After UM roadblock, Baysox to repair to Navy yard

MINOR LEAGUE NOTEBOOK

April 20, 1994|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Writer

The strange odyssey of the Bowie Baysox has changed directions again.

Originally forced into three different locations while awaiting completion of their new stadium, the Double-A Baysox will now shuffle off to a fourth home site because the third is not available May 9-12.

At least three games that series against the Harrisburg Senators have been shifted from Shipley Field at University of Maryland to Navy's Bishop Field.

"Maryland suddenly realized that the dates fell on exam week," said Bowie owner Peter Kirk. "Now we'll start playing in College Park May 20 if we need to. But we're hoping we don't have to play there at all."

Kirk's outlook is based on the improved weather, which has led to a speedup of construction at Prince George's County Stadium, where the team hopes to be playing by May 20.

"We're really rolling now," he said. "Concrete is being poured, we're installing seats and working on the field and with more pretty days, we should make progress on the parking lots."

Bishop Field's capacity exceeds Shipley Field's by more than 1,000 and has larger outfield dimensions. The only hitch is that organizations outside Navy can't charge admission. The location of the fourth game of the series is undetermined.

The Baysox have played five games at Frederick's Grove Stadium (with five remaining there) and have three scheduled at Judy Johnson Field in Wilmington, Del.

Too close for comfort

The overlapping of some games involving the Baysox and Single-A Frederick Keys is creating cramped quarters at Grove Stadium.

Keys clubhouse man George Bell said the problem was particularly acute Sunday, when the Keys played a 2:05 game followed by a Baysox game a half-hour later.

"That was a worse day than any I've ever had in spring training where you can have hundreds of guys in one place," said Bell, who runs the clubhouse for Orioles minor-leaguers in Florida.

"There are only 35 lockers, so you're 15 short. Eight coaches and instructors are dressing in a room designed for four."

In shared lockers, as many as 10 pairs of shoes can be stored by two different players, and the situation is even more problematical in the smaller visiting clubhouse, where the two teams sharing quarters are from different organizations and do not know each other.

"The good thing is that there is no room for the players to fool around," Bell said.

Hello, Hilo

Frederick pitching coach Larry McCall had some interesting moments during the first season of the Hawaii Winter League.

His team, the Hilo Stars, had 15 Japanese players on its roster, none of whom spoke English.

"We had to use a lot of good sign language," McCall said. "We did have an interpreter for two weeks to help, and the manager, Tim Ireland, knew a little Japanese from playing over there. I didn't know any, but they came to understand my tone of voice. It worked out pretty well."

Hilo -- which had one Orioles minor-leaguer, pitcher Larry Shenk -- won the four-team league.

McCall said the Japanese players "were all fundamentally sound, but our manager had to make them learn to be a little more enthusiastic and aggressive.

"They'd rather take a ball on one hop than dive for it. But they took to the American style and enjoyed it."

Schaefer's hide-out

Rochester Red Wings second baseman Jeff Schaefer pulled the hidden-ball trick against the Ottawa Lynx's Chris Martin.

After Martin led off with a single and went to second when Sherman Obando fumbled the ball, Schaefer faked a throw to pitcher Jim Dedrick, who faked a catch.

Schaefer, a Maryland alumnus, then wandered behind second to talk with shortstop Kevin Baez and moved over to tag out Martin.

"It was just a case of two streetwise New Yorkers pulling a fast one on somebody," Schaefer said.

The embarrassed Martin, a middle infielder, said, "I always wanted to do that to somebody else."

When Martin reached second the next day, he made second baseman Brad Tyler show him two empty hands before budging off the bag.

This and that

Bowie's pitching staff averaged 9.44 strikeouts per nine innings through seven games. . . . Outfielder Dennis Hood (1-for-9) was released by Rochester to make room for Damon Buford, who is playing center field with Jim Wawruck moving to left. . . . Red Wings outfielder Mark Smith matched his entire 1992 home run total with his fourth, a two-run shot in the ninth that tied a game with Ottawa. Mel Wearing followed with his second homer in two innings to win it, 5-4. . . . Pete Rose Jr., who originally signed with the Orioles, is in Hagerstown this week with the Hickory Crawdads.

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