MVO Devereaux: '93 O's can win it Says ability there with old cast or new

October 30, 1992|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

Mike Devereaux was presented the club's 1992 most valuable player award yesterday and immediately proclaimed the Orioles good enough to win the American League East Division title next year.

He also said he would be receptive to negotiating a multi-year contract if the front office were so inclined.

"I had a lot of fun last year," Devereaux said after accepting the Most Valuable Oriole award, named in memory of the late Lou Hatter, longtime Sun baseball writer. "I think we all knew [coming out of spring training] that we had a strong team and that had a lot to do with it [the team's success]," said the center fielder. "I think we have a great club -- we definitely have the ability to win our division with what we already have.

"I can't look around and see what we need, other than to expect everybody to perform to maximum of his ability," said Devereaux, who won the Orioles' Triple Crown with a .276 average, 24 home runs and 107 runs batted in.

Devereaux, 29, led the club in 10 offensive categories while setting career highs in eight departments. In voting conducted by writers and broadcasters who regularly covered the team, Devereaux received 7 1/2 of the 12 first-place votes and totaled 51 points in a 5-3-1 scoring system.

Brady Anderson garnered the other 4 1/2 first-place votes, and he and Devereaux were named first or second on all 12 ballots. Pitchers Mike Mussina and Rick Sutcliffe split the 12 third-place votes to finish with six points apiece.

Devereaux missed the last three games after suffering a torn ligament in his left thumb while making a diving catch in Cleveland on Oct. 1 and had surgery two days after the season ended. He started rehabilitation two days ago and said he is on schedule for a six-week recovery.

With about 4 1/2 years of service time in the big leagues, Devereaux has two more seasons before becoming eligible for free agency. But if the Orioles were interested in signing him for more than two years, Devereaux is receptive.

"How free agency is going to be two years from now is way down the road for me," said Devereaux, who earned $1 million last year. "The way I'm looking at it is how comfortable I am in Baltimore. I like it here and this is where I got a chance to play every day in the big leagues."

As for his personal goals, Devereaux said he will try to continue an approach that has worked well for him during his four years with the Orioles. "I know it's not always going to happen, but I go into each season with the idea of doing the same or better than the year before," he said.

That may not always work, but you couldn't prove it by Devereaux's track record with the Orioles. His production has increased each season. He went from eight home runs and 46 RBI in 1989 to 12 and 49 in 1990, 19 and 59 in 1991, and then the big breakthrough this past year.

Devereaux will have trouble continuing that trend, but he won't be without a realistic goal. "I just want to be the best that I can be," he said.

At yesterday's luncheon at the Camden Club, the Orioles also honored several other members of the organization.

Stanton Cameron, who was drafted out of the Mets' system a year ago, was honored as Player of the Year, and Rick Krivda was named Pitcher of the Year for the Orioles' minor-league system. Cameron and Krivda both played for the Single-A Frederick Keys last year.

Cameron hit 29 home runs, fourth highest in the minor leagues, and drove in 92 runs. Krivda started the season at Kane County, where he was 5-1, then compiled a 12-5 record for Frederick. Although not a hard thrower, Krivda, a left-hander, led the minor leagues with 188 strikeouts, one more than Brien Taylor, the New York Yankees' heralded No. 1 pick in 1991.

Alan Mills and Rick Sutcliffe were saluted by the Oriole Advocates as the year's favorite newcomers, and Sam Horn and the Orioles Wives were honored for charitable contributions.

Horn, who has volunteered many hours for among others, Parents Anonymous, Cystic Fibrosis and the Baltimore Baseball League, was the recipient of the club's first Community Relations Award.

Lori Williamson, the wife of relief pitcher Mark Williamson and a tireless worker for charity, represented the Orioles Wives. Last year, the wives helped collect 4 tons of food for the Maryland Food Bank and $60,000 for Action for the Homeless.

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