O's waive Dempsey, call up Parent from Rochester

July 31, 1992|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer Patti Singer of the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat & Chronicle contributed to this article.

NEW YORK -- Rick Dempsey's secondd comeback attempt with the Orioles ended ahead of schedule last night.

The veteran catcher has been dropped from the roster to makroom for catcher Mark Parent, who was promoted from the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings.

Dempsey, 42, who had gone to spring training as a non-rosteinvitee, lost out to Jeff Tackett in his bid to win the backup catching job behind Chris Hoiles. He stayed with the club as an instructor, primarily to be available in case of an emergency.

Dempsey was activated June 21, the day after Hoiles suffered broken wrist after being hit by a pitch from the New York Yankees' Tim Leary. But he made only one start and appeared in just eight games. He went 1-for-8.

His continued inactivity, plus a prolonged recuperation period for Hoiles, prompted the Orioles to make the move.

"It's not an easy thing to do," said manager Johnny Oates.

Dempsey expressed disappointment with the move, but showed none of the bitterness that accompanied his previous separation from the club, after the 1986 season.

"It hurts me deeply," said Dempsey, "but I'm thankful that I got a chance to come back and play a game in that ballpark and see all the fans again as an active player. I love those people in Baltimore like you can't believe.

"I'm just sorry I can't help them go down the stretch and be World Series hero again. I'm sorry it didn't work out that way."

Parent, 31, will join the club in time for today's day-nighdoubleheader against the Boston Red Sox. Oates said last night that Parent probably would catch the second game, when Richie Lewis, also coming up from Rochester, is scheduled to pitch.

"This was really out of Rick's hands," Oates said. "It certainlwasn't his fault that he didn't get to play more. I'm the manager and I have to make those decisions. But this gives us a guy who has been playing, catching and hitting well."

Parent is getting the shot because Hoiles' recuperation has taken longer than expected. He was expected to miss four to six weeks, but now it appears he'll need eight weeks before he's back in the lineup, perhaps by mid-August.

Hoiles' rehabilitation program was put on hold last week when X-rays showed the wrist fracture had apparently shifted. However, X-rays on Wednesday showed that the wrist is healing well.

Formally, the Orioles have requested waivers on Dempsey fothe purpose of giving him his unconditional release. Unless he is claimed by another team, Dempsey is likely to return to his former role, with the possibility of being activated again in September, when rosters are expanded to 40.

"Waivers won't expire until Wednesday," said Orioles generamanager Roland Hemond. "If nobody claims Rick, we'd like him to remain with us in the role he had before."

Dempsey said he has given some thought about establishing his residence full time in Baltimore. "I've talked about it with my wife [Joanie], and we've given it some thought.

"Somebody that's in a pennant race might want to pick me up," he said. "If I get an offer from somebody in contention, I would take it and finish out the season with them, and then see what the Orioles have in mind this winter."

In the meantime, Parent, who initially finished behind Dempsey ithe spring battle for the No. 2 catch ing job, moves into the backup role.

Signed as a minor-league free agent, Parent was hitting .281 wit17 home runs (third in the International League) and 64 RBI (second in the league) as of Wednesday.

Parent said he was confused when the Orioles activated Dempsey after Hoiles was hurt.

"I didn't understand why they would make a deal with someone like that, but I've played in the big leagues," he said. "I know what it's like and I want it to continue."

Parent had an agreement with the Orioles that if anothemajor-league team showed interest, they would not stand in his way.

"Every day I was going out trying to impress other teams because I thought that's where my future might be, and it still might be," Parent said.

Mark Parent's big-league stats

G;

Year, .. .. Team.. .. G .. .. Avg. .. H .. HR .. RBI

1986 .. .. .. .. San Diego . 8 .. . .143 ... 2 .. 0 .. .. 0

1987 .. .. .. .. San Diego. 12 .. . .080 ... 2 .. 0 .. .. 2

1988 .. .. .. .. San Diego. 41 .. . .195 .. 23 .. 6 .. . 15

1989 .. .. .. .. San Diego. 52 .. . .191 .. 27 .. 7 .. . 21

1990 .. .. .. .. San Diego. 65 .. . .222 .. 42 .. 3 .. . 16

1991 .. .. .. .. Texas .. .. 3 .. . .000 ... 0 .. 0 .. .. 0

Totals .. .. .. .. .. .. . 181 .. . .197 .. 96 .. 16 ... 54

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