Lucchino to meet with Hispanic group over Uhlman's 0...

Orioles notebook

February 28, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

SARASOTA, FLA. — Lucchino to meet with Hispanic group over Uhlman's 0) comments

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles president Larry Lucchino said he plans to meet with the national Hispanic organization that has called for the ouster of Fred Uhlman Sr.

Lucchino received a letter urging Uhlman's resignation from the National Council of La Raza yesterday after the scout was quoted in a USA Today story as saying Mexican players lacked foot speed because of a "genetic-type thing."

The organization, which faxed copies of the letter to the media on Friday, lobbies on Hispanic issues in Washington.

"We're going to sit down with them, have a dialogue with them and address their concerns," Lucchino said after receiving the letter. He had not talked to anyone, but said he plans to contact the group after returning to Baltimore tomorrow night.

Uhlman's comments came during a discussion of the teams from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Mexico during the Caribbean Series.

Although the Orioles signed Fernando Valenzuela, Mexico's most famous player, yesterday, Lucchino said: "That is totally unrelated."

Valenzuela is expected join the competition for the No. 5 spot in the Orioles' starting rotation. Mark Williamson, Anthony Telford, John O'Donoghue and Mike Cook appear to be the leading contenders, with Steve Searcy, Jamie Moyer and Mike Oquist also getting consideration.

Martinez, Gomez agree

Chito Martinez and Leo Gomez agreed to terms yesterday, leaving the Orioles with four unsigned players.

David Segui, Jack Voigt, Mike Mussina and Chris Hoiles are the four who have not reached an agreement.

OT for fundamentals

The Orioles went overtime during yesterday's workout to make up for drills canceled by Friday's all-day rain.

"We went about an hour and a half on fundamentals instead of the normal 45 minutes," manager Johnny Oates said. Pickoff plays and playing against the bunt were the fundamentals of the day.

"We'll come back to both again later on, because we didn't have enough time on either one today," Oates said.

What is Cook up to?

Cook drew praise from Oates again yesterday. "He's throwing the ball real good," the manager said.

"He had the hitters asking, 'Is this your straight sinker or your straight cut fastball?' He hasn't thrown a ball straight yet," said Oates, who likes what he's seen from the 29-year-old right-hander, who was signed as a minor-league free agent.

Obando swings out of jam

Sherman Obando, the slugging outfielder selected out of the Yankees' organization in the Rule V draft, is another player who got Oates' attention.

"He hit a couple of balls over the fence when it looked like he was getting jammed," Oates said. "He was pretty impressive."

Thirtysomething Orioles

Thirty players from the Orioles minor-league system were in uniform yesterday to start an advance mini-camp.

The program is desinged to complement the club's Instructional League program in the fall.

"It gives us a chance to work with them a little more on a one-on-one basis," said Doug Melvin, director of player personnel for the Orioles.

The minor-leaguers will not work out with the major-league team, but will have a staggered schedule until the Orioles move to St. Petersburg to start the exhibition season Friday.

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