Orioles' ups and downs

June 20, 1999|By JOE STRAUSS

The Thrill -- UP -- Will Clark collects 10 total bases in Atlanta on Sunday night and career hit No. 2,000 vs. Kansas City on Tuesday, and still can't buy a headline during his team's thrill-ride week. Not bad for a guy whose thumb still feels like it's caught in the car door.

Terry Crowley -- UP -- Unassuming hitting coach earned the respect and trust of virtually everyone within the Orioles' graybeard clubhouse. Cal Ripken, Will Clark, Charles Johnson and B. J. Surhoff have benefited from his knowledge and work ethic. Strikeouts are down, run production is up, opposite-field line drives are now considered cool.

Albert Belle -- EVEN -- Four days after being benched, the A-Bomb played his best game of the season Tuesday with the eye-popping exacta of a game-tying home run and a run-saving sliding catch. Loses points for Web site whining. Media target? Double standards? Just play.

Cal Ripken -- UP -- In three weeks, Ripken has gone from a sentimental All-Star choice to a deserving one. Erasers available for those writing his career epitaph.

Delino DeShields -- UP -- Bad back and all, DeShields has improved his defense, and his speed becomes more visible with Orioles playing ahead. Became a father last week. It doesn't get any better.

The manager -- UP -- Ray Miller only helped his clubhouse standing by refusing to back down to Belle following l'affaire Albert. Is it only coincidence the Orioles won seven straight?

Pub Date: 6/20/99

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