Destiny's darlings Fate and fastballs: The Orioles have the Indians right where they want them.

October 15, 1997

IN GREEK MYTHOLOGY, Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos were the goddesses of destiny who determined the course of human life.

We note that point because Davey Johnson, Baltimore baseball manager and a very successful one at that, wondered aloud VTC recently about fickle forces adopting one team and carrying it to a championship. Even a reputed technology buff like Johnson may wonder about such phenomena after seeing the Cleveland Indians twice beat the Orioles last weekend on pitches en route to home plate that seemed to have been carried off by an unseen hand.

But with all deference to the three-goddess rotation in ancient Greece, we like the Orioles' chances with Mike Mussina and Scott Erickson pitching games 6 and 7 today and tomorrow in the American League Championship Series at Camden Yards.

Indeed, if fate is at work, perhaps Clotho has taken a shine to Scott Kamieniecki and Jimmy Key, who pitched heroically to force the series back to Baltimore. Maybe Lachesis is cheering wildly for Rafael Palmeiro, whose double to the opposite field late Monday night kindles hope that the first baseman will regain that swing of his, as sweet and smooth as buttermilk. And Atropos may be acting goofy in the bleachers, her face painted orange and black, hoping to get picked on the Jumbotron as ''Yardbird of the Game.''

Eric Davis and his regal perseverance in the face of illness likely won over the threesome by himself. No more phantom passed balls. No more pro wrestling takedowns by a wily Indian at home plate.

The Camden Yards faithful need to do their part, too. The national broadcasters have often mentioned the raucous enthusiasm of the playoff crowds in Seattle and Cleveland. Tonight, O's fans need to make both teams know they're in Baltimore.

And don't fret about the fate girls. They're goin' with us now, hon.

Pub Date: 10/15/97

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