Oates says he'll drop juggling act for while

Orioles notebook

April 29, 1993|By Milton Kent and Jim Henneman | Milton Kent and Jim Henneman,Staff Writers

Don't expect manager Johnny Oates to do much, if any, lineup juggling in the next few weeks.

That's not because the Orioles' hitting has been great through the first 20 games, but rather because hardly anybody on the team is hitting well enough to justify being moved in the order.

"Juggling the lineup isn't going to do any good until we start hitting," Oates said before the bats woke up long enough to beat the Minnesota Twins, 8-4, last night. "We can juggle all we want, but someone's got to start hitting."

Oates scoffed at the suggestion that the team might be better with leadoff hitter Brady Anderson moving to third in the order to drive in more runs, saying Anderson's .176 average with runners in scoring position is among the team's worst.

Likewise, Oates defended his repeated playing of Glenn Davis, despite his .224 average, because the first baseman is tied for second on the club in RBI (five) with men in scoring position.

"The one guy that everybody's screaming about is the guy that's driven in the runs when he's supposed to," said Oates.

Another non-sellout

Last night's attendance of 41,102 was the second straight non-sellout crowd for the Orioles. It was the first time there have been successive non-capacity crowds at Camden Yarks since last May 4-8, when there were five straight non-sellouts.

Three's a charm

Last night's third inning, in which the Orioles outscored Minnesota 4-1 on the strength of a three-run Ripken homer, was certainly the reversal of a trend.

Before last night, the Orioles had been outscored 22-1 in the third inning by their opposition.

Palermo to throw out first ball

American League umpire Steve Palermo, who was partially paralyzed July 6, 1991, while trying to catch a robbery suspect in Arlington, Texas, will throw out the first pitch before tonight's game.

Captain, my captain

Though the subject of leadership has come up during the spate of team meetings he's called recently, Oates said he has never considered appointing a team captain.

"Since we don't have a coin toss,we don't have to have a representative on the field to decide whether we're going to take the penalty," said Oates. "You can be a captain without having a stripe on your shirt."

Bringing up the rear

The Orioles have either shared or occupied last place in the AL East for all but two days this season.

Around the horn

Before Cal Ripken connected in the third inning last night, the Orioles had hit only two home runs in their last 313 at-bats. . . . The eight runs scored by the Orioles is their highest output of the year -- and just below the average per game (8.1) of the Detroit Tigers. . . . Kent Hrbek, who sat out last night against left-hander Arthur Rhodes, has more home runs against the Orioles (32) than any other active player. Only two other left-handed hitters, Reggie Jackson (44) and Carl Yastrzemski (33), have hit more lifetime.

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