Perlozzo mulls 500 possibilities 3rd base coach considers special Murray greeting


September 04, 1996|By Buster Olney | Buster Olney,SUN STAFF

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Orioles third base coach Sam Perlozzo has had a few days now to mull over an important question: How will he congratulate Eddie Murray as Murray rounds third and heads home after hitting his 500th career homer?

Such problems. Overwhelming.

"I asked Eddie," said Perlozzo. "I said, 'I'm going to be all over TV. Am I supposed to give you the basic shake, or do something exciting?' He said he'd think about it Perlozzo and let me know."

Perlozzo told Bill Ripken he would bend down in a catcher's stance as Murray nears third, and Ripken broke up laughing.

"Billy said I should just stay natural," Perlozzo said. "Knowing me, I'll probably stay basic. A lot of it will depend on how Eddie is as he's coming around. I don't know, maybe I'll run with him for five steps and give him the slap on the butt as he goes by."

Perlozzo used to be the third base coach for the Seattle Mariners, and he had a routine with Ken Griffey. "Every time he hit a homer, I would say, 'You're the best, Kid,' as he went by," Perlozzo said. "Every time."

Orioles manager Davey Johnson said he's gotten the distinct impression that Murray wants to hit No. 500 immediately. Not because the Orioles are playing in California, where Murray grew up and where most of his family lives, but because Murray just wants to move past the milestone.

"He's not one who likes a whole lot [of the spotlight]," said Johnson. "This is perfect -- it would be in the middle of the night [for Baltimoreans], and 20,000 people [in the stands] here."

After Murray hit No. 499 last week, fans in Seattle started cheering loudly every time Murray came to bat, and Angels fans followed suit Monday night. Murray went 1-for-4, hitting a single that was the 3,200nd hit of his career. "I thought he was pressing a little in Seattle," said Johnson. "[Monday] I thought he had all good at-bats."

Kingsale makes history

The Orioles followed through in their trade with the Phillies yesterday, assigning minor-league pitcher Calvin Maduro to Philadelphia as part of the deal that brought them Todd Zeile and Pete Incaviglia. Maduro was to report to the Phillies last night.

Outfielder Eugene Kingsale was placed on the 40-man roster to replace Maduro and was activated by the Orioles for last night's game. When he came in to play center field in the bottom of the seventh inning, Kingsale, 20, became the first native of Aruba to appear in the major leagues -- beating Maduro, who did not pitch last night for the Phillies.

Johnson indicated before last night's game he intended to use Kingsale as soon as possible. "If he can tell me all the good fishing spots in Aruba," Johnson joked, "I'll get him in there."

Kingsale, who will be used primarily as a pinch runner, said before the game that he would be just as happy if Maduro -- a close friend -- got the first chance to play. "I would like to be the first," Kingsale said, "but if not, I'd like him to be. I'd be happy for him. It would be an honor for me, and him, too."

The Phillies intend to use Maduro out of the bullpen for the rest of the month.

18 wins baffle Mussina

Mike Mussina is two wins away from achieving 20 victories for the first time in his career, and frankly, he's shocked.

"Simply because over the course of my career, this is not one of my better seasons [statistically]," he said. "I've given up more base runners. It's the most hits I've given up, the most walks. Obviously, my ERA [4.80] is up, to this point. It doesn't seem possible that I can win 20."

Mussina allowed four runs on six hits over seven innings Monday night, in improving his record to 18-9. He struck out eight.

Once is enough for Boskie

California right-hander Shawn Boskie pitched in Cal Ripken's record-breaking 2,131st consecutive game last Sept. 6 and gave up a homer to Ripken that night, and he had a chance to give up Murray's 500th homer Monday.

"I didn't want to be the guy," said Boskie, who allowed four homers Monday, none to Murray. "I felt like I made enough people happy last year with Cal Ripken."

Making powerful impression

Mussina is among those impressed by the Orioles' power.

"The five homers [Monday] impressed me because none of them were wall-scrapers," said Mussina. "I thought every ball was absolutely crushed."

Mussina said he'd hate to see the Orioles "live and die by that all year." But they have, someone said.

"Well," he said, "hopefully we'll do a little more living."

Around the horn

Mark Smith and Tony Tarasco, on injury rehabilitation assignments in the minors, will join Triple-A Rochester for the International League playoffs that begin today. Nerio Rodriguez and Rick Krivda will pitch the first two games for the Red Wings, according to Orioles farm director Syd Thrift. . . . Pitcher Keith Shepherd cleared waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Rochester. . . . Angels manager Joe Maddon also is impressed by the Orioles' batting order. "[B. J.] Surhoff hitting eighth against a right-handed pitcher? That's nice. They can hurt you one through nine." . . . The Orioles have the second-best record in the AL East since the All-Star break, at 27-26. Boston is 35-18, Toronto 25-27, New York 25-27 and Detroit 23-28. . . . Jimmy Haynes and Brent Bowers were activated for last night's game. Haynes began the fifth and didn't last the inning, allowing four runs on three hits and two walks.

Pub Date: 9/04/96

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.