Orioles' ups and downs

May 07, 2000|By Joe Strauss

Buddy Groom - UP - Is this the same guy Art Howe wouldn't let get within 60 feet, 6 inches of a right-handed hitter? Left-handers haven't had a chance against him.

The Thrill - DOWN -Will Clark's rigorous off-season conditioning couldn't save him from Tuesday's hamstring pull and 10th DL stay of his career. Stuck on three RBIs in 60 at-bats despite league-leading on-base percentage.

No-trade leverage - UP - Mike Mussina quashed all rumors of a July trade by saying he wouldn't waive his blanket no-trade clause. Next move, Mr. A.

Charles Johnson - DOWN - Streak-prone catcher has followed scalding start with quiet two weeks. Contract talks in deep chill.

Slow-hand Grover - EVEN - Mike Hargrove earned praise for allowing Mussina to complete classic 138-pitch game last Saturday vs. Texas. Payback arrived on Thursday against Anaheim when Mussina, pitching on normal four days' rest, couldn't escape the fifth inning. A possible alternative - unpopular with the pitcher - would have been a Friday start for Moose at Yankee Stadium. Hmmm ...

Jeff Conine - UP - As "Mr. Marlin," he was an NL All-Star. As the Orioles' backup first baseman, backup third baseman, backup outfielder and platoon designated hitter, he's the AL's most unsung insurance policy. Stepped in with two RBIs in place of Clark on Wednesday.

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