Anderson hoping to delay surgery But slugger's appendicitis probably won't wait


July 21, 1996|By Buster Olney | Buster Olney,SUN STAFF

BOSTON -- Brady Anderson prefers not to think about whether he's going to require immediate surgery for appendicitis. He wants to stay positive and recover his health enough to get back in the lineup and continue playing and hitting homers for the Orioles.

Nonetheless, there is a strong possibility Anderson will require surgery that would sideline him for at least three weeks and maybe for as many as six or seven weeks.

Anderson said two separate ultrasound tests have indicated he has appendicitis, and unless his discomfort and symptoms are reduced considerably, he'll probably need surgery immediately. In the best-case scenario, Anderson would have the surgery after the regular season.

"We're trying at all costs to avoid [immediate] surgery," said Orioles manager Davey Johnson. "But you've got to think about him, as a person. You don't want him put at risk."

Anderson, who has 31 homers and has been among the major-league leaders all season, was kept awake by pain after Thursday night's game in Boston. He went to a local hospital for tests before Friday night's game and was told he had shown signs of appendicitis.

Anderson went to Fenway Park and, at the urging of team trainers, he checked into a hospital overnight. He was released yesterday morning, and doctors determined the inflammation in his appendix had decreased. But Anderson said after the game he was still in pain.

"As an athlete, there are risks you're willing to take [to play]," said Anderson. "But I'm not going to be stupid about it."

Niekro helps out Wakefield

It has been this kind of year for the Orioles: They may have been shut out, 2-0, yesterday because the Silver Bullets, the traveling women's baseball team, was in Boston.

The Silver Bullets are managed by Phil Niekro, the greatest knuckleball pitcher ever, and while Niekro was in town he chatted with Boston's struggling knuckleballer, Tim Wakefield, who had a 6.45 ERA and had allowed 148 hits and 53 walks in 106 innings going into yesterday.

Niekro told Wakefield he should change speeds with his knuckleball, some hard, some soft.

Naturally, Wakefield held the Orioles to six hits and no runs before giving way to Heathcliff Slocumb with one out in the ninth.

On Slocumb's second pitch, Bobby Bonilla hit into a game-ending double play.

Closure for the curse

The Curse of Cal ended yesterday. In each of the Orioles' first five games after Cal Ripken was moved to third, a shortstop made an error. Manny Alexander made errors Tuesday and Wednesday, and on Monday and Thursday, Toronto's Alex Gonzalez and John Valentin made errors -- on balls hit by Cal Ripken. On Friday, Boston's Jeff Manto made an error, on a ball hit by Bill Ripken. Alexander could have been charged with an error on a looping liner by Mo Vaughn yesterday, but Vaughn was awarded a hit.

At a crossroads

Before the game, general manager Pat Gillick said how the Orioles play in the next 10 days, leading up to the trade deadline, will determine much about the direction the club will take for the final two months. If Gillick and Co. think the Orioles have a chance, they'll focus on winning in 1996. If not, "we'll go in tTC another direction," Gillick said. That could mean dealing Bonilla, David Wells, Jesse Orosco, Mike Devereaux, any veteran with any value.

Around the horn

Rocky Coppinger pitched effectively yesterday in suffering the first loss of his career, allowing six hits and two runs in 6 1/3 innings. . . . Roberto Alomar took batting practice for the first time since spraining a finger, but Johnson says he won't play Alomar until he's 100 percent. . . . Assuming Kent Mercker is dealt for Eddie Murray, then Rick Krivda, sent to the minors Thursday, probably will rejoin the Orioles.

Pub Date: 7/21/96

Orioles today

Opponent: Boston Red Sox

Site: Fenway Park, Boston

Time: 1: 05 p.m.

TV/Radio: Ch. 54/WBAL (1090 AM)

Starters: Orioles' Mike Mussina (11-7, 4.94) vs. Red Sox's Roger Clemens (4-9, 4.12)

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