Hargrove visits attack site in N.Y.

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Manager makes trip to Ground Zero, calls devastation `unbelievable'

October 01, 2001|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

NEW YORK - Orioles manager Mike Hargrove visited the site of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks after Saturday's game against the New York Yankees. Asked about the scene, he kept going back to one word.

"Unbelievable," he said. "Just unbelievable."

Pitching coach Mark Wiley, bench coach Sam Perlozzo and broadcaster Mike Flanagan accompanied Hargrove on the trip to Ground Zero, where they discovered that images on television are insufficient in portraying the full scope of the devastation.

It was far worse than what they expected.

"You see the devastation from where the towers came down, but there's also the buildings around them," Hargrove said.

"Building seven went down, and one and two went down. And four and five are just these burned-out hulks. Across the street where tower two was, there's a building where a piece of one of the towers came back and hit that thing, almost like somebody took a big knife and just cut it straight down the middle. And around the third or fourth floor, that piece of side is sticking right out the middle of it like it's been impaled.

"It's like nothing you've ever seen. It's just unbelievable. I saw what I thought was a four-story pile of just dirt. It was a building."

Hargrove contacted a friend with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, who allowed them to get close to the site.

"We didn't stay very long. Maybe 45 minutes. It took longer to get down there," he said.

"I don't know why, but I feel better having gone there. Even when I walked away from it, I felt better."

Hargrove won't sit Ripken

The schedule has been reduced to its final seven games crammed within six days because of a makeup doubleheader. Cal Ripken needs to play in six of those games to reach 3,000 for his career.

It's beginning to look as though Ripken will exit with 3,001.

Rather than sit Ripken for half the doubleheader, Hargrove indicated yesterday that he'll continue to write Ripken's name in the lineup unless told otherwise.

"Cal will play every game that he wants to play," Hargrove said. "I'll be a bad guy in a lot of things, but I'm not going to be the bad guy in this. They still hate me in Anaheim."

Groom's streak may end

It hasn't gotten much attention with so much focus on Ripken's exit, but Orioles reliever Buddy Groom will find it difficult to achieve his sixth consecutive season with at least 70 appearances.

Groom remains five games short of extending a record he entered the season sharing with the Colorado Rockies' Mike Myers, who already has reached 70 in 2001. Groom has appeared in three of the past four, and Hargrove will have to keep him busy.

Asked about being able to do that, Hargrove said, "You never know."

Injury bug bites Yanks

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who didn't pitch in the three-game series, had a cortisone shot in his right ankle during the weekend and isn't expected to return before Wednesday.

Rivera was reexamined Thursday by foot specialist Dr. William Hamilton, who confirmed the injury was muscular and should heal over the winter. Hamilton performed toe surgery on Orlando Hernandez earlier this year.

Hernandez left Saturday's start against the Orioles after 1 2/3 innings because of "a tired arm" - the fourth straight game that the Yankees lost a player to injury. The number rose to five yesterday when Nick Johnson was hit on the left foot by a pitch from Ryan Kohlmeier and limped off the field.

David Justice aggravated a groin injury on Tuesday and missed the next three games. Pitcher Andy Pettitte was nailed above the left elbow by a line drive Wednesday and won't make his next start. Left fielder Chuck Knoblauch came out of Friday's game after hyperextending his left wrist while diving for a ball.

With a week remaining before the playoffs, the Yankees should have everyone back for the next phase of their season.

Around the horn

Brady Anderson remains day-to-day with a pulled right quadriceps muscle. He suffered the injury during Saturday's game and was replaced in left field by Jeff Conine, with Casey Blake going to first base. Anderson's average remains at .200. ... Chris Richard's home run leading off the sixth inning was his 15th, tying rookie Jay Gibbons for the team lead among players who spent the entire season with the Orioles. Tony Batista has 25 homers, but 13 came with the Toronto Blue Jays. ... Reliever John Wasdin struck out the first six batters he faced before walking Bernie Williams with two outs in the ninth and coming out of the game. ... Williams hit his 204th career homer in the fourth, giving him sole possession of ninth place on the Yankees' all-time list. He's one behind Dave Winfield.

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