N.Y. skyline leaves O's deep in thought

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Quiet unsettling on bus of O's to terrorized city

Segui surgery is likely

Notebook

September 29, 2001|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

NEW YORK - With their plane landing in Newark, N.J., early yesterday morning, the Orioles boarded a bus for the ride to their hotel in midtown Manhattan. Manager Mike Hargrove noticed how the usual chatter was missing, how the focus had shifted to a New York skyline that is forever changed by the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center.

Rarely had such quiet been so unsettling.

"You could have heard a pin drop. Nobody said anything from the time we left the airport to the time we got to the hotel," Hargrove said.

"You can't help but pay attention to it a little more now than maybe in the past," reliever Alan Mills said. "You take a lot of things for granted until they're no longer with you or a part of you.

"It just has a different feel here right now. Around the city, you could definitely see and sense a difference, but that's got to be expected with what's taken place."

Within the clubhouse, opinions seemed to be divided on whether to visit the site where the towers once stood.

"I wouldn't mind going," rookie outfielder Larry Bigbie said. "It's a big part of history because it's such a tragic event. You want to say you actually were there and able to witness it."

Catcher Brook Fordyce had no desire to be there. "I don't want to see it. It can't be a good sight," he said.

After some deliberation, Hargrove said he planned on going there after today's game.

"At some point in time it will be a place of reverence," he said. "I'd kind of like to go and pay my respects. I'd also like to go and see it so I never forget it. Other than that I have no desire to go except for those two reasons.

"I think we all have a deep sadness. I've been trying to figure out what I feel, besides being really angry. There's also a deep sadness that this all happened. I think that sums it up as well as anything."

Few Orioles were affected more by the tragedy than Mills, who broke into the majors with the Yankees in 1990. He spoke yesterday in quiet tones of a "stillness" that had come over the city. Visiting a gift shop, he was drawn to a model of the skyline.

"Of everything that was on it, the only thing I could fixate on was the World Trade Center," he said. "I guess it's a natural thing to do and think about. What happened is going to be a part of history now. It's sad, but it will."

Mills isn't sure he's ready to view the destruction. "I take pictures as a hobby and I know if I went down there I could get some great black-and-white shots. I don't know if I want that. I feel funny talking about it," he said.

"I know a lot of people probably want to see it, but by doing that you're cheapening what has happened, with all the people who were lost and all the families that suffered losses, by making it some sort of an attraction."

Segui has `torn capsule'

While the Orioles remain vague about David Segui's physical condition, it's likely that he'll undergo surgery next week on his left knee.

Hargrove said the latest magnetic resonance imaging has revealed a "torn capsule" in the knee, which has kept Segui off the field for all but one game since Aug. 23. He attempted to play on Sept. 7, but couldn't finish.

Team physician Dr. William Goldiner will examine Segui on Thursday before a decision is made on an arthroscopic procedure. Syd Thrift, vice president of baseball operations, relayed this information yesterday to club officials in New York.

Hargrove indicated before the game that surgery could be scheduled for Thursday, but he wasn't clear on the details. The Orioles continue to make trainer Richie Bancells unavailable to the media.

"From what I understand it's relatively minor," Hargrove said. "It's not a reconstruction or anything serious."

Meet press, Ripken style

Cal Ripken's final visit to Yankee Stadium brought the required pre-game meeting with the New York media, and a brief moment of levity.

Asked if he would have put up better offensive numbers by playing a less demanding position than shortstop, Ripken paused to consider the absurdity of the question. He's among only seven players with 400 home runs and 3,000 hits in his career.

"I don't know, do you think I should have 700 home runs?" he asked. "I don't know if that's in my skill set or not."

Around the horn

Mike Mussina requested the ball after striking out Jerry Hairston to end the third inning. Mussina was aware that he had reached 200 strikeouts for the fourth time in his career. He's never exceeded 218. ... Bernie Williams hit his 203rd career home run in the third inning, tying Roger Maris for ninth on the Yankees' all-time list. ... Hairston broke an 0-for-13 slump by getting a single in three at-bats. ... Chris Richard, 0-for-3 last night, had entered hitting .375 (9-for-24) with six RBIs in his previous seven games.

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