Bielecki's problem is location Ex-Indian unsure where he'll pitch Orioles notebook

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

CLEVELAND -- Although the timing of the announcement may have caught some people off guard, Baltimore-area native Mike Bielecki wasn't shocked when he was released by the Cleveland Indians after Friday night's game. The right-hander was scheduled to start against his hometown team yesterday afternoon, but was replaced by Mark Clark.

"I wasn't surprised. I knew they had to make a move," saiBielecki, who was raised in the Dundalk area. Trying to come back after elbow surgery last summer, Bielecki is hoping to land another job. "I'm going to keep throwing. I know there's a Triple-A job out there."

The Indians have asked Bielecki to accept a minor-leaguassignment, but he hasn't decided whether to accept. "I've got some thinking to do," said Bielecki, who was 4-5 with a 5.90 ERA.

"I got my fastball up to 85-86 miles an hour, but I had troublthrowing the curve as hard as I can. Right-handed hitters hurt me."

Cleveland manager Mike Hargrove, whose team is desperate for pitching, said he couldn't wait for Bielecki to regain his form. "In his last three or four starts, Mike hit a plateau," Hargrove said. "We didn't see any improvement, and we couldn't give him any more time to find himself. It wasn't an easy decision."

Bielecki said he had no animosity toward the Indians. "They gave me a chance," he said. "Over the winter, I didn't even know if I was going to be throwing a baseball. I'm going to wait a couple of days, see what happens and then try to find a job out there."

One of Bielecki's closest friends is Orioles right-hander Rick Sutcliffe, who talked with his former Chicago Cubs teammate yesterday. "I'd like to see us do something with him," Sutcliffe said.

Promotion is fit for a king

As part of their "Turn Back The Clock" promotion yesterday, the Indians did more than just bring out replicas of the 1954 uniforms, which were worn by both teams.

The game was televised locally in black and white, becauscolor TV sets were rare 39 years ago. Also the game was broadcast with what was described as radio's "tinny" sound of the 1950s.

First-ball ceremonies were performed by look-alikes fothen-President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Vice President Richard Nixon, and an Elvis Presley impersonator sang the national anthem.

The crowd of 38,619 was affected by 1954 prices -- $1 fogeneral admission, and 50 cents for the bleachers.

Starting to get routine

For the second straight game, the Orioles will face a substitute starting pitcher today. Paul Abbott (0-1, 9.64) will replace Charles Nagy (2-5, 6.31). Nagy had been scheduled to come off the disabled list today, with Abbott likely to leave to make room on the roster. But Nagy still is suffering from a shoulder injury, and he could be through for the year.

Waiting on Baines

There was no word yesterday on the condition of Harold Baines. The Orioles' designated hitter returned to Baltimore yesterday to have his left knee examined and possibly drained of excessive fluid.

His knees have been a problem for Baines most of his careerand he usually has them drained three or four times a season. The Orioles are hoping he'll be ready to play Tuesday night, when they open a three-game series against the division-leading Detroit Tigers.

Miscellaneous

Brady Anderson had a single and double in his final two at-bats yesterday and extended his career-high hitting streak to 11 games. . . . Before yesterday, Fernando Valenzuela had made one appearance at Cleveland Stadium. He was the starting pitcher for the National League in the 1981 All-Star Game. . . . Yesterday's shutout was the fourth of the season for the Indians and their first since Jose Mesa, Derek Lilliquist and Eric Plunk combined to beat the Orioles, 2-0, May 17. . . . Cleveland second baseman Carlos Baerga has hit in 20 of his past 22 games (36-for-92, .391), raising his average to .308.

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