Memories mark first anniversary of 2,131 Johnson recalls races came to halt for Ripken

Orioles Notebook

September 07, 1996|By Jason LaCanfora | Jason LaCanfora,SUN STAFF

Camden Yards was alive one year ago yesterday, and it had nothing to do with a pennant race.

Sept. 6 was the one-year anniversary of Cal Ripken's 2,131st consecutive game, breaking Lou Gehrig's record. The baseball world nearly stopped that evening, as players, coaches and managers everywhere tried to catch a glimpse of the pageantry taking place in Baltimore.

Orioles manager Davey Johnson was managing the Cincinnati Reds at the time and was totally focused on making the playoffs. Except on Sept. 6.

"I think every eye was watching Junior run around the ballpark," Johnson said. "He hit a home run that game. It was just a great moment in history. One-hundred sixty-two later, you have an anniversary. He's having a great year and we're in the thick of it. Hope he hits a home run [last night] like he did a year ago."

Cal's brother Bill skipped the opening game of the Triple-A American Association playoffs to attend the game, and he has no regrets about it.

"It's something I'll never forget, that's for sure," Bill Ripken said. "I didn't really rehash it [yesterday], but I'm glad I was here to see it. . . . Actually, it doesn't seem like it was a year ago."

O's return to 5-man rotation

Johnson confirmed that the Orioles will return to a five-man pitching rotation next week.

For much of the second half of the season, the team has relied on just four starters -- Mike Mussina, Rocky Coppinger, David Wells and Scott Erickson.

The move to a four-man rotation coincided with the Orioles' surge toward a playoff spot. But the results have gradually worsened and Johnson is fearful of his staff getting worn down. So, with the Orioles closing in on the New York Yankees, Johnson wants to go with five starters.

"I think we got as much as we could out of the four-man," Johnson said.

He said Rick Krivda will be recalled from Triple-A Rochester in time to pitch Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox and he also is scheduled to start the makeup game with Milwaukee Sept. 16.

Krivda last pitched for Rochester Sunday, throwing a shutout in Game 2 of the Red Wings' playoff series.

Red Wings manager Marv Foley told Johnson that was the best he's ever seen Krivda throw.

Rhodes keeps hopes up

Reliever Arthur Rhodes said he hopes to begin throwing next week.

Rhodes was placed on the disabled list for the second time this season on Aug. 6 when pain in the top of his pitching shoulder failed to subside. He was originally scheduled to begin throwing again a few weeks ago, but he experienced soreness and the timetable was pushed back.

Rhodes said his treatment has helped tremendously and his pain is much decreased. Rhodes is working with weights and building up strength and hopes to pitch in a game before the season ends.

"It's getting a lot better," Rhodes said. "There's a lot less pain. Almost no pain. It keeps getting better."

Pitching coach Pat Dobson said even if Rhodes did start to throw next week he would project Sept. 25th as Rhodes' first possible appearance with the Orioles.

Around the horn

According to one published schedule for next year, the Orioles would begin their interleague play with a three-game series June 13-15 against the Atlanta Braves. . . . Left-hander Trever Miller will replace A. J. Sager as Detroit's starter tomorrow. It will be his first major-league start. . . . Rookie (P leaguers Calvin Pickering of Bluefield and Chris Kergan of High Desert were named the Orioles' co-organizational Players of the Month for August. Bluefield's Abraham Hacen and Frederick's Alvie Shepherd were named co-Pitchers of the Month.

Pub Date: 9/07/96

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