Orioles' ups and downs

August 01, 1999|By Joe Strauss

The A-Bomb -- UP -- Albert Belle waited 98 games before going off on the Anaheim Angels for three home runs on his no-trade clause on certain beat writers. Belle reminded everyone at a news conference he'll be here for 4 1/2 more years. But that's a bet he doesn't want to make.

Matt Riley -- UP -- Forget the Pan American Games. The Orioles' organizational prize will be appearing at Camden Yards this season. The only question is whether the left-hander makes an August or September debut. Double-A has been child's play.

Trade deadline -- DOWN -- Much ado about not much. The more things change

No. 400 -- UP -- Three home runs last weekend carried Cal Ripken to the threshold of an achievement many doubted he could reach before he went on the DL or his right hand was smashed by a Mike Thurman fastball. Supposedly, the home run ball will be worth enough to buy dinner for four at the Camden Club.

Camden `crazies' -- DOWN -- Rumor has it that they scheduled a cello recital and an Orioles game broke out. Fans actually sat on their hands until the last strike of a recent 1-0 win. Ripken's potential 400 ball heads toward the stands and fans recoil as if it's kryptonite. Is history now being taken for granted?

Jason Johnson -- UP -- Considered an organizational "untouchable," his story is an inspiration to diabetic youth.

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