'Old school' manager Oates gives Horn gentle lesson in etiquette

Orioles notes

June 01, 1991|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Sun Staff Correspondent

BOSTON -- Baltimore Orioles manager John Oates has not gone out of his way to impose a new code of baseball ethics on the team, but his philosophy is finding its way into the clubhouse little by little.

He called designated hitter Sam Horn into his office yesterday afternoon for a short conversation on home run etiquette. Nothing serious. Just a quiet reminder that there was no reason to get the Red Sox riled.

Horn, a former member of the Red Sox organization, hit a monstrous home run off reliever Jeff Gray in the ninth inning of Thursday night's 9-3 victory. He hit it so well that he just stood at home plate and watched the flight of the ball, then flipped his bat high into the air and broke into a home run trot.

"There was some emotion out there," Oates said. "Sam hit a home run here last year and there were some negative things said about him in their clubhouse. I'm was not angry at him. If I had hit the ball that far, I might have stood and watched it, too."

But Oates says he doesn't care for any action that shows up the other team. He is from the old school, the one at which an exaggerated home run trot might lead to a large bruise on the lower back the next time up.

"I don't like to give the other team any ammunition," he said. "If a dog is asleep, don't wake him up. Don't poke him with a stick because he might bite you.

"If I had my way, we wouldn't even shake hands with each other after the game. You're supposed to win, so you don't get too excited and you don't celebrate too much. You win the game and you go home."

Horn said he took a little extra joy in his three-run homer because of the things that were said about him last year and because the Red Sox had given up on him.

"It wasn't directed at anybody on the field," he said. "I didn't even mean to flip the bat up in the air. I just had a lot of pine tar on it, and, as I flipped it away, it stuck to my hand.

"He [Oates] just wanted to make sure it wasn't my new habit."

It was not a disciplinary hearing by any stretch of the imagination. Oates spent as much time listening as he did talking. He is not the lecturing type. He didn't even lay down ground rules when he first addressed the team after he was hired.

"They know me," he said. "They've seen me down at first base. If Cal Ripken can run every ball out, they can, too. Just play the game the way it was meant to be played."

Robinson decision still pending

Former manager Frank Robinson still has not officially accepted a front-office job with the Orioles, but it appears likely he will announce his intentions Monday.

Injury update

Starting pitcher Dave Johnson threw in the bullpen Thursday night and continued to experience pain from the groin strain that forced him onto the disabled list.

Second baseman Bill Ripken still is experiencing back soreness, but will remain in the lineup as long as he can handle it.

Orioles acquire pitcher

The Orioles acquired left-hander Jim Poole, 25, on a waiver claim from the Texas Rangers organization and have optioned him to the Class AAA Rochester Red Wings. The club moved left-hander Brian DuBois to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Poole on the 40-man roster.

Poole made five appearances for the Rangers this season, giving up three earned runs and 10 hits in six innings. He had not been scored upon in 10 games with the Class AAA Oklahoma City 89ers.

The Orioles also announced yesterday that they had signed first baseman Doug McConathy, their 42nd pick in the 1990 free-agent draft.

Milligan jams ankle again

First baseman Randy Milligan could miss today's game after aggravating the ankle sprain that has been bothering him since spring training.

Milligan jammed his right ankle crossing first base in the fourth inning last night and limped back to the dugout. He stayed in the game, but Oates said he was very sore.

"We'll just have to see how it is," Oates said.

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