AL's Brown eager to visit with Barney
But he's not sure fans eager to see him
Since his return to the Orioles' public address microphone after an absence of almost six weeks, Rex Barney has received hundreds of notes, cards and letters.
One of the most personal -- and humorous -- came from American League president Bobby Brown.
"I was sorry to hear about your surgery, but I'm glad to heayou're doing OK," Brown said in a handwritten message.
"I'll be anxious to visit with you, but I don't think the O's will hava 'welcome mat' out for me after the [Tim] Leary incident," wrote Brown, in reference to his rejection of the Orioles' protest of Leary's allegedly throwing scuffed balls.
Bobby and I have known each other for over 50 years," Barney said. "We went to a tryout together in Detroit when we were 16 years old, and have been good friends ever since."
Barney, who is diabetic, was hospitalized May 23 and returned tOriole Park at Camden Yards on July 1 after his right leg was amputated below the knee.
The halfway mark
The Orioles, who were fourth in the American League in runs scored (380) going into last night's game, reached the halfway point of the season with their highest batting average in club history.
The Orioles' .268 mark is second best in the AL (behind the Minnesota Twins' 285). The previous high after 81 games was .266 (in 1969 and 1986).
Other halfway items of interest: Rick Sutcliffe's 130 1/3 innings arethe most by an Orioles pitcher since Scott McGregor logged 132 1/3 in 1983. Brady Anderson's 27 steals have been bettered only once -- by Luis Aparicio, who had 31 in 1967 en route to a club-record 57. The team ERA (3.77) is the lowest it has been at this point of the season since 1984 (3.59).
The Orioles are in the midst of 21 straight games against Minnesota, Chicago and Texas. . . . The White Sox were the first visiting team to win a series at Oriole Park, taking two of three May 8-10. . . . Left-hander Arthur Rhodes, the Orioles' top minor-league pitching prospect, is leading the International League with 115 strikeouts (in 101 2/3 innings). . . . Juan Bell, on loan from Rochester to Oklahoma City (Texas), went 9-for-23 (.391) in six games, then was disabled with a shoulder injury. . . . Jeffrey Hammonds, the Orioles' No. 1 draft choice (and the only one of the top seven June picks still unsigned), will be on display with the Olympic team Saturday (3 p.m.).