Hemond in no hurry to fill Melvin void

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

October 13, 1994|By Mark Hyman and Tom Keegan | Mark Hyman and Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writers

Doug Melvin's departure for the Texas Rangers this week leaves a vacancy in the Orioles' front office, but it's not one the club intends to fill any time soon.

General manager Roland Hemond said yesterday that the club has no timetable for hiring a farm director to replace Melvin, and that it hasn't begun contacting candidates.

"We haven't done anything on that matter yet -- it just transpired," Hemond said yesterday. "It's something you don't postpone too long. But you don't have to rush right now, especially with the season closing down early."

Hemond confirmed that when the Orioles do begin looking, they'll consider applicants from other teams and their own front office. Candidates mentioned so far include Orioles assistant scouting director Fred Uhlman Jr. and Cleveland Indians director of minor-league operations Mark Shapiro, son of Baltimore sports agent Ron Shapiro.

Hemond said he expected the job would attract the attention of many. "When these things occur, you find people contacting the club. Normally, you get applicants from outside your own ranks," he said.

There is a strong possibility that the Orioles could lose others hTC from their front office if Melvin offers jobs to some of his old co-workers. Among those he is said to be interested in is Reid Nichols, Orioles director of field operations.

On another front, Hemond said he has heard nothing from Orioles owner Peter Angelos about long-rumored plans to elevate Hemond and assistant GM Frank Robinson to new jobs in a restructured Orioles front office.

Though Angelos never has confirmed it, Hemond has been thought to be headed for the new post of vice chairman for baseball operations, with Robinson to become the new Orioles GM, a position he long has coveted.

"I haven't paid any attention to it. It's strictly speculation," Hemond said of the reports. He added that he and Angelos never have discussed the possibility of a promotion.

Hammonds update

Hemond and Robinson both spoke yesterday to Dr. James Andrews, who performed the anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction on outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds' right knee Tuesday.

"The doctor was extremely pleased with how things went," Hemond said. "He said Jeffrey already was in the clinic doing some kind of rehab. The doctor was pleased and reiterated it looks like he'll be ready in the spring. Frank talked to Jeffrey and Jeffrey was enthused and anxious to do all that's necessary to get him going."

Sabo officially an ex-Oriole

Chris Sabo's waivers expired yesterday and he declared himself a free agent, officially ending his stormy association with the Orioles.

Sabo, who hit .256 with 42 RBIs in limited duty last season, would have been eligible for free agency anyway, but the timetable was moved up for the benefit of both parties. The Orioles wanted to clear space on the 40-man roster and Sabo wanted to become a free agent as soon as possible.

The Orioles placed him on waivers last week, rather than make Sabo wait for the free agency filing period.

Celebrity sighting

Filmmaker Spike Lee took a train in from New York to Camden Yards to interview Orioles public address announcer and former Brooklyn Dodgers right-hander Rex Barney. Lee is working on a movie about Jackie Robinson, a former teammate of Barney's.

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