Needed: Players who can help Suns

SIDELINES

August 22, 1993|By PAT O'MALLEY

A few notes on the 14th annual Anne Arundel County Sun-Oriolelanders All-Star Baseball Game lead off this Sunday's sports smorgasbrowse.

Don't forget that tryouts for the Suns team that will play the Oriolelanders in a doubleheader at Joe Cannon Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 5, are set for 9 a.m. sharp tomorrow at the stadium. All county residents ages 15 to 21 are eligible to try out and should be in uniform.

It's important for Anne Arundel County to field a competitive team and put an end to the dominance of the Oriolelanders who lead the series, 9-4.

Any candidate unable to make tomorrow's tryout, should call my 24-Hour Sportsline, (410) 647-2499 this evening.(Tuesday is rain date and use Sportline for inclement weather announcements.)

The Oriolelanders are a fall All Star team from the mid-Atlantic area assembled by Baltimore Orioles scouting supervisor Jim Gilbert. It's a team loaded with pro and Division I prospects.

Last year's Oriolelanders' team boasted The Baltimore Sun's last two All-Metro Players of the Year in pitcher Kenny Cloude (1992) of McDonogh in Baltimore County and first baseman Tim Giles (1993) of state 4A champion Arundel.

Cloude was All-Metro in '92 and '93 and was selected by the Seattle Mariners on the sixth round of the June major-league free-agent draft. He turned down a full baseball scholarship to the University of Richmond earlier this week to sign with Seattle for an estimated $80,000 bonus.

Giles, drafted on the 43rd round by the Baltimore Orioles, will attendthe University of North Carolina at Greensboro on a full baseball scholarship.

Cloude and Giles were part of an Oriolelanders team on which nearly every player either was drafted by a pro club, signed with a pro team or received a college scholarship.

Severna Park's All-Metro catcher John Milisitz, the No. 1 catcher on the Oriolelanders, was not drafted, but signed a free-agent contract with the Milwaukee Brewers in June. Milisitz, currently playing rookie ball in Chandler, Mont., had received a full scholarship to UMBC.

When I heard that Cloude had signed for $80,000, I started racking my memory and records to find another metro area player who had bettered the bonus as a draft choice.

Andover High grad Jim Spencer, who spent 15 years in the majors with five clubs, soon came to mind. Spencer, who was inducted into the Anne Arundel County Sports Hall of Fame last fall, was a No. 1 pick of the California Angels in June 1965, and surely he must have gotten $80,000 or more.

"No, my signing bonus was only $40,000," said Spencer.

My, how things have changed. A No. 1 got $40,000 and a No. 6 now gets $80,000?

"You can thank the agents for it," said Gilbert. "Player agents are getting out of hand and telling kids how bad the scouts are. At a couple roundups of prospects this summer, the agents took all the parents aside and told them not to deal with the regular scouts, just talk to the GMs and scouting directors. I'm afraid it's going to get worse and the agents are the ones who will make out the best."

Old Mill coach Mel Montgomery, who is third base coach for national 20-and-under champion Corrigan's Insurance, is an associate scout for the Milwaukee Brewers. Montgomery is aware of the aggressive agent hounds and has another concern.

For decades, the top young college players would jump to play for a Corrigan's or any other summer team headed for the national tournament in Johnstown, Pa. But that, too, has changed.

"Now you've got assistant college coaches running summer teams in the Cape Cod [New England] and Valley [Shenandoah] leagues steering kids to play there," said Montgomery. "Their selling point is that they use wood bats, and that as a result, more pro scouts will see them."

Aluminum bats are not allowed in professional baseball, but are predominantly used in amateur baseball.

A good argument to the Cape Cod and Valley Leagues is the likes of a Cloude who played amateur baseball in Baltimore and ended up with a lucrative bonus.

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