Gaston won't begrudge Mussina All-Star shot

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

June 22, 1994|By Peter Schmuck and Tom Keegan | Peter Schmuck and Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writers Sun staff writer Milton Kent contributed to this article.

Toronto Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston stopped short of saying all is forgiven, but he said yesterday that last year's feud with Orioles right-hander Mike Mussina would have no bearing on the selection of pitchers for this year's American League All-Star team.

"I don't really care," Gaston told a reporter from the Toronto Sun ++ before last night's game at SkyDome. "If a guy deserves to go, he will. Guys who cut off their nose to spite their face never win, anyway. I want to win and I'll take whoever will help."

Gaston chose Mussina a year ago, but held him out of the 64th All-Star Game at Camden Yards for the possibility of extra innings. The feud erupted after Mussina incited the home crowd by warming up in the bullpen during the final inning of a 6-3 American League victory.

The war of words ended when Mussina called Gaston two weeks later and apologized for the incident, but there was room to wonder if the hard feelings would carry over to this year's All-Star selection process.

He felt sure that he would not be selected unless he had such an overpowering first half that Gaston could not overlook him without making headlines.

Last night, he seemed pleased to hear Gaston wouldn't carry a FTC grudge. "I'm glad he feels that way," Mussina said, soon after his strong seven-inning performance. "I was hoping it was over when I called him last year. Now, we know that if I don't make it, it will be because I didn't earn it."

Gant hunt ends

The Orioles' interest in injuredfree-agent outfielder Ron Gant never waned, but his availability did.

Gant signed with the Cincinnati Reds yesterday before the Orioles had a chance to take themselves out of the running for him.

Orioles general manager Roland Hemond told Gant's agent, Eric Goldschmidt, to let the Orioles know when Gant was ready to be scouted doing the most basic athletic move, namely running. Goldschmidt didn't wait for Gant to reach that point before finding a team for him.

Gant still hasn't run, but he does have a contract through next season. Goldschmidt never got back to the Orioles, Hemond said.

"We did what we thought was right," Hemond said. "We wanted to make sure he could play. Maybe there is a new strategy now. Sign players and put them on the disabled list. That's two in one week."

Hemond was referring to San Francisco's signing of free-agent outfielder Darryl Strawberry.

"You don't have to be able to play and we'll still sign you,Hemond said. "That's really having it good."

Said Orioles owner Peter Angelos: "I thought we were right on top of it. Apparently the Reds were more aggressive. On the other hand, Goldschmidt moved more quickly than we thought he would."

Krivda an option

From the time left-hander Rick Krivda was chosen with the Orioles' 23rd choice in the 1991 draft, his results have been better than his scouting reports.

He continues to amaze scouts who figure each level will be his last successful one. Surely, the reports have read, his high, straight fastball will be exposed by hitters at the next level. So far, it hasn't been.

There is only one level remaining and it might not be long before the confident Krivda reaches that.

If Orioles manager Johnny Oates gets to the point he wants to make a change in his rotation, he said he would not be hesitant to give Rochester's Krivda an opportunity.

"Our reports on him are outstanding," Oates said. "We were talking today about how do we improve our ballclub and his name came up."

For now, Krivda will remain at Rochester, where he has thrown 26 consecutive scoreless innings.

"If we did call him up, basically he would be a starter," Oates said. "He's always been a starter and he's 40-15 as a starter."

Scott Klingenbeck and Jimmy Haynes of Double-A Bowie also were discussed, Oates said.

Miscellaneous

Mussina leads the AL in innings pitched with 119 and his 2.87 ERA is second in the league behind Kansas City's David Cone (2.67). . . . Last night's attendance of 46,599 was the 29th straight Camden Yards sellout this year. . . . Chris Sabo has 21 putouts and is 16-for-53 (.302) with 14 RBIs in the 12 games he has played in the outfield. . . . The 91.4-degree average game-time temperature for the current homestand, which ends tonight, is 10 degrees warmer than any other homestand this year.

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