Speculation about McGriff resurfaces

Orioles notebook

June 08, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

Assistant general manager Frank Robinson returned to Baltimore yesterday after spending the weekend in San Diego watching the Padres. Robinson's West Coast visit rekindles speculation about the Orioles' possible interest in Fred McGriff.

San Diego general manager Joe McIlvaine no longer is saying that McGriff is unavailable. He also acknowledged that Robinson was in San Diego, but didn't say he specifically was looking at McGriff.

Robinson said his trip to San Diego was to keep in touch with the Padres. "It isn't just McGriff," said Robinson. "They have some other fine players out there -- the third baseman [Gary Sheffield], right fielder [Tony Gwynn] and a pitcher [Andy Benes].

"I just wanted to look at their team and see them in person," said Robinson. "We've just told them to keep us in mind if they're thinking about doing anything."

Interest in brawlers

A sidelight of Sunday's brawl with the Seattle Mariners is that the Orioles previously had expressed interest in one of the instigators and two other principals in the melee.

General manager Roland Hemond confirmed that the Orioles inquired last winter about catcher Bill Haselman, who triggered Sunday's rumble when he charged the mound after being hit by a Mike Mussina pitch.

"To be honest, we did express some interest," said Hemond, "but it didn't go any further. They [the Mariners] didn't want to part with him. And they never asked irrevocable waivers."

The Orioles' interest in Haselman stemmed from their uncertainty over the condition of Chris Hoiles, who suffered a broken wrist last year when hit by former Yankee and current Mariner Tim Leary. Haselman had no minor-league options left, raising speculation he might be available in a deal.

Chris Bosio, Seattle's starting pitcher who is experiencing some "localized inflammation" around his left collarbone as a result of the brawl, also attracted some interest from the Orioles last winter, when he left the Milwaukee Brewers as a free agent. But the Orioles quickly dropped out of the picture when Bosio's salary offers reached the $4 million range.

Right-handed-hitting outfielder Jay Buhner, who was highly visible throughout the brawl, is the other player who has appealed to the Orioles in the past. From time to time, dating to his days with the Yankees, Buhner's power potential has intrigued the Orioles.

No sellout

Last night's crowd of 44,838 was the seventh non-sellout this year and 20th in 106 dates since Oriole Park opened last year.

Draft update

The official draft list won't be revealed until the end of the week, but the Orioles announced yesterday that they have signed 11 of their 44 picks from the amateur draft.

Ronald Shankle, a shortstop from Essex Community College taken in the 28th round, was the only local player.

John Lombardi, a right-handed pitcher from Central Arizona University taken in the seventh round, is the highest ranked of those who have signed.

The others are: right-hander Tim Karns, Regis (Colo.) College, 11th round; outfielder Kimera Bartee, Creighton University, 14th round; second baseman Lincoln Martin, Birmingham Southern College, 17th round; first baseman Kenneth Reed, Ball State University, 18th round; catcher James Foster, Providence College, 22nd round; shortstop Jeff Michael, University of Kentucky, 23rd round; right-hander Michael Lane, Belmont (Tenn.) University, 24th round; and outfielder Trovin Valdez, New Mexico Junior College, 27th round.

Miscellaneous

The Orioles are scheduled to make their annual team visit to the Johns Hopkins Children's Center this afternoon. . . . When the Orioles moved into fifth place Sunday night, it ended a stretch of 66 straight days in which they were either last or next to last. . . . Orioles pinch-hitters are hitless in 14 at-bats.

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