Ripken denies report he complained to scorer Ball hit to Ventura in Wednesday win was ruled an error

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

September 14, 1996|By Jason LaCanfora | Jason LaCanfora,SUN STAFF

DETROIT -- Cal Ripken denied a report in The Washington Post yesterday that Ripken called the official scorer after Wednesday's game to argue about a scoring decision in the sixth inning.

According to the Post, Ripken and Brady Anderson called the press box about an hour after the Orioles' 7-6 win in an attempt to get the scorer to award Ripken a hit on a ball he hit to Chicago White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura. Ventura was charged with an error on the play.

Ripken hit the ball hard, Ventura moved a step to his right and the ball went past him.

"I disagreed with the call, but I didn't call him," Ripken said. "I didn't talk to the scorer about it. I never called anyone. The story was incorrect if it said that."

Anderson said he called official scorer Mark Jacobsen to argue the call, but Ripken was not involved. Jacobsen discussed the call with Ventura and White Sox manager Terry Bevington, and both agreed with Jacobsen's decision.

"If he can't make the call by himself, and he has to go to Ventura and Bevington, fine," Anderson said. "Then he should go talk to some people on the other team too, which he didn't do. I called him to change the call, and he should have. Cal didn't have anything to do with it."

Orioles public relations director John Maroon, who also spoke with Jacobsen after Wednesday's game, said: "Cal never reacted to the call to me. He certainly never spoke to the official scorer about the call. And any report to that effect is erroneous."

The Post also reported that "Orioles players and coaches were incensed at the official scorer's ruling." However, all five Orioles coaches -- Elrod Hendricks, Pat Dobson, John Stearns, Rick Down and Andy Etchebarren -- said they were not asked to comment on the ruling and all said they had no strong feelings about the outcome.

"We won the game, I don't care [about the ruling]," Dobson said.

Jacobsen could not be reached for comment.

Four Red Wings recalled

The Orioles recalled four players from Triple-A Rochester yesterday following the Red Wings' exit from the International League championship.

Tony Tarasco, who had been rehabilitating with the Red Wings, was activated from the disabled list. Mark Smith, who has not played for the Orioles in nearly two months with a bruised leg, also was recalled, but he will remain on the 15-day DL.

Catcher Cesar Devarez also was recalled, as was right-hander Nerio Rodriguez. Rodriguez last pitched for the Red Wings three days ago and was available for bullpen duty last night.

Orioles manager Davey Johnson said he plans to use Tarasco as a pinch runner for now. Tarasco had shoulder surgery this summer and has not played with the Orioles since May 12. He was a designated hitter with the Red Wings, but believes he may be ready to play the field and test his throwing arm soon.

"It's still a couple of days before I can really air it out, but it's coming along really good," Tarasco said. "Everything else besides my arm is fine. I'm just getting used to hitting healthy again. You've got to get used to hitting when you're healthy because you make adjustments when you're hurt."

Johnson said if Smith does not show improvement in the next few days he most likely will be sent back to Baltimore to continue his rehab and would not play for the Orioles again this season.

Haynes may be through

Johnson said it is possible that struggling reliever Jimmy Haynes may not pitch for the team again this season.

Haynes has an 8.29 ERA and has allowed nine earned runs in 1 2/3 innings since being recalled from Rochester. In his most recent appearance Thursday, Haynes failed to cover first base on a grounder, then threw home wildly, putting the ball in the stands.

"There's a possibility [he won't pitch again this year], between him getting married and going to the Arizona Fall League [in November]," Johnson said. "We have to get him to learn to get more than one pitch over. Unless he starts throwing his curveball in the strike zone, he's got no chance. I think he showed how confused he was when he didn't cover first."

Orosco takes blame

Since April, Jesse Orosco has been as close to perfect as anyone in the Orioles' bullpen and it would be easy for him to shrug off a bad outing.

However, after blowing a lead to the Chicago White Sox earlier this week by allowing a triple and a home run to succesive batters, Orosco took the beating to heart -- even though the Orioles came back to win the game.

Orosco's woes continued last night. He gave up a home run to Bobby Higginson, the first batter he faced in the eighth inning. It was Higginson's first home run off a left-hander all year.

Before his appearance against the White Sox, Orosco had gone nine straight appearances without giving up a hit or run and he has yielded a run in just three of the last 30 games in which he's pitched.

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