McDonald's shoulder still stiff and sore, but he'll finish 0) season
Baltimore Orioles pitcher Ben McDonald still is experiencing some pain and stiffness in his right shoulder, but he said yesterday that it will not keep him from finishing the season.
The stiffness has been traced to a diving play McDonald made in his Aug. 28 start against the Toronto Blue Jays at Memorial Stadium. McDonald apparently bruised his shoulder when he sprawled on the infield trying to bare-hand a ball, and he has been feeling the effects since.
"As far as anyone can tell, it's nothing but a deep bruise," said McDonald. "I don't think it's going to get any worse. They said it can be painful and it's not going to fully heal until the off-season, but I'm going to keep pitching unless it gets really worse."
McDonald pitched a strong eight innings on Aug. 28. He left his next start with shoulder stiffness, but came back to give up six hits over seven innings against the Kansas City Royals his last time out. Though he admits pitching in some pain, he said he isn't concerned that the problem might adversely affect his pitching mechanics.
"The last two games, I threw a low of strikes," he said. "My curveball has been consistent. The mechanics have been the same."
He is scheduled to make his next start tomorrow night against the Cleveland Indians.
Friday the 13th
McDonald doesn't seem to concerned about pitching on Friday the 13th.
"I don't think thing can get any worse as far as luck is concerned," McDonald said. "If I was having a good year, I'd be worried, but it's been pretty bad already."
But could it be a coincidence that has brought together two of the worst-luck teams in baseball on that night?
No change, Jacobs says
Orioles principal owner Eli S. Jacobs told major-league owners yesterday that his position about selling the team is unchanged.
"What he said is what he has said periodically: The Orioles are not for sale, but he continues to consider proposals that may reach him," baseball commissioner Fay Vincent said yesterday. "He is not pushing to sell the team. . . . I don't believe he is making a major effort to sell them."
A spokesman for Jacobs said, "There is no change in Mr. Jacobs' position regarding the Orioles."
The two-day owners meeting are scheduled to end today. Vincent will hold a news conference to discuss important business conducted this week.
Devereaux not No. 2
Hitting coach Tom McCraw said he doesn't think that Mike Devereaux will end up as the Orioles' regular No. 2 hitter. The sixth spot in the order might be more comfortable.
"That's the ideal spot for Devereaux," McCraw said. "He has the ability to adjust. He adjusted to the leadoff spot, and he'll adjust to hitting second. But in the No. 2 spot, you want a hitting magician who can hit and run and bunt. In the sixth spot, he can stretch out the long ball and give you some speed in the middle of the order."
Devereaux has been the leadoff hitter by necessity, but the arrival of Luis Mercedes could make it necessary to relocate -- in the Orioles lineup.
Tackett makes debut
Catcher Jeff Tackett made his major-league debut behind the plate for the Orioles and walked in his first plate appearance in a two-run second inning.
The Orioles' Instructional League team begins workouts today at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota, Fla. The organization has sent 33 players to work under manager Red Nichols. . . . Cal Ripken's 27th home run Tuesday night pushed the total funds raised by the Reading, Runs and Ripken literacy program to $108,417.
Mark Hyman of The Sun's sports staff contributed to this article.