Davis homing in on homestand Outfielder says he'll return to action at Camden Yards sometime over next 11 days



Eric Davis, who resumed his chemotherapy treatments at Johns Hopkins Hospital on Wednesday, said he will play during this 14-game homestand. He even has a date in mind. But that's all he's saying about it.

The rest will remain a secret.

Surrounded by reporters as he sat in front of his locker, Davis said, "I'm not telling you. If I tell you a certain date, you're going to print that. Then, everybody's going to be looking at that date. When I come, that's when I come. I don't want to say it's going to be a certain day and then it not be that day."

Added Davis, "I prefer to start, but if they call on me to pinch-run and win the game, so be it."

Davis hasn't played since May 25 in Cleveland. He underwent colon cancer surgery three weeks later.

Making his return in Baltimore was a priority. "I think that our fans deserve that," he said. "As great as they've been through the whole ordeal, as well as the organization, I think they do deserve that, to be able to see it firsthand and not off ESPN or some highlights.

"I'll be nervous. I don't know how I'm going to respond to it."

Davis took batting practice and shagged fly balls for the first time after receiving a treatment. "I want to see how fast I get tired," he said before heading for the field.

Davis' return from the 60-day disabled list was delayed after he spent a week away from the club because of the death of his older brother in Los Angeles.

"He could probably run the bases for me now," said manager Davey Johnson, adding that he believed general manager Pat Gillick wanted Davis to be a little farther along before activating him.

Walton endures

Outfielder Jerome Walton concedes he probably won't find himself on the Orioles' postseason roster, but being here for the season's final weeks is victory enough.

Walton, activated from the 60-day disabled list last Monday, has suffered through a hellish year tinged with injury and family tragedy. Last spring, Walton's father died after a lengthy battle with cancer. Only two weeks ago, a step-sister died during surgery in Atlanta. Walton's loss occurred just as he was preparing to return from three surgeries that had sidelined him since April 24.

"There was a time when I thought maybe I should quit, that I should just retire," he said. "But with all that I've gone through, I want to come back, stay healthy and show that I can play."

Walton has suffered from chronic groin problems ever since he believes an initial injury was misdiagnosed last year with the Atlanta Braves.

"I could walk but I couldn't run. They thought I just didn't want to play. I couldn't play," he said.

Alomar: I'm staying put

Second baseman Roberto Alomar insisted yesterday that whatever differences he and Johnson have experienced won't cause him to request a trade. Alomar was responding to speculation about resentment stemming from Johnson fining him for missing a July exhibition and an April banquet introducing the team. "I have a contract through next year. I'll show up and play. I'm not asking for a trade."

Alomar sat out last night's game because of a wet field. Alomar had started both games of this week's series against the Cleveland Indians but has yet to play more than 5 1/2 innings since straining his right groin muscle July 29.

Pitchers on the mend

Mike Mussina and Scott Kamieniecki threw on the side yesterday and will make their scheduled starts this weekend.

Mussina had to leave Sunday's game in New York with a cut on his right index finger, and Kamieniecki was forced from Monday's start in Cleveland with tightness in his right biceps.

"Both are fine. Both are a go," said pitching coach Ray Miller.

O's bring in catcher

The Orioles claimed catcher Charlie Greene off waivers from the New York Mets, and he's expected to join the club today.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Greene, pitcher Rocky Coppinger was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

Greene, 26, batted .206 at Triple-A Norfolk. Last year, he led the Double-A Eastern League by throwing out 55.3 percent of

potential base stealers.

Audition time

Right-hander Kevin Gallaher, who pitched at Double-A Bowie this season, threw in the bullpen for club officials before batting practice. Gallaher is a minor-league free agent.

"He threw pretty good. He's got a live arm," Miller said.

Gallaher, 29, will pitch winter ball in the Dominican.

"This was more about next year," Gallaher said. "They want to sign me and have me try to make the team in spring training."

Dellucci returns

Dave Dellucci was back in the Orioles clubhouse for the first time since being optioned to Bowie on June 29. He was added to the roster Monday and joined the team in Cleveland.

Dellucci no longer has the locker next to Randy Myers. That space is occupied by Aaron Ledesma. Instead, the outfielder dressed along the opposite wall, using one of the two previously empty lockers next to Cal Ripken.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.