Mussina has football job waiting

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

August 12, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer Milestones and Memories contributed to this article.

Orioles player representative Mike Mussina, who is not obligated to attend negotiating sessions between the players union and the Player Relations Committee, said he plans to return to his hometown, Montoursville, Pa., to work as an assistant football coach at the local high school during the strike.

"One of the coaches was at our game in New York the other day, and he yelled, 'We've got practice Monday at 9:30. You better be there, because I know you're not doing anything else.' "

Mussina said he will be in charge of coaching Montoursville's wide receivers, defensive backs and kickers.

All the while, he will be keeping teammates abreast of significant developments in the labor negotiations.

Mussina said he never has met Orioles owner Peter Angelos, but said he is encouraged by some of the owner's positions on labor issues.

"He seems to want to do it honestly," Mussina said. "He's kind of part of the new breed of owners."

Angelos is the most outspoken advocate among owners for teams opening their financial books. If all owners agreed to do that, Mussina said, it could only help negotiations.

"Let's say we're going to a movie and you told me it was the best movie you have ever seen," Mussina said. "I'm still going to see the movie and form my own opinion before telling anyone to go see it."

Poole hopeful

Orioles assistant player representative Jim Poole remained hopeful of a strike settlement.

"That's the reason we set Aug. 12 as the strike date, so we would have time to reach an agreement," Poole said. "It's our understanding the owners were talking among themselves today. Whether that's going to accomplish anything we don't know."

Rained out

The Orioles' final game before the strike was rained out with the Orioles trailing the Boston Red Sox, 1-0, with one out in the bottom of the third inning last night.

After a two-hour, 16-minute rain delay, the game was postponed.

Orioles left-hander Arthur Rhodes lost his consecutive scoreless innings streak of 18 innings when Mo Vaughn drove in Otis Nixon with a sacrifice fly in the third inning, but had it reinstated at 18 innings because statistics from the rainout do not count.

Rhodes, Benitez optioned

The Orioles reduced their roster to 24 men by optioning Rhodes to Triple-A Rochester and right-hander Armando Benitez Double-A Bowie after last night's game was called.

To expand the roster to the minimum 24 men, the Orioles added left-hander Tom Bolton, who had been pitching at Rochester.

League rules allowed for the transaction to take place after the final game before the strike.

Eichhorn's shoulder treated

Reliever Mark Eichhorn received cortisone shots in his right shoulder yesterday, but was encouraged by a magnetic resonance imaging test that revealed no tears.

Eichhorn said his condition was diagnosed as tendinitis and bursitis and was told that if the Orioles were not on strike, he would have missed at least five games.

"I was real happy when I left that joint," Eichhorn said. "I was concerned it was going to be a lot worse because I've never had anything like that before."

Happy wasn't the word to describe how he felt when getting injected.

"I asked the doc if anybody ever fainted," Eichhorn said. "He said no. I said 'Oh, just asking.' "

Eichhorn (6-5, 2.15) indicated he hopes this is not his only season with the Orioles.

"I've had a great time here, I really have," Eichhorn said. "Hopefully, it's not the end of the season, but just in case, I've had a wonderful time. . . . Hopefully, it will be a short strike, and we can come back and get in the playoffs. I wouldn't be at all ashamed if we won the World Series via a wild-card spot."

August kind to Orioles

If no more games are played this month: The Orioles played 10 games in August and did not commit an error. They also gave up the fewest runs in baseball for the month, 24 in 10 games, and had a 2.39 ERA for the month.

Around the horn

Ten of Rafael Palmeiro's 23 home runs have come off left-handers. . . . Besides The Streak, Cal Ripken takes a streak of four straight multi-hit games into the strike, but Chris Hoiles' run of multi-hit games ended at five Wednesday. . . . Red Sox left-hander Chris Nabholz (Towson State) strained his right hamstring Wednesday. . . . Palmeiro's five RBIs Wednesday was the most by an Oriole since Ripken had six on May 24.

MONEY MATTERS

The Orioles' Rafael Palmeiro signed a five-year free-agent contract valued at $30.5 million, but the way agent Jim Bronner structured it, Palmeiro will lose no more money per day than players earning a $2 million salary.

His 1994 earnings were front-loaded with a signing bonus and back-loaded with deferred payments, neither of which can be denied him during a strike, according to Palmeiro.

"Jim's a genius," Palmeiro said.

As a result of the structuring of the contract, Palmeiro will lose $10,928.96 per day during the strike. Chris Sabo and Chris Hoiles, like Palmeiro, will lose $10,928.96.

Orioles who will lose the most money per day:

/# Player ... ... ... Loss per day

Cal Ripken .. ... ... $26,229.51

Mike Devereaux .. ... 18,442.62

Sid Fernandez ... ... 16,393.44

Brady Anderson .. ... 16,393.44

Ben McDonald .. .. .. 14,617.49

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