Orioles' ups and downs

June 21, 1998|By Joe Strauss

Sidney Ponson -- UP -- The 21-year-old rookie justified Ray Miller's faith against the Yankees on Tuesday night with 6 2/3 dominant innings. As an Aruban in the major leagues, he is a rarity. As an organizational find, he is rarer still.

Mike Mussina -- EVEN -- Three starts since returning from Sandy Alomar's harrowing line drive haven't helped him rediscover his comfort zone. He has been effective but not dominant. Without a safety net, the Orioles need him to again be fail-safe.

Injury epidemic -- DOWN -- Scott Kamieniecki is in traction. Jeffrey Hammonds is waiting to lose numbness in his hands. Jimmy Key may be gone until August. Doug Drabek pulled a chest muscle. How about a team charter to Lourdes?

Local broadcast types --DOWN -- See no evil. Say no evil. Better to scrutinize columnists' motives than Cal Ripken's admittedly disappointing first half. Get real. Ripken certainly deserves respect, but so do those who pay to see him play. And is it really a crime for Home Team Sports to admit that the Yankees -- gasp! -- might be pretty good?

Joe Carter -- UP -- With Hammonds down, Carter has stepped up. He is on pace for another 20-homer season despite a limited role.

Trade Richter scale -- UP -- Pitching and catching help sought. The New York Mets, Philadelphia, San Diego and Atlanta sit on the fault line.

Pub Date: 6/21/98

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