Poole makes his debut in labor lineup

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

August 09, 1994|By Peter Schmuck and Tom Keegan | Peter Schmuck and Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writers

NEW YORK -- Orioles reliever Jim Poole got a hands-on lesson in labor relations yesterday, sitting in on the two-hour collective bargaining session between the players and owners at the Intercontinental Hotel.

It wasn't a full bargaining session, but it was an opportunity to see the labor dispute up-close for the first time. Poole, who acts as Orioles' alternate player representative, was the only player to attend the meeting, but he'll be back with his teammates for tomorrow's full-scale negotiating session.

Poole characterized the atmosphere in yesterday's session on noneconomic issues as businesslike and cordial, but he concurred with the appraisal of union director Donald Fehr and ownership negotiator Richard Ravitch that the situation continues to deteriorate.

"I think that's because maybe you're a day closer to the strike deadline and their salary cap is still on the table," Poole said, "or -- from their standpoint -- that we haven't accepted it yet."

Yesterday's session dealt with smaller, more technical issues, which raised questions about the ability of the negotiating units to address the major obstacle to a settlement, but Poole defended the importance of the meeting.

"There are other issues to talk about," he said. "Everything has to be settled, not just the salary cap issue. You're going to have to get to them sometime, so you might as well do it now.

"I was just happy to see them take a step and be able to talk to each other. If we didn't agree, at least there was some give and take. On the salary cap issue, there is no give and take. To me, it's better to get something done, instead of just saying, 'Are you ready to change your mind?' 'No, are you?' and then closing the door."

Rhodes AL Player of Week

An International League pitcher one week, the American League Player of the Week the next.

So ended the greatest week of Arthur Rhodes' young pitching career.

Rhodes pitched a seven-hit shutout to defeat the Minnesota Twins, then shut out the Milwaukee Brewers on five hits.

"I'm very happy now," Rhodes said. "You can't do any better than that. And I'll do it again, too."

Rhodes compared his improvement during his stay at Rochester, where he worked with Triple-A pitching coach Steve Luebber, to that of Chicago White Sox left-hander Wilson Alvarez, who was shaken by a brief demotion to Triple-A last season.

"We're both in the same boat," Rhodes said of Alvarez. "We're both left-handed. He went down to the minors and I went down. He's good and I'm good, too."

Rhodes credited Luebber with helping him fine-tune his pitches, particularly his slider. "He picked out everything I was doing wrong," Rhodes said. "He helped me out a lot. I have to give him credit."

Sabo still sidelined

Orioles manager Johnny Oates had two lineups made out last night, pending the availability of Chris Sabo, who was struck by a pitch on his right index finger Friday night against Milwaukee. Once Sabo determined he was not available, Oates gave Lonnie Smith a rare start at designated hitter.

Only Yankees left for Moyer

Orioles left-hander Jamie Moyer has earned a victory over every American League team except the Yankees.

He will try to remedy that tonight in the second game of the three-game series.

Moyer has pitched into the seventh inning in each of his past eight starts and given up more than two earned runs in only two of those eight starts, giving up three once and four once.

In six starts against the Yankees, Moyer is 0-4 with a 5.34 ERA.

Miscellaneous

Add this name to your list of Orioles killers: Jim Leyritz. Heading into last night's game, Leyritz was batting .333 with three home runs and 14 RBIs in 84 at-bats against the Orioles. In contrast, Mike Gallego had a .193 lifetime batting average against the Orioles. . . . It should come as no surprise that two of the Yankees' top clutch hitters this season have been Wade Boggs (35-for-99) and Don Mattingly (34-for-96), both batting .354 with runners in scoring position. . . . Right fielder Jeffrey Hammonds was batting .346 in his past 15 games leading into last night.

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