KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Orioles outfielder Pete Incaviglia vented several weeks of pent-up energy on Kansas City Royals pitcher Jose Rosado on Wednesday night. He popped from his seat in the visitors' dugout and lambasted the animated young left-hander for an irritating on-field breach of baseball etiquette.
Rosado angered the Orioles by "showing up" outfielder Brady Anderson. He threw his arms in the air and did a dancer's turn on the mound after a big strikeout in the eighth inning. Incaviglia waited for the appropriate moment -- after Rafael Palmeiro knocked Rosado out of the game with a game-tying home run -- to illustrate that what goes around comes around.
"I just thought it was bad that he showed up one of my teammates," Incaviglia said. "You didn't see us showing him up. There's just no need for that. I was just letting him know that we won't forget that. And he got exactly what he deserved."
It wasn't really a big deal, but it was another sign that Incaviglia is itching to get at the opposition and an example of the hard-nosed approach that he brings to an otherwise low-key ballclub.
"I know he's champing at the bit," manager Davey Johnson said.
Johnson penciled Incaviglia's name into the starting lineup for last night's game against the Kansas City Royals, but the game -- and his 1997 debut -- fell victim to the icy rain that fell on Kauffman Stadium throughout the day. He may be in the lineup in tonight's homestand opener against the Texas Rangers at Camden Yards, but Johnson wasn't making any promises.
"I don't know," Johnson said. "He's coming back from a leg injury. He was going tonight but I've always been conservative about my guys going out there with leg injuries in cold weather."
Incaviglia wants to play. He has been working in the batting cage and doing his cardiovascular exercises, but there is no substitute for competition. He would have been in the lineup in place of Eric Davis, who was resting a sore knee, but Davis may be ready to return tonight.
"Man, I understand what's going on," Incaviglia said. "I'm not the kind of guy who's going to complain about not playing. My goal is to win. Sometimes you have to look beyond yourself. That's what a winning team is all about."
That's what his small outburst on Wednesday night was about, though Incaviglia was reluctant to talk about it afterward.
"We're going to go out and fight you for nine innings," he said. "That would have been an easy game to lose. That just shows what kind of character this ballclub has."
'Pathetic' decision to play
The decision to play Wednesday night's game in icebox conditions rankled Davis.
The Orioles' right fielder, Davis labeled it "pathetic," adding that near-freezing temperatures, gusty winds and snow flurries affected his approach.
Davis protected himself in the fourth inning for fear of pulling a hamstring. On a ground ball against an shifted infield, Davis said he worried that the conditions could penalize him for overextending. "I could have beat it out. But I knew if I beat it there was a chance I could blow out a hamstring. I thought the alternative was better than going on the disabled list."
Davis blasted the Royals for starting the game despite a bleak forecast and brutal conditions. "The people who make those decisions sit way up in warm booths," he said. "I know every game isn't going to be 75 and sunny. Sometimes you try to make the best of a situation. But I don't think baseball should be played in that kind of weather."
Leg problems have hampered Davis in his career. Before last night's game was postponed, Johnson scratched Davis as a precaution against aggravating a stretched tendon behind his left knee.
Told that he was not in the lineup, Davis poked fun at his reputation as a high-maintenance outfielder. "Somebody's got to get at-bats. Cal doesn't have to worry about me breaking his streak."
Coppinger throws again
Right-hander Rocky Coppinger threw for 20 minutes yesterday and reported no new soreness in his injured shoulder. He remains on schedule to pitch in a game sometime next week -- Johnson said -- though no determination has been made about when he will return to the starting rotation.
Tribute to Robinson set
As part of Major League Baseball's celebration of the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the game's color barrier, the Orioles will honor the Hall of Fame infielder and civil rights advocate before next Tuesday's game against the Minnesota Twins. April 15 is the day Robinson played his first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
As part of the ceremony, Baltimore Afro-American sportswriter Sam Lacy will throw out the first pitch and be introduced by Orioles PA announcer Rex Barney. Barney was a teammate of Robinson's. The Orioles are discounting tickets for the game. Left-field upper reserved tickets are selling for $6 instead of their normal $9. Lower reserved seats, typically sold for $11, will go for $8.
Pub Date: 4/11/97