Feeling good, Mussina returns to start today Wells, liking it cold, to pitch Game 2

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Angelos denies rain-delay blame

September 19, 1996|By Jason LaCanfora and Buster Olney | Jason LaCanfora and Buster Olney,SUN STAFF

NEW YORK THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CONTRIBUTED TO THIS ARTICLE. — NEW YORK -- After much contemplation and deliberation, the Orioles finally named David Wells and Mike Mussina as the starters in today's doubleheader with the New York Yankees.

Mussina will pitch the first game and Wells the second. Mussina pitched nearly an inning before Tuesday's game was rained out. Mussina said he felt good yesterday and Tuesday's outing amounted to a throw day for him.

David Cone, who started Tuesday, and Kenny Rogers will pitch for the Yankees, but New York manager Joe Torre was not sure yesterday which pitcher would start which game.

Mussina received treatment for his arm yesterday, then told manager Davey Johnson and pitching coach Pat Dobson he would be all right to pitch today. Mussina was not available for comment, but Wells said he'd prefer to pitch at night, as he will in Game 2.

"The colder the better," Wells said.

The Orioles were toying with the idea of starting Rick Krivda in place of Mussina.

"I think [Mussina] needs to pitch here [against the Yankees]," Dobson said. "These are three important games. I'd rather have Krivda against Toronto."

It seemed the teams were bracing for a bit of gamesmanship yesterday afternoon with both managers mulling the possibility of waiting until the exchange of the lineup card today to finally establish their starters, but that seems unlikely now.

The Orioles have set up a five-man rotation for the rest of the season. Mussina's spot would come up on the last day of the season and Wells' spot would come up in the first game of the playoffs on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Wells would likely open a playoff series with the Cleveland Indians, because of their trouble hitting lefties.

However, the Orioles also could bump Mussina from the Sunday start and pitch him in the first game of the playoffs against either Texas or Seattle, Johnson said.

Angelos: Don't blame us

The Orioles players, some still angry the Yankees refused to play a split doubleheader in July at Camden Yards, voted down the idea of playing a split doubleheader today, which would've provided more revenue for the Yankees.

Somebody obviously was mad about this -- an educated guess would be Yankees owner George Steinbrenner -- because in announcing the time of today's doubleheader, the club's press release read, "To avoid further inconvenience to our fans by waiting for a vote of Baltimore players to reconsider their rejection of a split doubleheader, the Yankees announced today that Tuesday's game will be made up Thursday."

Orioles owner Peter Angelos didn't miss the meaning of the words. "Comments like that are not appropriate," said Angelos. "If any mistake was made, it was not on the Orioles' side, it was on the Yankees' side."

Angelos said nobody called to confer with him about the discussions about when to make up the games.

"If we [the Orioles' ownership] had been apprised, the resolution might've been different," said Angelos. "That statement on behalf of the Yankees, it's snide and inappropriate. Nothing that happened yesterday could be [blamed] on the Orioles.

"But as far as I'm concerned, let's play baseball. No hard feelings. We have no recriminations, we accept no blame."

Boss says Torre to stay

Steinbrenner said before last night's game that manager Joe Torre would be back next season.

Steinbrenner, who has fired 20 managers since 1973, met with Torre in the manager's office during Tuesday's rain delay, fueling speculation that Torre's days might be numbered.

"While I might be inclined to just let the speculation continue," Steinbrenner said, "I spent a good part of our time together discussing what an outstanding job Joe has done this year."

3:05 start for Brewers

The Orioles' game on Monday with the Milwaukee Brewers will now start at 3: 05 p.m., rather than the original time of 1: 05.

The Sept. 23 game, a makeup of a game that has been rained out twice, was pushed back by two hours to accommodate the Brewers, who are having trouble getting a flight to Baltimore.

"All of the charters on Sunday are booked by football teams," Orioles assistant general manager Kevin Malone said. "So, we're going to give them two extra hours."

Corbin's long journey

New York City air and car traffic delayed Archie Corbin's arrival to Yankee Stadium on Tuesday.

The Orioles reliever was in Texas Sunday and Monday to be with his wife, Kimberly, when she gave birth to the couple's second child, DeVon. Corbin's journey back to New York began at the airport in Texas early Tuesday morning and didn't end until after 8 that night.

First Corbin's flight was forced to circle in the skies above New York because of an excess of air traffic, then he spent another hour in a cab trying to get to the Bronx.

Corbin, 6 feet 4, 187 pounds, said he knew immediately DeVon was indeed his son. "He's 8 pounds, 5 ounces and my wife had induced labor a week early, so he probably would've come out 9 pounds," Corbin said. "Oh yeah, I knew he was mine. He had big hands and big feet."

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