Partial dugout collapse is close call, 'real close' Debris bruises Krivda foot

Orioles Notebook

minor-league help eyed

September 04, 1997|By Joe Strauss and Roch Kubatko | Joe Strauss and Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

MIAMI -- What ended as a disappointing loss narrowly missed becoming something tragic last night when a portion of the Orioles' dugout at Pro Player Stadium collapsed during the third inning, scattering players and bruising the right foot of tonight's starting pitcher, Rick Krivda.

About 10 feet long, the section gave way when a Marlins Bleacher Brigade cheerleader leaped from the stands near the third base dugout to toss T-shirts to fans. Supported by steel beams, the detachable section buckled, sending the cheerleader sprawling. The section landed in the dugout well where several players, among them Mike Mussina, Scott Erickson and Jerome Walton, were standing or seated. Only minutes before, players had walked beneath the section to a cooler.

"Someone would have been $100 million richer, if they had lived," said Mussina. "It took 12 guys to pick it up and carry it out of the dugout. It wasn't light."

Krivda was sitting on the dugout steps when the incident occurred. "It was close real close," he said. "I didn't think anything of it for a while, then my foot began hurting. I came in here and it had swollen up."

Ironically, Krivda had been given the option of leaving for New York early but declined.

Dugouts were an afterthought when Pro Player Stadium was constructed for football. The roofs are taken down before Miami Dolphins home games.

"If it had fallen on somebody it would have wiped them out," said manager Davey Johnson, who also cited a too-steep pitching mound as contributing to injuries suffered by relievers Alan Mills, Arthur Rhodes and Armando Benitez during the series.

A call for help

Johnson, general manager Pat Gillick and assistant GM Kevin Malone had a conference call with Orioles minor-league officials yesterday about getting some help for an injury-riddled club.

The Orioles had been reluctant to interfere with the rosters of Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Rochester while those teams competed in the playoffs, but no longer have a choice. They appear set to add a pitcher from Rochester today for the start of a four-game series in New York, and Malone said other help most likely would come within the next five days.

"When you've got the luxury of having a 40-man roster, it's not very comforting to see your pitchers on the bases [as pinch runners]," Malone said, alluding to moves made by Johnson in this series involving relievers Rhodes and Shawn Boskie. "If there's a need at the major-league level, that need is a priority and takes precedence over everything else."

"I don't like having a lot of guys," Johnson said, "but we're banged up."

Mills isn't expected to be available until this weekend because of a slight pull in his right groin. Rhodes also should be ready for the Yankees, but Johnson will be cautious with the left-hander to avoid aggravating the strained muscle on his right side. Adding to the bullpen's woes, Benitez strained his back on a strikeout pitch that ended his outing last night.

Mills felt some pain in the groin Tuesday night while warming up, and again while pitching to Bobby Bonilla in the ninth inning. He was removed while warming in the 10th.

"I wasn't going to take a chance," Johnson said, remembering that a similar injury hindered Mills during the playoffs last year. "He said he pulled it. I couldn't take a chance."

Said Mills: "I felt I could have continued, but I understood what Davey was doing. It's not in bad shape today. I think I'll be OK [for New York], but you never know."

The outfield needs a healthy set of legs, which could come from Bowie's Dave Dellucci, who made a favorable impression during an earlier stint with the Orioles. Brady Anderson was out of the lineup for the second time in three nights because of a sore right leg, and none of the other outfielders besides Geronimo Berroa are at full strength.

Tony Tarasco hopes to be able to play in New York after regaining some flexibility in his right foot. He was hit on the right shin by a fastball from Kevin Brown on Tuesday.

Limitless Leyland

If given the choice, Florida manager Jim Leyland would rather see all teams limited to 30 players this time of year, rather than 40. The extra bodies, he reasons, create too many counter moves.

"It's really hard for any manager to get a matchup," he said. "You can send a guy up there and if they bring in a pitcher you can just send another guy up there. It's not like the season."

Around the horn

The Orioles finished 8-7 against the National League. The Marlins came from behind to win for the 39th time this season. Florida's Gary Sheffield recorded his 14th assist in the fourth when he threw out Mike Bordick trying to go from first to third on a single.

Pub Date: 9/04/97

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