Pennington released by winter league team

Orioles notebook

December 07, 1993|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer Staff writers Jon Morgan and Mark Hyman contributed to this article.

Reliever Brad Pennington's winter league season come to an abrupt end last week when he was released by the Mayaguez club of the Puerto Rican league.

Pennington apparently was released because his inconsistent performance had become a source of frustration to the club's owner, even though the move left Mayaguez manager Rick Dempsey short of relief pitching.

"That happens," Orioles general manager Roland Hemond said. "Sometimes, they do that when a player does not get off to a good start, but I've seen a lot of players come right back the next year and make your major-league club."

The 24-year-old left-hander, who was 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA in 11 games with Mayaguez, is coming off a difficult first season with the Orioles. He had a 3-2 record with a 6.55 ERA and four saves in 34 games at the major-league level.

The Orioles had hoped he would mature enough over the winter to justify a place on their 1994 roster, but it seems more likely he will begin the season at Triple-A Rochester.

New Baysox manager

The Double-A Bowie Baysox announced yesterday that Pete Mackanin will fill the managerial vacancy left when the Orioles added Don Buford to the major-league coaching staff.

Mackanin, who is coaching the Perth Heat of the Australian Winter League, managed the Single-A Frederick Keys to the best overall record (78-62) in the Carolina League last year. He will be joined on the Baysox's coaching staff by John O'Donoghue, who will continue as the club's pitching coach, and Mitch Bibb, who will remain as trainer.

It will be Mackanin's ninth season as a minor-league manager. He managed five seasons in the Chicago Cubs organization and spent two years managing the Triple-A Nashville Sounds before joining the Orioles organization last year.

Former Orioles reliever Mike Flanagan is believed to be the organization's choice to replace Mackanin as manager of the Keys.

In the money

It's a long way to the ranks of Michael Jordan, but at least Cal Ripken is on his way.

The Orioles shortstop, who played the first season this year under a mega-contract, was included in this year's Forbes Super 40 listing of the highest-earning athletes.

The magazine estimates Ripken will earn approximately $6.5 million from the Orioles this year and an additional $400,000 or so in endorsements and other income, for a total of $7 million. That puts him at 29th on the list, just behind fellow baseball All-Star Barry Bonds and ahead of auto racer Gerhard Berger.

Ticket madness

Moonlight Madness put a serious dent in the Orioles' ticket inventory. The team reports that it sold 61,630 during the frenetic eight-hour stretch that it filled orders Friday night. The event marked the first day of ticket sales to Orioles games for the 1994 season.

Ticket sales on Saturday and Sunday totaled another 30,000, off slightly from last year's pace. The Orioles attributed that to driving rain and wind that pelted Baltimore.

Winter meetings

Most baseball executives are passing on this year's winter meetings in Atlanta -- which has reduced the annual event to a minor-league convention -- but assistant GM Doug Melvin will attend the Rule V draft.

The general managers are passing on the meetings this year because the uncertainty created by the free-agent market has made it difficult to conduct serious trade talks.

Instead, they will get together in January at a site to be determined.

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