Robinson to get lowdown on front-office job duties

Orioles notebook

May 28, 1991|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Evening Sun Staff

Frank Robinson is supposed to meet today with club president Larry Lucchino and general manager Roland Hemond in an effort to outline his new front-office duties with the Orioles.

The ex-manager also has indicated he would talk to the media after the meeting.

Robinson, who was relieved of his managerial duties last Thursday, has a "rollover" contract that guarantees him a front-office position. The specific nature of his duties, however, has not been spelled out, although it is believed to include evaluation of talent at both the major- and minor-league levels.

One of the areas in which Robinson has had significant input has been the construction of the new stadium. He was scheduled to visit the Camden Yards site today, but indicated he would wait until after his meeting with Lucchino and Hemond.

* WILLIAMSON RESPONDS: Reliever Mark Williamson, who has been uncommonly ineffective thus far, turned in his best performance of the year last night. The righthander pitched four scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out five.

"We've got to get him going if we're going to do anything," said manager John Oates. "And that's as good as I've ever seen him pitch."

Williamson took over for Bob Milacki after Beau Allred's home run to lead off the sixth inning. "I finally hit a groove tonight," he said. "I hit a rhythm with the second batter and finally knew where the ball was going."

Milacki (1-2) also gave up a home run to Brook Jacoby in the fifth, when Cleveland scored twice to tie the score.

* 3-K NIGHT FOR JUAN: Juan Bell got a rare start at second base last night and had the unfortunate experience of facing Tom Candiotti's knuckleball. He struck out three times, dropping his average to .133.

Bell played in place of Bill Ripken, whose back was giving him problems. "It was tough for him to bend over at the end of the game Sunday," said Oates. "I had two lineup cards made out and when he said a day's rest might help I told him we wouldn't have him bending his back chasing knuckleballs."

* SO CLOSE, BUT...: As had been the case in the previous two games, the Orioles were in position to win last night's game, but came up a base hit short.

"We had the people we wanted up there at the end," said Oates. He was referring to Ernie Whitt, who just missed a game-tying homer before drawing a walk from Shawn Hillegas, and Dwight Evans, who had a two-out pinch single to move the tying run to third base before Mike Devereaux flied out to end the game.

* LESS THAN AUSPICIOUS DEBUT: Oates isn't the first Orioles' manager to lose his first four games -- but he's in exclusive company.

The Orioles lost their first six under Paul Richards in 1955. And when Robinson succeeded Cal Ripken Sr. in the midst of the season-opening 21-game losing streak in 1988, it took him 16 games to record his first victory.

* ATTENDANCE HOLDING UP: About the only thing that hasn't broken down for the Orioles this year is their attendance. Last night's crowd of 23,338 brought the season total to 590,408, an average of 29,520.

Both figures are the highest in club history at this point in the season (20 dates).

* DRAFT PREPARATION: Scouting director Gary Nickels will begin organizational meetings Thursday in preparation for this year's amateur free-agent draft, which starts Monday.

The Orioles will have the ninth pick in the selection process, which is determined by the reverse order of standings from the previous year. The American League drafts first in odd years, meaning the Yankees get the first overall selection this year.

* THIS 'N THAT: Of the 25 players on the Cleveland roster, 20 of them are under 30 years of age.

Evans collected the 2,400th hit of his career in Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Yankees.

Orioles broadcaster Ken Levine is not working the Cleveland series, having returned to his Los Angeles home to be with his wife, Deborah, who suffered a broken ankle Sunday. Jim West is filling in during Levine's absence.

Cal Ripken had three hits last night to raise his average to .350 and Devereaux was 2-for-5 and moved to .295.

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