NEW YORK -- Right field in Yankee Stadium has never been kind to Bobby Bonilla, and yesterday was no exception.
Bonilla, a native New Yorker, is the target of much abuse from the fans, both verbal and from thrown objects. Yesterday, the outfield wall itself did Bonilla in.
Bonilla crashed into the wall trying to catch a drive by Tim Raines in the seventh inning. Bonilla had the ball in his glove momentarily, but dropped it after crashing into the wall, and left the game the next inning with a bruised left shoulder.
"I ran out of room," Bonilla said. "Actually, I think I had it until I fell down. [The shoulder] is a day-to-day type-thing. It'll take a lot to get me out [of the lineup today]."
Amazingly, as Bonilla sat on the warning track next to the outfield wall in pain, nothing was thrown or poured on him. Tony Tarasco, a late addition to the Orioles' playoff roster, replaced Bonilla in right field.
Winfield knows right field
Dave Winfield brought an expert's perspective to Tarasco's play on the controversial eighth-inning home run by Derek Jeter. Winfield spent nine seasons with the Yankees, mostly in right field. He watched the play on television while waiting for the start of the National League Championship Series, which he is working as an analyst for Fox.
Winfield said Tarasco's unfamiliarity with the right-field wall at Yankee Stadium might have been a factor on the play.
"The best way to play a ball that is at the top of the fence is to stop short and be prepared to vault against the wall," said Winfield, who won seven Gold Gloves. "Unfortunately, he backed up and he couldn't propel himself. Had he done that, there surely would have been a visible interference. It will be a heartbreak for the Orioles if they lose the series on that play."
Bushels of wagers
Gov. Parris N. Glendening challenged his Republican counterpart in New York yesterday to put up or clam up over the outcome of the Orioles-Yankees series.
New York Gov. George E. Pataki did both.
Glendening wagered a bushel of Maryland blue crabs that the Orioles will win the best-of-seven series against the Yankees for the American League pennant.
Pataki wasted no time in agreeing to the bet, backing it with the promise of a bushel of Long Island hard-shell clams -- "steam-ehs" in New York parlance -- that the Yankees will prevail.
"I'm looking forward to receiving a bushel of hard-shell clams from Governor Pataki," said Glendening, who made the wager during a pre-game interview on a New York radio station.
"We know it will be a tough, challenging series, and we are confident that our Orioles will be successful and earn their rightful place in the World Series," he said.
Pataki, of course, expressed his confidence in the Yankees.
"I have no doubt that the Yankees' perfect combination of seasoned veterans and brilliant young talent will send Dave Johnson's Orioles to an early tee time on the golf course," Pataki said.
Glad to keep Bonilla
Johnson said he's happy Bonilla isn't a free agent at the end of the season, as the Orioles believed he would be for most of the year.
The Orioles retain repeater rights on Bonilla, and Johnson said he hopes the club keeps the slugger around for another year.
"Bobby's been a very integral part of this club," Johnson said. "I like the fact that he's tied to us."
Wells, Cone on the owners
Today's Game 2 starters spoke yesterday about the competitive nature of their respective owners.
Orioles starter David Wells and Yankees starter David Cone were pursued by both Orioles owner Peter Angelos and Yankees owner George Steinbrenner in the off-season.
Wells said he heard about Steinbrenner's reaction when the owner learned that the lefty was signing with the Orioles, and not the Yankees.
"I heard about it when I was over in Hawaii," Wells said. "After all the facts were done, I heard Mr. Steinbrenner was a little upset. I don't know, maybe it's fate, maybe it's not. I'm just happy with my situation."
Cone said he's happy with his situation, too, but the Orioles were pretty close to securing his services.
"Certainly, you have to have aggressive owners with revenue streams that allow them to dig a little deeper," Cone said. "It was an interesting off-season for me personally and for both teams. It's kind of ironic that we're both where we're at, with a chance to go to the World Series."
Surhoff healthy enough
It wasn't much of a surprise that B. J. Surhoff started in left field yesterday, despite nagging knee and hamstring injuries.
Surhoff, the fourth Oriole with three homers in a postseason, and the first with three homers in a single playoff series, rested for three days between games. Johnson said Surhoff would have been 50-50 to start on Tuesday had the game been played.
"I think it helped him a great deal," Johnson said of Tuesday's rainout. "He got anther injection in his knee [Tuesday], and the swelling has gone down a little bit. His hamstring was bothering him, not only up high, but down low, and the stiffness up high is gone."