Ribs sideline Anderson, for a game, at least Orioles center fielder isn't one to sit out willingly

Orioles notebook

March 25, 1997|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,SUN STAFF

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Orioles center fielder Brady Anderson was scratched from yesterday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers with sore ribs on his left side. He returned to Fort Lauderdale for X-rays, but the results were not available last night.

"I'm not worried. I think it's more of a bruised rib," said manager Davey Johnson.

Anderson first hurt his ribs Sunday while diving back to first base on a pickoff throw. They began bothering him yesterday while running during pre-game warmups, and he went back to the visitors clubhouse at Holman Stadium.

"Maybe I should have tried to run when I got out of bed and saved myself the trip," he said before the Orioles' 5-4 loss.

When asked if he could have played yesterday if the season had started, Anderson said, "Do I have to be good?"

"The question," said catcher Chris Hoiles, sitting nearby, "is if it had been an important game, would we have made him play? The answer is yes."

Anderson is batting .396 this spring with one home run, nine RBIs, six steals and 12 runs scored. In his absence, Jerome Walton was moved from first base to center field, and second baseman Kelly Gruber was put atop the batting order. Both went 2-for-4.

Doing a number on fans

Anderson had performed a little experiment earlier in the morning, slipping on Cal Ripken's No. 8 jersey to see if any fans would mistake him for the Orioles third baseman.

"I want to see if they'll yell 'Caaaaaal,' " he said, before poking fun at Ripken for the shirt being too snug in the shoulders and too loose around the stomach.

Anderson backpedaled out of the clubhouse, making it easier for some people leaning on the fence near the entrance to read the number. Instantly, they began calling his name. Hey Brady!

"The sideburns were a dead giveaway," said one man.

Seconds later, Anderson was back in the clubhouse, putting on his No. 9 jersey. "It didn't work," he told Ripken. "I'm too big."

"You're too ugly," Ripken said.

Rule 5 rejoicing

Right-hander Mike Johnson, a Rule 5 draftee, was told by pitching coach Ray Miller on Sunday that he had made the club, which figured since he had a 1.38 ERA in 13 innings before yesterday, when he was charged with the loss after giving up a run in the ninth.

"It was definitely good to hear," said Johnson, 21, who had to stay on the major-league roster all season or be offered back to the Toronto Blue Jays for $25,000. "Just sitting around a couple days ago, they were making some moves and I was wondering if they were ever going to come up and tell me. I was told, 'If you're still around, that means you made it.' But I wasn't quite sure.

"There's happiness, excitement, relief, knowing I actually did make it and you don't have to wait around anymore."

Davey Johnson hasn't said that Johnson made the club, but all indications point that way since he wants to bring 13 pitchers north and doesn't want to lose the rookie to Toronto.

Hits and errors

Hoiles and Ripken hit their first home runs, both off Dodgers right-hander Hideo Nomo. Hoiles connected in the third inning, and Ripken hit a two-run shot in the fourth that tied the game at 3.

Walton's eighth-inning single scored Kris Gresham with the go-ahead run, but the Dodgers tied it in the bottom of the eighth with a leadoff triple by Eddie Williams off Johnson and two errors charged to second baseman Gruber on the same play.

Gruber, playing in with a runner on third and none out, was struck in the right shoulder by a sharp bouncer by Todd Hollandsworth. After gathering the ball, he looked home, then threw over the head of first baseman Willis Otanez. Johnson could have escaped the inning, since the next two batters flew out to shallow left and grounded out. He also struck out Billy


"I should have just held it," Gruber said, adding that his shoulder was sore.

Around the horn

Tarasco, playing right field, threw out Dodgers rookie Wilton Guerrero trying to score on a two-out single by Todd Zeile in the first inning. Hammonds tried to cut down Hollandsworth at the plate in the second inning, but the ball sailed to the backstop. The John Carroll High School baseball team attended yesterday's game. The Patriots are on a spring trip and will play some games in Vero Beach.

Spring break

What the Orioles did yesterday: Came to Vero Beach without the likes of Rafael Palmeiro, Mike Bordick, B. J. Surhoff and Eric Davis, committed five errors and lost to the Los Angeles %J Dodgers, 5-4. Chris Hoiles and Cal Ripken homered off Hideo Nomo.

What the Orioles will do today: Face Florida. This could be former Oriole Bobby Bonilla's fourth chance to exchange pleasantries with manager Davey Johnson. The teams played in Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 28, and in Viera on March 1 and 13. The Orioles lost all three games.

You know it's spring training when: A player is putting on his uniform in the Orioles clubhouse, but the face doesn't match the number, causing some confusion among visitors. It turns out Kris Gresham has been borrowed from the minor-league camp for the rest of the exhibition schedule. He wears No. 63, which belonged to catcher B. J. Waszgis until last week, when Waszgis was optioned to Triple-A Rochester. Gresham singled in the eighth inning and scored the Orioles' fourth run.

Orioles today

Opponent: Florida Marlins

Site: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Time: 1: 05 p.m.


Starters: Marlins' Pat Rapp vs. Orioles' Rocky Coppinger

Pub Date: 3/25/97

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