Tackett hits after pitcher in designated spring joke

Orioles notebook

March 20, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Orioles had some fun at catcher Jeff Tackett's expense before yesterday's game. With the game being played in a National League park, there was no designated hitter, meaning Fernando Valenzuela had to be listed in the batting order.

The lineup posted at the club's training complex, before the team departed by bus for the game, listed Valenzuela batting eighth and Tackett ninth. "He's got more hits in the big leagues than I do. He's got more home runs than I do. And he's got more runs batted in than I do, so I can't complain about it. Besides, they always put the speed in the ninth spot," quipped Tackett, who runs like a catcher.

"I didn't want 'Tack' to get nosebleed hitting as high as eighth," said coach Jerry Narron, who made out the bogus lineup card. In the game, Tackett hit eighth, and went 1-for-3.

The kicker to the joke was that Valenzuela, considered one of the better hitting pitchers, lined a single to left-center field in his first at-bat.

Mills' minor problem

Alan Mills has pitched seven innings against major-league competition this spring without giving up a run. Yesterday he pitched in a game at the Orioles' minor-league complex in Sarasota and gave up two runs in two innings.

Mills and Ben McDonald pitched against the minor leaguers to get their work in while the Orioles' brass looked at Valenzuela and Mike Flanagan against major-league competition.

Mills gave up four hits, walked two and struck out two pitching for the Double-A Bowie team. McDonald, pitching for Triple-A Rochester, worked five scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out three.

A jewel of a deal

A jewelry store is offering a glass baseball to any players on the Orioles, Cardinals, Phillies or Blue Jays (the teams training in Pinellas County) who hit a home run at St. Petersburg's Al Lang Stadium. Going into yesterday's games the Cardinals had hit two home runs in the park they share with the Orioles, while none of the other teams had connected.

The Orioles have hit seven home runs this spring -- all on the road.

Moyer gets loss

Jamie Moyer was roughed up for six hits and three runs in three innings yesterday and was charged with the Orioles' 3-1 loss.

The Orioles (9-5) had only two regulars, Cal Ripken and Mike Devereaux, in their starting lineup. The Phillies (8-5) broke a three-game losing streak by beating the Orioles for the second ++ time this spring.

Rhodes goes today

Arthur Rhodes is scheduled to face Randy Tomlin when the Orioles meet the Pirates today at 1:05.

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