Scuff stuff is on its way to AL office

Orioles notebook

June 23, 1992|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

The incriminating evidence in the case of the scuffed baseballs is on its way to New York for American League president Bobby Brown's inspection.

The Orioles sent "at least five balls and some videotapes," according to manager Johnny Oates, to the league office in the aftermath of Sunday night's incident during the 8-2 loss to the New York Yankees.

Oates accused New York pitcher Tim Leary of scuffing baseballs with coarse sandpaper that he kept in his glove. The videotapes show, among other things, Leary hiding his face with his glove and putting something (the sandpaper?) in his mouth before the umpires checked his hand and glove.

What irked Oates most was the fact Chris Hoiles suffered a fractured right wrist and will be out four to six weeks after being struck by one of Leary's scuffed balls that darted in abnormally when the catcher was batting in the second inning.

"It seems innocent people like Chris take the short straw in a case like this," Oates said. "There is no doubt that Hoiles was hit by a scuffed ball.

"If our protest isn't upheld, all pitchers will take it as a license to doctor baseballs. They'll just have to put whatever they're using in their mouth if they're checked."

In his playing days as a catcher, Oates admitted he occasionally handled pitchers who might have been applying foreign substances to the balls.

"When I was catching a guy who was accused of that, I thought it was fun," Oates said. "But I look at it differently now. This time a guy got hurt, and we sent the ball that hit him to Dr. Brown."

* GOMEZ RETURNS: Leo Gomez returned to third base last night, batting in the seventh spot, after missing two games with a jammed shoulder. Gomez has dislocated his left shoulder three times and now the right (throwing) one once. Because of that medical history, the doctor convinced him to sit out two games instead of one.

Gomez went 1-for-2 and scored the winning run after a walk and a rare steal in the ninth inning.

* 'DEVO,' HALL HONORED: The Orioles' Mike Devereaux and the Yankees' Mel Hall were named co-AL Players of the Week for the June 15-21 period.

Devereaux batted .393, knocked in seven runs and scored six. His 11 hits included three doubles, a triple and two home runs. Hall batted .370 and had 10 hits, including three doubles, and scored six runs.

In his final two games of the week, against the Orioles, Hall went 6-for-7, with seven RBIs. Hall and Devereaux, who continued their hot hitting with 2-for-4 and 2-for-5 performances, respectively, last night, will receive Bulova wrist watches to commemorate their awards.

Others who received consideration were Cal Ripken, Toronto's Roberto Alomar and Chicago's Frank Thomas. Ripken batted .519 with a league-high 14 hits and Thomas and Alomar both swung .444 bats.

* BILL GETS A BREAK: Oates decided "it was time" to spell Bill Ripken at second base with Mark McLemore last night. Ripken is 2-for-15 in his last five games, 5-for-32 in his last 11. He has one RBI in the last 14 games. Including his 1-for-3 last night, McLemore has only 19 at-bats this month, but six hits.

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