NEW YORK — Ballpark's extra-inning name is not a hit with players
NEW YORK -- The new ballpark has a name, but Oriole Park at Camden Yards didn't meet with widespread approval in the Baltimore Orioles clubhouse.
Most of the players seemed to favor the simpler Camden Yards over the compromise that included the names favored by both Orioles owner Eli S. Jacobs (Oriole Park) and Gov. William Donald Schaefer.
"That's too long," said outfielder Brady Anderson. "If you're going to call it that, you might as well call it Babe Ruth Oriole Park at Camden Yards where Cal Ripken plays."
Anderson mirrored the sentiment of a significant number of the players and coaches questioned, many of whom said the compromise was a cop-out, but it was not unanimous.
"In all honesty, they can call it anything they want, as long as I'm working there," said manager John Oates, who is waiting for his contract to be renewed.
Hometown pitcher Dave Johnson said he felt the stadium authority and the team made the right decision.
"This is the best of both worlds," he said. "This way, if you want to call it Oriole Park, you can call it Oriole Park. If you want to call it Camden Yards, you can call it Camden Yards." Designated hitter Randy Milligan departed from the team last night to return to San Diego because of the death of a relative. He will miss the games tonight and tomorrow, but plans to return in time to play in Sunday's final game at Memorial Stadium.
Davis returns to lineup
First baseman Glenn Davis missed Wednesday night's game with more stiffness in his upper back, but he returned to the lineup last night and drove in the first run of the game with a first-inning single.
Mussina's last start
Right-hander Mike Mussina will make his 12th and final start of the season tonight in the opener of the series against the Detroit Tigers.
Mussina (4-5) has worked into the sixth inning or later in 10 of his first 11 starts. He has given up more than two earned runs in only three of those 11 games.
What he does tonight doesn't figure to change anyone's mind about him. The Orioles expect him to be a member of the starting rotation from Day 1 next season.
Gomez gets a break
Third baseman Leo Gomez has not made an error in 43 games and has made just one in his past 79 games, but he caught a break last night. He bobbled a nubber by Steve Sax that easily could have been called an error. The ball took a high-enough hop for him to make a play. It also would have bounced foul if he had left it alone. But Sax got credit for a hit.
OF Luis Mercedes made his first start in the leadoff spot since Sunday and led off the game with a hit, his fourth hit in his past 6 at-bats. . . . OF Joe Orsulak batted .389 (7-for-18) on the 7-game road trip. . . . Chris Hoiles entered the game in a 1-for-16 slump.