Joe Strauss' Ups and Downs

September 09, 2001|By JOE STRAUSS

Rick Bauer -- UP -- Laid-back right-hander battled against the Seattle Mariners last Sunday. He impressed with his poise and command and received the ultimate welcoming gift from his new team, a 1-0 loss. Already he's being treated like a veteran.

100 -- DOWN -- losses It's starting to look more like 1988 than 1991. As for those who suggested this year could be a rerun of the '89 "Why Not?" Orioles - well, that question's been answered.

Jason Johnson -- DOWN -- He still owns one of the AL's top ERAs, but J.J. has lately resembled a fatigued and frustrated pitcher. Remains this season's best turnaround story.

No. 8 -- UP -- Let the Cal-ibration begin. The Orioles last week announced festivities associated with Ripken's final homestand. Apparently, the visit of Pope John Paul II was a dress rehearsal.

David Segui -- EVEN -- The Orioles have been brutal without their oft-injured first baseman. With him, they've been mediocre. Intrigue surrounding his tender left knee may soon clear with acknowledgment that he will undergo off-season arthroscopy.

Buddy -- DOWN -- Left-handed iron man Buddy Groom needs 13 more appearances to reach 70 for a sixth consecutive season. Problem: Groom's role calls upon him to pitch with a late-inning lead. The Orioles entered the weekend having lost 11 of 12. "It would still be an accomplishment to work 60 games for six straight," Groom, a realist, philosophized last Thursday.

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