Devo: Contract not fueling slump

Orioles notebook

April 24, 1993|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Center fielder Mike Devereaux continues to look for a way out of his season-opening slump, but he insists that he is not letting his first megabucks contract put extra pressure on him.

Devereaux insisted when he signed his one-year, $3.025 million contract earlier this year that he would not put pressure on himself to justify the 200 percent raise. Now, with his batting average well below his weight, there is room to question whether he has been able to keep that promise, but he doesn't think that's the problem.

"I look at it like 1990," said Devereaux, who is hitting .182 with one home run and six RBI. "I was in a situation where I wasn't hitting the ball well and I feel the same way now as I did then."

He chooses to look at this as just another slump. Everybody goes through them, and all it takes is a break here or there to turn things around.

"You can come out of it at any time," he said. "I really don't feel that badly at the plate. When you feel really bad, you get in a frame of mind where you don't want that extra at-bat. You don't want that shot with a runner in scoring position. I haven't gotten to that point. I want to be in those situations. Those are the situations that can get you out of it."

His struggle has been largely restricted to the plate, but Devereaux was charged with a costly error when he allowed a line drive by Dan Pasqua to get by him in the ninth inning of Thursday night's 3-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

"Right after something like that happens," he said, "you say to yourself, 'Damn, we really are hurting if something like that happens.' "

Valenzuela looking ahead

Left-hander Fernando Valenzuela said yesterday that he's anxious to take the mound on Monday night against the Chicago White Sox. He threw well in his appearance for the Double-A Bowie Baysox and feels that the regular work will benefit him when he returns from the brief minor-league assignment.

"I'm feeling pretty good," he said. "I threw 70 pitches and I feel fine today."

Mussina up next

Right-hander Mike Mussina, who takes the mound today against Hipolito Pichardo, has had good fortune against the Royals. He is 2-1 with a 1.71 ERA and three complete games against Kansas City. In five lifetime starts, he has never failed to work into the eighth inning.

Tackett on the big screen

Catcher Jeff Tackett will be making his big-screen debut soon. He had a small role in the Warner Bros. film "Dave," which opens around the country May 7.

The film stars Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver and includes a scene where Kline portrays the President of the United States throwing out the first ball at an Orioles game. Tackett is on the receiving end of the ceremonial first pitch, which was filmed last year at Camden Yards.

Sutcliffe fills the seats

Pitcher Rick Sutcliffe has come home to the Kansas City area, and it already has been a costly trip. Rather than hit up his teammates for their complimentary passes to the games, he dug deep to accommodate his friends and family.

"I bought 60 for each game so I don't have to mess with it," he said.

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