Anderson happy man in middle

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

June 19, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

Virtually all great outfielders want to play center field and Brady Anderson is no different.

But when the Mike Devereaux right-field experiment failed this spring and Anderson was told to return to left, he didn't complain.

"I like playing center because you get more balls hit to you," Anderson said. "But I have no problem with Devo playing center for this team. Devo's a good center fielder. He's real strong. I don't mind playing left for this team and I didn't mind playing right when we went to Fenway. I'll play wherever it's best for this team."

Now that Devereaux is on the disabled list, Anderson doesn't mind playing center, where there is all the more room to roam and make running catches at the track, such as the one he made on Chuck Knoblauch's third-inning fly ball last night.

Defense always has been at the forefront of Anderson's passion for the game.

"Growing up, when I would dream of playing in the big leagues, winning a Gold Glove was always something I would dream about," Anderson said.

Toronto's Devon White, Seattle's Ken Griffey and Cleveland's Kenny Lofton won the AL outfield Gold Gloves last season.

If they were awarded by specific outfield position, Anderson undoubtedly would have been the AL Gold Glove left fielder.

"They give one for each position for infielders," Anderson said. "They don't give them all to shortstops, so I wonder why they do it differently for outfielders."

Anderson, whose greatest strength as an outfielder is getting a good jump on the ball, has not committed an error this season.

Earth to Johnny: lighten up

A day after Orioles majority owner Peter G. Angelos offered a shut-up for lighten-up truce of sorts to Johnny Oates, the manager withdrew even deeper into his self-pity cocoon. Oates didn't lighten up, which was his end of the bargain, but he did shut up.

Oates' pre-game meet-the-press session, which he dreads, lasted all of 90 seconds yesterday.

First, Oates took exception to the way one reporter worded his question about Jeffrey Hammonds, insisting the reporter was making a statement instead of asking a question.

Then, when Kevin Lyons of the Washington Times shrugged his shoulders in exasperation, Oates told him, "If you don't like it, you can take a hike."

Said Lyons: "I didn't say I didn't like it. Did I say I didn't like it? You read my mind. You say you don't like it when we read your mind and you read my mind."

Oates: "That's the end. I don't have to take this anymore."

And then he walked away.

Seinfeld: Twins ticket, O's hat

Minnesota Twins pitcher Scott Erickson heard that comedian Jerry Seinfeld was in town and arranged to have tickets left for him for last night's game.

"I've seen the show a few times," said Erickson, who does not know Seinfeld personally. "He's got some funny stuff."

Seinfeld wore an Orioles cap.

"We saw that on TV," Erickson said. "That was a little front-running there, but that's OK. They were nice enough to give him the hat."

Hammonds returns

Hammonds, wearing a knee brace as protection for his strained right knee ligament, returned to the lineup for the first time since May 3 and played left field.

"It feels fine," said Hammonds, who was 1-for-3 with two runs scored.

Hammonds did not blame his knee for failing to make a home run-robbing catch on Derek Parks' first major-league home run in the third inning.

"I just felt like I hadn't been out there in a while," Hammonds said. "I wasn't positioned to catch it."

Was he pain-free?

"I'll be pain-free when I'm not wearing a leg brace," he said.

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