CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Dwight Evans left the Orioles yesterday with disappointment but not bitterness. He even admitted he wasn't completely surprised.
"I had talked to Johnny [manager John Oates] and Roland [general manager Roland Hemond] earlier," Evans said yesterday after being informed he had been put on waivers for purposes of granting him an unconditional release. "When I looked at the roster, I didn't see space there for me.
"If something was going to happen, I was hoping it would happen early. And this is what happened."
Evans leaves saying he has no regrets, that he "felt good about everything," and praising the Orioles and their fans.
"Playing on a championship team in that town would have to be a player's dream," said Evans. "I enjoyed my year there. I loved the town and the people there. The fans were some of the greatest I've ever played before.
"It [his release] is a low point to be sure," he said. "But I think something good will come of it. And for something good to take place, maybe this had to happen.
"If you ask me if I want to play some more, the answer is yes, I do. But being out of baseball is not the worst thing in the world. If I can see my kids finish growing up, that won't be bad."
Evans and Oates said they had the same regret about the veteran's stay in Baltimore. "My only regret is that I wasn't younger, so I could have shown the people what I could do," said Evans, 40.
"I just wish he was four or five years younger, so I knew I could count on him every day," said Oates. "He knows how I feel about him. I respect what he's done in this game, and that made this a very difficult decision.
"I probably talked to him more than anybody all spring," said Oates. "I told him that in order to help us I had to be sure he would be healthy."
As a result, Oates admits he asked Evans to push himself this spring. And Evans had no real quarrel with that request.
"They wanted to be able to make a decision early, and so did I," said Evans. "I really believe the Orioles are a good, young team. They have a good manager and I think they're going to go places."