the lineup the past two games.
Oates said Thursday that he didn't believe that Milligan was suited to the outfield and said that he could find plenty of at-bats for him elsewhere, even if Davis returned to first base.
This should have come as good news, considering the way Milligan struggled at the plate while he was trying to adjust to the outfield, but he accepted it the same way he accepted the move to left field -- with a quiet resignation.
"I don't have a problem with anywhere they put me," he said. "I may not have liked some of the moves that were made, but I did what they wanted me to do and I'll do what they want me to do now."
Robinson to speak Tuesday
Former manager Frank Robinson said yesterday that he will meet with reporters Tuesday to discuss his dismissal. Robinson will meet with Orioles president Larry Lucchino that day and take part in a meeting at the new ballpark before talking to the media.
Motton ready for new role
New first-base coach Curt Motton said he is happy to be back on the field during the games, but expressed regret that his promotion had to come the way it did.
"I'm happy in a way," he said, "but I'm depressed by the way it happened. Frank meant a lot to me. I owe him an awful lot. I feel badly that things didn't go well."
Orioles deny trade rumors
There have been rumors in New York of a deal that would send a Yankees pitcher to the Orioles for third baseman Craig Worthington, but Orioles officials would not comment on the situation.
Yankees general manager Gene Michael accompanied his club to Baltimore and told reporters that he would be speaking with Orioles GM Roland Hemond this weekend.
The Orioles have enough pitching depth in the minor leagues to weather the possibility of losing right-hander Ben McDonald for an extended period, but no one was ruling out a deal to fill out the rotation.
Left-hander Chuck Cary and right-hander Tim Leary are the Yankees being mentioned.
Melvin bruises finger
Orioles catcher Bob Melvin left last night's game in the fourth inning after suffering a bruised right index finger. X-rays were negative.
Devereaux, Evans near return
Center fielder Mike Devereaux said he will be in the starting lineup tonight for the second game of the series against the Yankees.
He told Oates that he was "close" last night, but Oates decided to give him one more day before putting him back at the top of the order.
Evans also appears close to returning. Oates held his lineup card until he could get an update yesterday, an indication that Evans could be back as soon as tonight.
Oates goes for name change
Oates said yesterday that he would prefer to be called John instead of Johnny, even though Johnny is on his birth certificate.
"This is probably a good time to make the break," he said. "I heard a couple of announcers refer to me as John last year and I kind of liked it."
Killebrew to be honored
The Orioles will honor Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew tonight to commemorate the longest home run ever hit at Memorial Stadium. Killebrew hit a 471-foot shot to center field on May 24, 1964. The distance never has been equaled, though Frank Robinson once hit a ball completely out of the stadium.
Pitching move soon
Oates said yesterday that the club might add an 11th pitcher as soon as Tuesday, which would rule out right-hander Dave Johnson.
Johnson will not be eligible to come off the disabled list until Friday.
Milacki sporting new glasses
Right-hander Bob Milacki was wearing glasses when he arrived at Memorial Stadium yesterday, though he said it had nothing to do with his rocky start earlier this week.
"I have an astigmatism, so I need them to drive," Milacki said.
"I just figured with Brittany [his new daughter], I'm not going to take any chances."
Milacki had another explanation the next time he was approached about the wire-rimmed specs.
"I got them to break the monotony on my face," he said.