Timing convenient, Mills drops suspension appeal

Orioles notebook

June 27, 1993|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

Right-hander Alan Mills has dropped his appeal of the four-game suspension he received for his part in the June 6 brawl between the Orioles and the Seattle Mariners at Camden Yards.

Mills, who pitched 5 2/3 innings against the New York Yankees on Friday night, began serving his suspension yesterday and won't be available until Wednesday's homestand finale against the Toronto Blue Jays.

If all this sounds very convenient, it should. Mills probably would not have been available to pitch again for at least three days after his lengthy outing on Friday night. Orioles manager Johnny Oates said as recently as Friday that the club probably would not try to manipulate the disciplinary action for fear of losing Mills at a less opportune time, but the situation has worked out perfectly for the club.

There was no guarantee that the league office would allow Mills to start the suspension immediately. American League president Bobby Brown could have ordered the suspension to begin four days hence, which could have left the club without Mills for a longer period, but the club really had nothing to lose.

Mills eventually would have served the suspension, probably in August if he had taken the appeal to the limit.

"We didn't ask for a specific date," said Mills, who would have started the suspension Tuesday if he had not appealed. "This was the day given to us by the league. It was strictly a coincidence."

Whether that is true or not, everything seems to be falling in place for the Orioles. When right-hander Rick Sutcliffe returned from his five-game suspension on Wednesday night, he pitched his first complete game in nearly a year and recorded his first complete-game victory since April 22, 1992.

0$ First baseman David Segui is the

only member of the Orioles with an appeal still pending. His was a three-game suspension.

Obando under a microscope

The Orioles are very concerned about outfielder Sherman Obando, who has had several strange episodes in which he suffered multiple muscle cramps.

He returned from nearly a month on the disabled (hamstring strain) list on Thursday but had to be removed from Friday night's game after only two at-bats with cramping in his legs and wrists.

Oates said early in the day that Obando would undergo more tests to determine the source of the problem. Doctors apparently believe the condition is stress-related, but will investigate other possibilities.

Obando probably would return to the disabled list today if a roster move is made to bring up a starter to sgo in place of Mike Mussina today.

O'Donoghue on deck

The Orioles will recall left-hander John O'Donoghue from the Rochester Red Wings to start today.

Oates said last week that there were several possibilities for the substitute start, including Mills, Mark Williamson, O'Donoghue and newly acquired right-hander Kevin McGehee. Mills was eliminated when he pitched 5 2/3 innings Friday night and Williamson was eliminated when Mills began serving his suspension.

The club decided on O'Donoghue, even though he would be the third left-hander to start in the series.

Comebacks at a glance

Friday night's comeback victory marked the 14th time in club history that the Orioles have won after trailing by six or more runs, and the second time in four games. The Orioles have 22 come-from-behind victories this season -- eight in the seventh inning or later.

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