Orioles' ups and downs

September 05, 1999|By Joe Strauss

400 -UP- Off the DL, Cal Ripken needed two days and five at-bats to become the 29th player to hit 400 home runs Thursday night. He handled the long-awaited moment with grace. Unfortunately, one fan in left field handled the drive with his face. The ricochet landed a law student a signed bat, spikes and an audience with the Iron Man. The other guy got a broken nose and stitches.

"Dysfunctional" clubhouse -DOWN- Leave Ray Miller a de facto 22-man roster, mix with two one-run losses in Detroit and look out.

Matt Riley - UP- As of today, the 20-year-old organizational prize is in the house and in the rotation. Who says September has nothing to offer?

Eugene Kingsale -EVEN- General manager Frank Wren decreed that he receive at least 20 starts in center field. The organization says it needs to find out about its Aruban switch-hitter now. Left unsaid is that all other teams are invited to watch.

Delino DeShields -DOWN- No one has suffered a more difficult or disillusioning season than DeShields. When he was signed to play second base, the Orioles were already waiting on Jerry Hairston.

Harold Baines -UP- Winning a World Series with the Orioles would have been the ultimate. Having a chance with the Cleveland Indians runs a close second. Not just a professional hitter. A professional, period. It's almost enough to make Baltimoreans root for almost.

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