Orioles train eyes on Sarasota May spring at site if White Sox go west

Orioles notebook

July 11, 1993|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

The Chicago White Sox again appear to be entertaining offers to move their spring training site to Arizona, which could help the Orioles gain a permanent spring home.

If the White Sox are seriously considering an overture from the city of Scottsdale, Ariz., the Orioles would have to be interested in taking their place as the chief tenant of Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla. The club played some home games there in 1991, but currently shares Al Lang Stadium in nearby St. Petersburg with the St. Louis Cardinals.

"We certainly do have an interest in Sarasota," Orioles president Larry Lucchino said. "We have an interest in making our spring training situation permanent. We know the advantages of playing in Sarasota, but it would be premature to say anything more than that."

The Chicago Sun-Times speculated in a report Friday that the White Sox and Orioles could be possible tenants for a new stadium in Scottsdale, but the Orioles have resisted earlier temptations to leave Florida. Lucchino said that the club has been in contact with a number of parties, but would not comment on specific sites.

This would not be the first time the White Sox have been contacted by an Arizona city. The club investigated building a complex in Peoria, Ariz., a couple of years ago. There was speculation at that time that the Orioles might take over Ed Smith Stadium if the Sox departed Florida.

Lucchino said that the club is satisfied with its current spring training arrangement, which involves three sites. The team goes through early workouts at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota County and moves its base of operations to the Stengel/Huggins Training Facility in St. Petersburg for the exhibition season. The club does not have a stadium to call its own, but has played home games at Al Lang Stadium the past two years.

That arrangement will remain in effect at least through next spring.

Obando activated

The Orioles activated outfielder Sherman Obando, who had been on the 15-day disabled list because of cramping in his legs and arms. To make room on the roster, the Orioles optioned first baseman Paul Carey to the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings.

The cause of Obando's muscle cramping remains a mystery. Doctors have told him to guard against dehydration, which can cause muscle cramps, but no one can explain why he has been susceptible when the weather has not been a problem.

Pennington pep talk

Manager Johnny Oates pulled rookie Brad Pennington aside yesterday to reassure him after a series of rocky relief appearances.

"He's a little bit hyper right now," Oates said. "He's trying to do too much. He's pressing a lot. He had a couple of bad outings, and he doesn't think that we're going to allow him bad outings. I told him that wasn't the case."

Pennington, who has given up eight earned runs on 11 hits in three innings in his past five appearances, said he was grateful for the vote of confidence.

"I needed that," he said. "It was the first time that Johnny has really spoken to me since I got called up and he told me what my role was. I hadn't received any feedback. It helped a lot. It was a tremendous lift to get me back on track."

Moyer goes for sixth

Left-hander Jamie Moyer will pitch in today's first-half finale, hoping to stretch his winning streak to six. Moyer is 5-0 with a 2.21 ERA in his past seven starts. He has not allowed a run in his past 17 innings.

Moyer will oppose the league's winningest pitcher, Jack McDowell (12-6, 3.75), for the second time this month. He defeated McDowell, 1-0, on July 1.

Double duty

Outfielders Brady Anderson and Mike Devereaux are the sixth and seventh players in Orioles history to have 20 or more doubles at the All-Star break. Anderson and Devereaux each have 21, despite each spending time on the disabled list.

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