O's MVP Hoiles: 'We're not far from World Series' New ownership excites catcher PRO BASEBALL

November 10, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

Even from a distance, Chris Hoiles is aware of the new ownership's commitment to improving the Orioles. He likes what he's been hearing.

The club's Most Valuable Oriole for 1993, Hoiles was in town for an awards luncheon yesterday and talked about the future for himself and the club. "It's exciting to think about it," he said of owner Peter Angelos' promise to improve the team for 1994. "I don't think we're very far away from winning.

"I don't feel we're 10 games behind Toronto," said Hoiles, alluding to the distance between the clubs last season. "I don't think it would take much [more] to pass them and get into a World Series. As a player, that's your ultimate goal, to win, and our team isn't far off."

Hoiles is coming off the best year of his career at an opportune time. With more than three years of major-league service, he qualifies for arbitration, which puts him in a position to start thinking about a multi-year contract.

Those negotiations probably won't begin until next month, but Hoiles is looking forward to next season. He was asked what could be expected from him after he set several personal highs, including a .310 average, 29 home runs and 82 RBIs.

"I don't know," he said. "But whatever it takes to help this team win, hopefully I can do it. I don't know if I'm a .300 hitter in the major leagues, but I've always been able to put up a decent average in the past."

In each of the past two seasons, Hoiles has lost time because of injuries -- a broken wrist in 1992 and a strained lower back last season.

Last season, Hoiles and the Yankees' Mike Stanley became only the fourth and fifth American League catchers to hit .300 with 25 or more home runs, which put them in fancy company. Carlton Fisk (1977), Yogi Berra (1950) and Bill Dickey (1937-38) had done it previously.

A reflection on Moyer

Besides having access to the hottest football tickets in the country (for this week's Notre Dame-Florida State showdown), Jamie Moyer has a collector's item as an award.

The left-hander, who posted a 12-9 record after being promoted from Triple-A Rochester last May, was honored by the Oriole Advocates yesterday as the organization's favorite new player. His commemorative plaque came in the form of a large mounted and framed photograph -- which inadvertently was inverted, thereby picturing a right-handed pitcher.

But even if the photo appeared to put Moyer in an awkward position, he doesn't have to worry. He's in the best negotiating position of what has been a checkered career.

He hasn't talked contract with the Orioles yet, but Moyer is hoping this is his last stop on the baseball circuit. "I'm assuming they're going to offer me arbitration," said Moyer, who will be 31 a week from tomorrow. "I'd like to stay. I love it here. I'd like to finish my career here."

Reynolds waiting

Harold Reynolds, who shared the Orioles' community service award with Jeff Tackett this year, remains unsure about his plans for 1994.

The Orioles, who signed Reynolds as a free agent a year ago, declined to offer him arbitration, making the second baseman a free agent. "I've talked to a few clubs, in both leagues," Reynolds said, "so I'm sure we'll be able to work something out."

In the meantime, Reynolds is waiting to see what the Orioles decide to do. "Roland [general manager Roland Hemond] told me to keep in touch, and I won't do anything without talking to them [the Orioles]."

Sarasota-bound?

There was a development in Sarasota, Fla., yesterday that could be a good omen for the Orioles' search for a permanent spring training facility.

The White Sox, long-time spring training tenants in Sarasota, sold their Single-A Florida State League franchise to the Marlins. The team will be relocated to Viera, a central Florida community where the Marlins have their spring training facility.

Selling the franchise and leaving Sarasota without an FSL team is viewed as a possible step toward the White Sox leaving for a site in Arizona. The move has been rumored for several years, primarily because White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf has real estate interests in Arizona.

The White Sox lease with the city of Sarasota has an escape clause, providing another team moves in as a tenant. The Orioles currently have their minor league complex in Sarasota County, just a few miles from Ed Smith Stadium, where the White Sox currently train.

If the White Sox leave, and there is speculation they'll move by 1995, the Orioles would be a logical candidate to replace them in Sarasota.

Angelos to meet Asst. GMs

The meetings between Angelos and assistant general managers Frank Robinson and Doug Melvin are expected to take place today, although appointments still had not been scheduled last night. Before completing the realignment of the front office, after the departure of club president Larry Lucchino, Angelos said he would meet individually with Robinson and Melvin.

O'S MVP VOTING

Voting for the 1993 Most Valuable Oriole Award, with player's name, place on each ballot and total points:

Player ........... 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... Pts

Chris Hoiles .... 11 ... 1 ... 2 .... 60

Mark McLemore .... 2 ... 5 ... 3 .... 28

Cal Ripken ....... 1 ... 6 ... 5 .... 28

Jamie Moyer ...... 0 ... 2 ... 1 ..... 7

Harold Baines .... 0 ... 0 ... 2 ..... 2

Ben McDonald ..... 0 ... 0 ... 1 ..... 1

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