Kangaroo Court is revived in attempt to get things...

Orioles notebook

April 15, 1993|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

ARLINGTON, TEXAS — Kangaroo Court is revived in attempt to get things hopping

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Orioles were indicted by manager Johnny Oates after Tuesday night's game, so perhaps it was appropriate that the team went to trial yesterday afternoon.

Designated hitter Harold Baines presided over the season's first Kangaroo Court before the team took the field for the final game of the three-game series with Texas.

The struggling club can use some cheering up, but relief pitcher and longtime court clerk Gregg Olson said yesterday's session was not specifically scheduled to deal with the team's season-opening slump. It was supposed to be business as usual -- a carry-over from the positive chemistry of 1992.

"I'd like to say yes [it might help], but I don't want it to seem like we're panicking," Olson said. "We're doing what we normally would have done. This is not because we are 1-6. Court has been something that has been fun. Hopefully, it'll take everybody's mind off what's going on."

The Kangaroo Court met regularly last season, with pitcher Storm Davis presiding. Davis became a free agent at the end of the year and signed with the Oakland Athletics, so Baines was elevated to the bench.

Oates' tirade

No one on the club was talking yesterday about Oates' 20-minute tirade following Tuesday's loss, but reporters had heard some of the manager's message through the clubhouse walls.

"Is there anyone here who's going to lead us?" Oates said in what could best be described as a controlled scream.

One phrase could be heard again and again: "Are you going to lead us?" Oates repeated at least three times.

When he was finished, Oates had a brief meeting with assistant general manager Frank Robinson and then opened the doors to reporters gathered outside the clubhouse.

When asked to summarize the meeting, Oates' answer was blunt: "None of your business."

He did say, however, that there was no particular incident or game that caused the outburst. "It's just been a progression of things that I haven't liked," he said. "What's bothered me more than anything has been the mental approach more than the physical approach.

"I have no fault whatsoever with the physical effort of any of these players," he added. "And I want to emphasize that. There's just been an accumulation of things."

When asked if he was worried about a general negative feeling setting in on the team, Oates said, "I think we addressed that tonight [Tuesday night]."

Davis still upbeat

Glenn Davis is not discouraged, though it took a two-hit performance Tuesday night to get his batting average up to .161.

"I'm taking some bad cuts," he said before last night's game, "but I'm also taking a lot of good cuts. I've hit the ball hard. I just don't have a lot to show for it."

His experience is not unlike that of the entire club. The Orioles have hit the ball well at times, but not in clutch situations. Davis thinks it will turn around soon.

"I think we just ran into a team [the Rangers] that is in a groove and playing its best possible baseball," he said. "They are hitting the ball up and down the lineup. They're playing like world champions."

Rangers record

The Orioles helped the Rangers tie a club record Tuesday night. The third-inning home run by Gary Redus gave the Rangers at least one home run in each of their first seven games, tying the club record for most consecutive games with a home run at the start of a season. The Rangers hit 14 homers in their first seven games -- 10 of them against Orioles pitching.

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