The Waiting Game

March 11, 1995|By Buster Olney

Mike Oquist

What he would be doing if there were no strike: Oquist, 26, would be in camp trying to re-establish himself in the Orioles' organization. Last year, he went 3-3 with a 6.17 ERA in 15 games for the Orioles, and 3-2 for Triple-A Rochester. In a normal spring, Oquist would have an outside shot of making the O's staff. Now, his chances are reduced.

Where he is instead: At home in La Junta, Colo.

How he's filling his time: From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. every day, Oquist is working out at Otero Junior College, throwing batting practice and playing long toss and working out. Before and after his training, he is working for Valley Plumbing and Heating, a company started by his late father and now run by his two older brothers. Oquist has been "digging ditches. . . . I'd rather be playing ball, that's for sure."

What he's doing when he's not working out: "Just spending time with my family, my wife and my two little boys -- Braxton [2 1/2 ] and Dallas [5 months]."

The last time he wasn't playing baseball in spring: "That must've been back in junior high. I would've been playing basketball. I would've been down at the shop, working with my dad."

How he's handling the wait: "When it happens, it happens. I'm staying busy, there's no doubt about that."

When he thinks the strike will end: "Who knows? It could be tomorrow if we can get the sides together. I don't think either side thought it would go for this long."

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