(Through Thursday's games)UPS AND DOWNSManny Alexander...

Buster Olney's O's week in review

July 21, 1996|By Buster Olney

(Through Thursday's games)

UPS AND DOWNS

Manny Alexander -- UP -- Finally gets his chance, but beware: The world is watching, and so is Cal.

Cal Ripken -- UP -- Went from being one of the better AL shortstops to being the best third baseman. He'll try pitching next week, should the need arise.

Davey Johnson -- HORZ -- Said he may be the most hated person in Baltimore since making the move. Not quite, but he may be in the top 10.

David Wells -- UP -- He's gotten his act together. Teams interested in acquiring a pitcher for the stretch have noticed, no doubt.

Bobby Bonilla -- HORZ -- He's outta here. It's just a matter of when he goes and where he goes. Probably someplace where they don't have a designated hitter.

Chris Hoiles -- UP -- He's putting up a fight to save his job.

Rick Krivda -- DOWN -- Demoted to Triple-A. A victim of circumstance, but could be back soon.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"Yes, I will be playing third base tonight, and it is against the wishes of my nose doctor, who deems third base a whole lot more dangerous than shortstop." - Cal Ripken

STAT OF THE WEEK

A shortstop made an error in each of the first four games after Cal Ripken was moved to third base. Twice the opposing shortstop committed the errors - each time on a ball hit by Ripken.

The week ahead

Monday-Wednesday, Vs. Minnesota at Camden Yards. The Twins are a respite from rivals such as the Yankees and the Red Sox. Truth be told, however, small-market Minnesota has an identical record (38-42) to that of the Orioles (38-42) since April 17, when the Orioles were 11-2. Twins second baseman Chuck Knoblauch, a potential free agent, is having a monster season and is running away in the race for the AL batting title. Jimmy Haynes starts for the Orioles tomorrow, his first start since rejoining the rotation.

Thursday-Sunday, vs. Cleveland at Camden Yards. They've continued to win, but much has changed about the Indians since the last time they played at Camden Yards. Jim Thome is hitting third in the lineup, Carlos Baerga has been dropped to seventh, Youngsters Jeromy Burnitz, a player coveted by the Orioles, and Brian Giles have assumed bigger roles in recent weeks.

The good

Let's face it - the Yankees have more depth in their position players, a better bullpen and a better starting rotation than the Orioles do, Plus, the Yankees will add Pat Kelly from the disabled list, plugging their defensive troubles at second base.

The bad

The Orioles were totally overmatched in their four-game series against the Yankees. Rafael Palmeiro and Bobby Bonilla combined for no RBI in the sweep.

The ugly

It was appalling to see Yankees fans standing with two strikes on the final batter in the four-game sweep and roaring and dominating Camden Yards.

A move that paid off...

The Orioles switched rookie right-hander Jimmy Haynes to the bullpen in early June, rather than send him to the minors. Working out of the 'pen, Haynes developed more consistency, righted himself and is heading back to the rotation, where he began the year as the club's No. 5 starter.

And one that didn't

Roberto Alomar's decision to play in the All-Star Game. There's no telling if he exacerbated the injury to the ring finger of his left hand, but he played the first three games after the All-Star break and hasn't started since then.

By the numbers

Barry Bonds set the Giants club record for consecutive games played last week, with 323.

Chuck Finley, All-Star pitcher from California (and we're still trying to figure out why he was picked over Mariano Rivera), hasn't won since June 18.

Seattle catcher Dan Wilson is hitting .439 with eight homers and 13 RBIs in 41 at-bats the day after he's given a day off.

Last week, the Rockies tied a record set by the 1938 Yankees, scoring at least seven runs in 11 straight home games.

Will Clark has only 20 extra-base hits for the season, and since June 1, he has been out-homered by Atlanta pitcher Steve Avery, two to one.

In his first 12 games in the leadoff spot, St. Louis shortstop Royce Clayton has scored 12 runs and is batting .386.

jTC Colorado has 26 come-from-behind victories, 21 at Coors Field.

! Pub Date: 7/21/96

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