Orioles' ups and downs

May 21, 2000|By Joe Strauss

Charles Johnson -- DOWN -- Sluggish footwork is holding back his powerful arm. Opponents aren't giving him the respect deserved by one who has thrown out 40 percent of base stealers in his career.

Innings monster -- UP -- Scott Erickson ended the rotation's 14-game winless streak with a convincing performance in Anaheim on Tuesday. Already, he's matched his win total through last June 8.

Team D -- DOWN -- They don't give errors like they used to. Two years ago, this bunch set a record for fewest errors in a season. With scorekeeping help, they could do so again this year and it would convince no one of anything. Losses May 11, 14 and 17 could be traced to unmade plays. No wonder pitchers' ERAs are through the roof.

Syd Thrift -- UP -- If admitting a problem is the first step toward solving it, the Orioles' VP of baseball operations took it last week. Just do it.

Cal Ripken -- EVEN -- A cortisone shot kept him off the disabled list. But scar tissue won't go away. His body may be telling him something.

Bullpen madness -- DOWN -- They're one-quarter through the season and Mike Timlin has three saves, Mike Trombley's got one "hold" and Mike Hargrove has few options. At least everybody's signed through next season. Whoa.

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