Gomez says he sympathizes with Sabo

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

June 04, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

Chris Sabo's words of discontent were harsh but the effect on the atmosphere in the Orioles' clubhouse has been unnoticeable.

Among other things, Sabo said Leo Gomez, the man who moved him off of third base, is "no Mike Schmidt."

Dissension over Sabo going public with his playing time dissatisfaction and requesting a trade? None is evident.

Gomez, for one, didn't flinch.

"I understand what he's going through," Gomez said. "The same thing happened to me when I got hurt. They played [Tim] Hulett there and he played great. I wanted to play so bad."

Now, Gomez comes to the ballpark every day assured he will see his name in the lineup.

"I feel like part of the team now," Gomez said. "It's hard to feel like part of the team when you aren't playing."

Gomez, who would have welcomed a trade during spring training, never has felt better about wearing an Orioles uniform.

"It's a funny game," Gomez said. "I hope it stays like this all year. I'm feeling real good and I'm swinging at my pitch now."

Sabo is letting his trade request do his talking.

"I'm through talking," he said. "Now I'm waiting for action."

Said Orioles manager Johnny Oates: "I can think of 13 guys who asked to be traded since I've been here. None of them left because they requested it."

The Klingenbeck Era, Day II

Scott Klingenbeck spent part of his day taking a baseball around the clubhouse and having the Orioles autograph it. After limiting the Detroit Tigers to four runs (three earned) in seven innings in his major-league debut Thursday, Klingenbeck went to dinner with family members who had driven in from Cincinnati to see him pitch. Then he returned to his apartment in Annapolis to talk about his major-league debut with a few of his Double-A teammates.

Klingenbeck's arrival to the major leagues fulfilled a Pete Rose prophesy. Klingenbeck and Pete Rose Jr. were high school teammates and when Rose saw the right-hander pitch for the first time he told him he would pitch in the major leagues one

day.

A decision on where Klingenbeck will make his next start will not come until after Ben McDonald (strained groin) tests his injury in fielding drills today.

If all goes well and McDonald receives a medical clearance, he will be scheduled for a Tuesday start in Kansas City.

Right-hander Kevin McGehee, removed from the 40-man roster to make room for Klingenbeck, cleared waivers yesterday and was assigned to Rochester.

Rhodes bypassed

Why didn't left-hander Arthur Rhodes, who is 2-0 with a 4.40 ERA and has five walks and 17 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings since being demoted to Triple-A Rochester, make the start Thursday? "We talked about Arthur, but if we brought him up for just one start and it's a good start, he might be upset to go back down," Orioles assistant general manager Doug Melvin said. "If he pitches bad, it might wipe out what we've accomplished in the minors."

Melvin said there is a good chance Klingenbeck will go to Rochester instead of back to Bowie if he returns to the minors before making another start.

Chip off the Oriole block

Everyone wanted Ryan Hendricks to be a catcher, just like his old man, but Ryan didn't want to catch so he quit baseball and took up football. It didn't take him long to return to his first love, but he wasn't about to return as a catcher.

Ryan, Elrod's son, is a left-handed hitting first baseman now, talented enough for the Orioles to choose him in the 39th round of baseball's free-agent draft.

The Orioles drafted him out of St. Andrews, a North Carolina college he graduated from in May. Elrod attended the May 6 graduation, expecting to miss a game for the first time in his 26 years with the Orioles, but the Orioles were rained out that day, preserving his streak.

Ryan's favorite player?

"Eddie Murray," Ryan said. "He's my mentor, my best friend, my favorite player. He's always been there for me and we still talk all the time."

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