Waiting Game

March 22, 1995|By Buster Olney

Rick Krivda

What he would be doing if there were no strike: Krivda, 25, would've had an outside shot to make the Orioles' pitching staff on Opening Day. It's more likely he would have been scrutinized by the major-league staff for two or three weeks -- Krivda could have made a strong first impression -- and then been optioned to the minor leagues. Last year with Rochester, Krivda went 9-10 with a 3.53 ERA. After four years in the minors, he is 43-22, with a 3.53 ERA.

What he's doing instead: Krivda is home in McKeesport, Pa. He spent six weeks in Florida preparing for spring training, but with no resolution in sight, he returned to Pennsylvania at the beginning of March. Krivda has acquired some catching equipment on loan from a baseball glove manufacturer, and is throwing off a mound to a friend two days a week. Krivda also is thinking about getting a job -- he's applied for a part-time job moving hospital furniture and equipment. "It pays the bills," Krivda said. "I guess I've got to do it."

What he would do if the Orioles option him to the minor leagues: "I want to play. I talked to my agent about it, and he seems to think the owners won't let us be optioned out. . . . I'm losing ground day-by-day, and I can't afford to do that, financially or physically. I don't get licensing money, and the only way I get paid is to stay in shape and play. [Krivda's agent] has talked to [union official] Mark Belanger, and he says that legally, the union can't loan money or help out. I don't know -- I think they can, but they don't want to. . . . You look at it from [the union's perspective]: There are a lot of guys missing out on millions, the Barry Bondses, and even the Cal Ripkens. I'm sure first and foremost, they need to be made happy. After all, they're what baseball is."

Who he thinks will win the NCAA tournament: "I picked Kentucky. I like Rick Pitino's style of play. I think UNC is going to test them. I don't think Arkansas will win again."

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