Anderson still waiting, hoping He delays surgery, eyes possible return vs. Twins

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

July 22, 1996|By Buster Olney | Buster Olney,SUN STAFF

BOSTON -- Orioles center fielder Brady Anderson, hoping to avoid an appendectomy and be back in the lineup as soon as tomorrow, has decided to wait and see if his condition continues to improve. But there is still a strong possibility he'll have surgery.

Dr. William Meyers, the chief of surgery at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, visited Anderson at Fenway Park and said Anderson seems to be getting Anderson better. But he indicated to Anderson there is a 90 percent chance he has appendicitis, and therefore a 90 percent chance he'll need surgery in the near future.

Anderson, who began suffering discomfort last Wednesday and was first tested Friday evening, said he felt better yesterday, and to avoid surgery, he'll need to show signs of continued improvement the next two days. But if he doesn't, Anderson said, "I'll have the surgery."

Meyers concurred: If Anderson doesn't improve, "that's a different story."

Meyers laid out the possible risks involved for Anderson, who may have a perforated appendix, and Anderson decided to assume those risks and continue playing. "I want to play," Anderson said, then half-joked, "I don't want to die out there on the field."

Anderson's primary risk is in the speed of recovery from surgery. If he has the surgery immediately, he would be out three to six weeks. If Anderson waits and his condition grows more acute, his recovery time would be longer.

"If it were the off-season," Anderson said, "I'd have it done. I'd have it done tomorrow. But it's not [the off-season].

"I'd be all right. I'd still be playing next year. . . ."

Anderson paused, then cracked, "In Japan."

Anderson said collisions or diving plays increase his risks minimally. "I guess that means [Boston first baseman] Mo Vaughn is going to tag me in my appendix."

Anderson is in the midst of the best season of his career, with 31 homers, 10 more than his previous high.

Alexander gets day off

Manny Alexander has gotten the ball out of the infield twice in 18 at-bats since taking over shortstop from Cal Ripken. With the Orioles having scored exactly no earned runs Friday and Saturday, and Rafael Palmeiro sidelined by a sprained right wrist and Anderson on the shelf, manager Davey Johnson restored Ripken to shortstop, B. J. Surhoff to third base and Luis Polonia to left field, in an effort to get more offense in the lineup. "I feel like we've got to have a little more pop in the lineup," Johnson said.

The change is only temporary, though: Alexander will be back in the lineup shortly. "We still need to give him an opportunity," Johnson said, "and I don't think six games is a fair opportunity."

Palmeiro was originally in yesterday's lineup at first and Bobby Bonilla was the designated hitter. However, Palmeiro's wrist, already swollen, got even worse during batting practice and Roberto Alomar was inserted in his place, at DH, with Bonilla moving to first base.

Alomar batted cleanup, the first time he'd done so since 1990, when he batted fourth in four games for the San Diego Padres.

Another deal is coming

The Orioles expect to make at least one more deal before the trade deadline July 31. They continue to talk to San Diego about Bonilla (reliever Bryce Florie, who throws a heavy sinkerball, could be involved), and they could have a deal brewing with Seattle involving catcher Chris Widger and minor-league shortstop Desmond Relaford for pitcher David Wells (if the Orioles front office determines the club is out of the running).

Around the horn

The Orioles' victory yesterday was the first without a homer since May 26. In that span, they had lost the last 14 games in which they didn't hit a homer. . . . Boston left fielder Mike Greenwell, activated before Saturday's game, said yesterday he would accept a trade and would waive a salary escalation that automatically goes into effect if he is traded, if it means he gets to play regularly. Boston is trying to develop Reggie Jefferson in left and really has no place to play Greenwell. Orioles general manager Pat Gillick said Saturday he has no interest in Greenwell, primarily because he's a left-handed hitter and the Orioles are looking for right-handed hitters. . . . Utility man Bill Ripken also is banged up, with a sore back and right hip. There have been times when it appears he's dragging his right leg when he runs. . . . Before yesterday's game, Cal Ripken met with Ginny DelVecchio of Winchester, Mass., who founded the Boston Chapter of the ALS Foundation, after her mother and father died of the disease. DelVecchio herself has the disease now, is confined to a wheelchair and cannot speak. To communicate with Ripken, she used a computer, in which she typed her thoughts. ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is the disease that ended Lou Gehrig's life and record consecutive-games streak, a mark that Ripken surpassed last September.

Pub Date: 7/22/96

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