Players' spirits dampened, but they approve of decision Rainout is unavoidable


J. Myers added to roster

April 02, 1996|By Peter Schmuck and Brad Snyder | Peter Schmuck and Brad Snyder,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Buster Olney contributed to this article.

The Orioles' players had to push their emotional reset buttons yesterday, but most agreed that the quick decision to push the club's season opener against the Kansas City Royals back a day was the right thing to do.

"There's an emotional buildup," said shortstop Cal Ripken, "so there's a little bit of disappointment, but I think you'd much rather play in good conditions and I think the fans would rather watch the game in good weather."

The game has been rescheduled for today (3: 05 p.m.) along with several other Opening Day games in the Midwest and Northeast. The forecast is much more promising -- mostly sunny, windy, in the 50s -- and there appears to be little chance that the game will have to be rescheduled again.

"I think for everybody -- both the players and the fans -- the best thing to do was to play [today]," said. arrived at the ballpark to begin his pre-start routine early yesterday, but he was prepared for the likelihood that his will take the mound today with an extra day's rest.

"I didn't come here thinking that we were going to play," Mussina said. "I had already heard a rumor that it had been postponed, so it wasn't a huge letdown. The worst part about it was all the people who came down here to see me pitch and now have to home because they have to work tomorrow. But rainouts happen."

Third baseman B.J. Surhoff was looking forward to making his Orioles regular-season debut, but he joined in the general consensus that the game should be played under the best possible conditions.

"Sure, it's a downer," he said, "but I think we were prepared for it when the weatherman gave us a 100 percent chance of rain."

Myers gets the call

The guy they call Big Country has made it to the big leagues -- Jimmy Myers is a member of the Orioles. Myers, who is entering his 10th pro season but has never appeared in a major-league game, was officially added to the 25-man roster yesterday.

It was tumultuous day for Myers, a 26-year-old right-handed pitcher, who earlier in the day was told by Orioles management that he was still in limbo.

"I don't know what my role is," Myers said , 29.

Dyer went 4-5 with a 4.34 ERA in 55 games with Pittsburgh last season. The Pirates placed Dyer on waivers last week, and the Orioles, looking to improve their bullpen depth, wanted to claim him.

However, the Expos, ranking ahead of the Orioles in the waiver wire pecking order, claimed Dyer. The Orioles tried to work out a trade for Dyer, but when the Expos decided to keep him for themselves -- for now -- the Orioles promoted Myers.

Rotation alteration

The Orioles' pitching rotation will change slightly as a result of yesterday's postponement.

Mussina was scheduled to start Saturday against the Minnesota Twins but probably will be moved back to Sunday. Jimmy Haynes most likely will start Saturday's game.

Less than zero

The Orioles concluded the 1995 season with 45 consecutive shutout innings pitched and today have a chance to tie the American League record of 54, set by the Orioles from Sept. 1, 1974, to Sept. 7, 1974. Mussina concluded last season with 26 consecutive scoreless innings.

Around the horn

Orioles starter Kent Mercker has changed his number from 38 to 21. . . One of the organization's top pitching prospects, Billy Percibal, underwent reconstructive elbow surgery Friday and will out for the rest of the season. There was a chance that Percibal would only need minor corrective surgery, but Dr. James Andrews of Birmingham, Ala., determined that Percibal's elbow required major surgery like the kind performed on former pitcher Tommy John.

Pub Date: 4/02/96

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