Outside of batter's box, DH role isn't a hit with Bonilla Slugger says 'I hope it doesn't last' after debut

Orioles Notebook

April 03, 1996|By Brad Snyder | Brad Snyder,SUN STAFF Staff writers Peter Schmuck, Michael James and Buster Olney contributed to this article.

Bobby Bonilla had a nice game yesterday. He hit three balls hard, extended a 21-game hitting streak from last season with a double and scored two runs.

L But Bonilla is not happy with his role as designated hitter.

"Let me put it this way, I hope it doesn't last," Bonilla said. "That's all I can tell you."

When asked to elaborate later, Bonilla refused.

"How do I feel about it?" he said. "That's a loaded question."

A career National Leaguer, Bonilla has never been a designated hitter. His first experience with the position at Camden Yards came in Saturday's exhibition.

Bonilla homered and doubled in a run in five at-bats, but wants to go back to using his glove.

Bonilla, an outfielder/third baseman who is known for his clubhouse energy, did not recall how he spent his idle time yesterday while his teammates took the field. "I had no idea what I did," he said. "I still have no idea what I did."

Surhoff solid at third

B. J. Surhoff looked solid again yesterday at third base.

In the fifth inning, he made all three putouts. He ranged to his left on Mike Macfarlane's grounder and caught a ball over his shoulder on Jose Offerman's foul pop.

Scoreless streak ends

Mike Mussina broke the Orioles pitching staff's scoreless innings streak at 46 when he surrendered a second-inning run.

The streak, carried over from last season, was broken when Mike Tucker scored 's double-play groundout.

Griffey has Clinton worried

President Clinton spent an inning in the broadcast booth with Mike Flanagan, Jim Palmer and Mel Proctor, discussing a wide range of topics -- including the Nike-endorsed presidential candidacy of Ken Griffey.

"I'm worried about him," Clinton said. "At the very least, he's going to take more votes away from me than Senator Dole."

Cool day for scalpers

Tickets to yesterday's game weren't in high demand, according to city police. Four people were charged with scalping tickets, attempting to charge roughly double-price for $9 seats, police said.

The scalpers weren't arrested but were given a summons by city undercover officers, ordering them to appear in court. Ticket scalping is a misdemeanor that carries a fine up to $1,000.

"It's dumb to charge extra, especially today. Not many people are willing to pay extra to sit out in the cold, even if it's Opening Day," said a man trying to unload two box seats in the scalp-free zone before the game. "My wife wasn't in the mood to come out here and she told me to sell the tickets."

The Orioles inaugurated a "scalp-free zone" outside the home-plate entrance for fans to resell tickets at face value.

Other than within that zone, it is illegal to resell a ticket -- even for face value.

Meacham, Knorr eyed

As they continue to scan the waiver wire for possible pickups, the Orioles are considering claiming reliever Rusty Meacham, a 28-year-old right-hander placed on waivers by Kansas City.

Meacham had a terrible 1995 season, accumulating a 4.98 ERA in 59 2/3 innings. He went to winter ball to work on his forkball, and pitched well. But once he got into spring training, he began leaving pitches up in the strike zone.

continues to look for catching help and he has an opportunity now to pick up Randy Knorr, reportedly waived by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Lethal mascot

Bromley Lowe had some explaining to do. He was trying to pass through a Secret Service checkpoint yesterday when agents discovered he was carrying three weapons -- a large slingshot and two air-powered confetti cannons.

He wouldn't have gotten a second look any other time, but even The Bird has to pass muster with the president around.

Around the horn

Among those in the crowd was Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan. . . . The national anthem was sung by Linda Eder, who replaced originally scheduled anthem singer Ivan Rutherford. Eder is one of the stars of the musical "Jekyll and Hyde." Rutherford, who plays Jean Valjean in the touring company of "Les Miserables," was scheduled to sing Monday, but had a prior commitment yesterday. . . . The Orioles are now 27-16 in home openers.

Pub Date: 4/03/96

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