Century mark isn't a burning Johnson desire O's manager puts preventing burnout above bid to win 100

September 15, 1997|By Joe Strauss | Joe Strauss,SUN STAFF

While a 100-win season once seemed a near-certainty, Orioles manager Davey Johnson now considers it "just a number."

Having just clinched a wild-card berth and standing on the cusp of the franchise's first division title since 1983, Johnson now says the landmark is of secondary importance to resting position players and aligning his rotation in preparation for the postseason.

Downplaying the feat comes with personal loss for Johnson, who would join Sparky Anderson and Whitey Herzog as the only managers ever to achieve 100 wins in both leagues.

"I'm more concerned with everybody being rested and healthy," Johnson said. "If I burned out this ballclub trying to win 100 games I'd probably hang myself."

Entering last night, the Orioles needed to finish 10-7 to reach 100 wins for the first time since 1980. The mark seemed even more attainable before they tumbled into a 7-11 funk that followed them into last night's game with the New York Yankees.

"I definitely want to win 100 games," he said. "But I'm not going to burn out this ballclub to win them."

Johnson also has never been named his league's Manager of the Year despite leading the New York Mets to a world championship in 1986 and twice to 100 wins. He says he isn't expecting this year's award, instead recommending the Detroit Tigers' Buddy Bell.

"You have good players and you do everything to prepare over the winter, so everybody's who's smart says you have a good chance to win 100 games. Then you win 100 games and there's a guy whose team was supposed to win 80 and wins 85. That's the Manager of the Year."

Orioles today

Opponent: Cleveland Indians

Site: Camden Yards

TV/Radio: HTS/WBAL (1090 AM) Tickets: 5,800 left for Game 1; 500 for Game 2

Game 1

Time: 1: 35

Starters: Indians' Brian Anderson (3-1, 4.18) vs. O's Esteban Yan

(0-1, 16.62)

Game 2

Time: 7: 35

Starters: Indians' Chad Ogea (6-9, 5.73) vs. Orioles' Rick Krivda (4-0, 6.03)

O's magic number: 10 (any combination of Orioles wins and Yankees losses to clinch AL East title)

AL East standings

.. .. .. .. W .. L .. Pct. .. GB

Orioles .. 90 . 55 .. .621 .. --

Yankees .. 83 . 63 .. .568 .. 7 1/2

Late O's game

Last night's Yankees-Orioles game at Camden Yards did not end in time to be included in this edition. A complete report can be found in later editions or on the Internet at http: //www.sunspot.net. For a report on last night's game and other Orioles information, call Sundial at 410-783-1800, ext. 5023 (in Anne Arundel County, call 410-268-7736, ext. 5023). For other

numbers, see the Sundial directory on Page 2A.

Pub Date: 9/15/97

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