Knee healed, Hammonds activated Outfielder isn't expected to see much playing time

Orioles Notebook

September 23, 1996|By Jason LaCanfora | Jason LaCanfora,SUN STAFF

The Orioles activated outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds from the disabled list before yesterday's game.

Hammonds sprained his left knee in the Oakland Coliseum outfield Aug. 15. Dr. Michael Jacobs cleared Hammonds to play yesterday morning and said Hammonds' knee is fine.

"He's been rehabilitating appropriately," Jacobs said. "He's fine and cleared to play. He wouldn't be activated if he wasn't cleared to play."

It's unlikely that Hammonds will see much action in the final week of the regular season. The Orioles have been going with virtually the same lineup every day with their playoff hopes on the line. Furthermore, Hammonds' timing and game reflexes have not been tested in more than a month.

Manager Davey Johnson said that for now, Hammonds will be used only in a pinch-running role.

4-for-4, in strikeouts

Bobby Bonilla's slump hasn't spared him the wrath of his good-natured teammates.

Bonilla struck out four times yesterday and is in a 4-for-22 slide with seven strikeouts. After his fourth strikeout yesterday, Bonilla tossed his helmet to the ground, but walked into the dugout with a smile on his face after taking a ribbing from the guys on the bench.

"I was preparing for it, but they let me off the hook," Bonilla said. "They didn't say [anything]. Well, they just gave me a little bit, but not too much."

Say, hey, where was Mays?

As part of yesterday's pre-game ceremony honoring Eddie Murray for his 500th home run, Orioles pitching coach Pat Dobson, who gave up Murray's first homer, brought one ball to the podium, then baskets filled with 499 more balls were poured on the field.

Hank Aaron was among the speakers, saying he wished Willie Mays had been able to attend. Murray, Aaron and Mays are the only players with 500 home runs and 3,000 hits.

Orioles public relations director John Maroon said Mays did not return the team's calls.

Fans in the clubhouse, too

All fans at yesterday's game received posters of Murray, but they weren't the only ones to take them.

Murray's poster was the center of attention in the clubhouse. The poster features Murray standing in front of a rack of 500 balls bearing the name of each pitcher to serve up a homer to Murray and the date of each game.

Mike Mussina pored over the poster for several minutes trying to find the ball with his name on it. Alan Mills walked away with a handful of posters, but was spotted by Mussina.

"Hey, I got nieces and nephews," Mills said.

"At least my name's on the poster," Mussina responded.

Headed for trouble

Randy Myers committed a fashion faux pas Saturday night.

The Orioles wore their black home uniforms and orange-billed caps for only the second time all season on Saturday, and Myers entered the game in the ninth inning wearing the right jersey but the wrong cap.

Myers had his normal black-billed cap on, but first baseman Rafael Palmeiro was quick to notify the closer of his mistake.

"It was a little too late to make a uniform change," Dobson said.

Myers' fashionability was tested again yesterday. The Orioles were again sporting the black jerseys.

This time Myers was appropriately attired, but did not play.

Hopeful about Mussina's arm

Johnson said he hopes Mussina's arm will be more lively than it has been recently for today's start against Milwaukee.

"His arm is just like everybody else's arm," Johnson said. "You'll have good days and bad days. That's the nature of the beast. I basically left it up to him [to pitch] Monday or Tuesday, whatever."

Around the horn

Longtime Orioles broadcaster Chuck Thompson, along with Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, were selected to the Ford C. Frick Awards Committee, which annually selects and honors an individual for baseball broadcast excellence. Cal Ripken, during his speech in the Murray pre-game ceremony: "When I met Eddie, he had long sideburns and I had hair." When Mike Devereaux entered the game as a defensive replacement and struck out in the eighth inning, it was just his fifth at-bat in 17 games since making his last start Aug. 27.

Mr. RBI

Eddie Murray's grand slam Saturday night put him over the 75-RBI mark for the 20th consecutive year, a major-league record. A look at the top 10 RBI men of all time, and the number of years they had 75 or more:

Player .. .. .. .. .. ..RBIs .. .. .. .75

1. Hank Aaron .. .. .. .2,297 .. .. ...19

2. Babe Ruth .. .. .. ..2,211 .. .. ...15

3. Lou Gehrig .. ... ...1,990 .. .. ...13

4. Ty Cobb .. .. ... ...1,960 .. .. ...13

5. Stan Musial .... .. .1,951 .. .. ...15

6. Jimmie Foxx ..... ...1,921 .. .. ...14

7. Willie Mays ..... ...1,903 .. .. ...15

8. Murray .. .. .... ...1,896 .. .. ...20

9. Mel Ott .. .. ... ...1,861 .. .. ...17

10. Carl Yastrzemski ...1,844 .. .. ...12

Pub Date: 9/23/96

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