McDowell returns to disabled list Hammonds sprains knee in chewed-up outfield

Orioles Notebook

August 16, 1996|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF

OAKLAND, CALIF. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CONTRIBUTED TO THIS ARTICLE. — OAKLAND, Calif. -- Right-hander Roger McDowell is experiencing renewed soreness in his shoulder following Wednesday's appearance against the Milwaukee Brewers, and was returned to the disabled list last night.

McDowell, who had been on the disabled list from July 15 through Aug. 2, had pitched three times in a four-game span, and yielded only a game-tying home run to Jeff Cirillo in a 1 1/3 -inning stint Wednesday. He woke up very sore yesterday and will be examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles today.

To take his place on the roster, the Orioles called up Nerio Rodriguez, the Single-A ERA leader at Frederick who pitched well (eight innings, four hits, no walks, one run) in a spot start for Triple-A Rochester last Sunday.

The Orioles already have lost right-hander Armando Benitez and left-hander Arthur Rhodes from a bullpen that was not terribly deep to begin with. Now, it appears that McDowell -- whose early-season workload led to his first DL stint -- could be lost for the season. That would be a major blow to a team that has had trouble bridging the gap between the starters and closer Randy Myers.

"McDowell and Arthur, that was my bullpen," Johnson lamented.

The news wasn't all bad, however.

Benitez had another impressive rehab outing last night, allowing one hit in one inning as the Double-A Bowie Baysox defeated the New Haven Ravens, 8-3, at Prince George's Stadium. Benitez faced three batters, forcing two groundouts, including a double play.

Hammonds hurt on bad field

The Orioles got to see firsthand last night why Camden Yards was built as a baseball-only stadium. The field at Oakland Coliseum was so chewed up by the first Oakland Raiders exhibition football game that Johnson expressed concern for the safety of his outfielders.

"You always have concern, no question about it," he said, "but it's not like the first time this has ever happened. Always this time of year, when you've got two sports going, that's going to be a problem."

His fears were realized in the seventh inning when Jeffrey Hammonds suffered a sprained left knee attempting to make a sliding catch in left field. It is not known if the torn-up turf contributed to the injury, but it wouldn't be a stretch of the imagination. The A's already have lost outfielder Jason Giambi, who suffered a knee injury stumbling over a divot left from the football game.

Giambi originally got hurt when the field was freshly torn up last week, then aggravated the injury during pre-game drills on Tuesday.

The Orioles had a left fielder in Hammonds who has a history of leg problems, and a center fielder (Brady Anderson) who is just coming back from a calf strain.

"Brady said he wants to go," said Johnson, who removed Anderson for a pinch runner an inning before Hammonds' injury. "I hope there's no problem."

Ripken, film adviser

When makers of "The Fan" wanted to discuss what it is like to an immensely popular ballplayer who finds it difficult to go out in public and retain his privacy, they went to the right person: Cal Ripken.

"I don't know if I was really a technical adviser or not," Ripken said of the film, which opens today. "Actually, it was a series of many different interviews."

Ripken didn't help write the screenplay, but he quickly recognized his input when he viewed the final script and some of the action.

"There were many, many things I saw in which I thought to myself, 'Hey, I said those words.' "

He also got a kick out of his three-hour lunch with Robert De Niro, who plays a psychotic fan obsessed with a ballplayer (Wesley Snipes).

"We talked a lot about baseball," Ripken said of De Niro. "I think maybe, through me, he was researching his character."

It used to happen here

Ripken can remember when the Orioles had the same concerns at Memorial Stadium, back when the Colts were here.

"I remember [Mark] Belanger and [Doug] DeCinces being very concerned about that," Ripken said. "They would always make sure they checked the field."

Ripken still does that, even in parks that don't house NFL teams.

"While you're out there taking ground balls, you always check around you," he said. "Some fields have depressions right beyond the infield, so you want to know that before you go back on a ball, or you could get hurt. Some infields have a lip right on the edge."

Around the horn

The Orioles are 48-23 against sub-.500 teams. . . . Twice during the game, the sound of breaking glass was no sound effect. A press box window was cracked by a foul ball early in the game and the window of a luxury box was smashed by a second foul ball.

Pub Date: 8/16/96

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