Bordick might be good as gold

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

O's shortstop makes case for Gold Glove with string of 97 games without error

September 15, 2002|By Joe Christensen | Joe Christensen,SUN STAFF

BOSTON -- Mike Bordick was about to set an American League record for errorless games by a shortstop on Friday night, when his glove broke.

It happened in the fifth inning, as the Boston Red Sox's Trot Nixon hit a leadoff double and slid safely ahead of the throw by Orioles right fielder Jay Gibbons.

Bordick took that throw, looked down and realized it had snapped one of the strings around the glove's pocket.

Ninety-five consecutive games without an error, and there was Bordick, standing in the infield with a broken glove. He adjusted the strings and made it through the inning without having to field a ball.

Back in the dugout, he asked bench coach Sam Perlozzo to grab the glove Bordick had given him to break in for him last season. For the next two innings, Bordick stood in the infield with Perlozzo's glove while Orioles trainer Richie Bancells went to work restringing the original.

"Needless to say, Sammy was sweating bullets," Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said.

But the ball wasn't hit to Bordick the rest of the game, and when it was over, he had broken the record for consecutive errorless games set by Cal Ripken in 1990.

Bordick's reaction? He was unaware he had broken the record until Orioles radio broadcaster Fred Manfra told him in a post-game interview.

After giving it some thought, Bordick said: "It's pretty neat. I'm pretty excited about that. To be an Oriole, with the great shortstops the Orioles have had in the past, it's exciting. It makes me very proud to be an Oriole, and a shortstop at that."

Bordick's streak reached 97 games last night, and with five more games he would surpass Rey Ordonez's major-league record.

Ordonez went 101 consecutive games without an error for the New York Mets between 1999 and 2000.

Bordick has never won a Gold Glove. Omar Vizquel of the Cleveland Indians has had a monopoly on the AL shortstop honor, winning the award every year since 1993.

Vizquel has made six errors; Bordick has just one. Hargrove has managed both players, and thinks highly of them both, but he said he would give the nod this year to Bordick.

"The Gold Glove over the years has become kind of a combination of offense and defense, and it's not supposed to be that way," Hargrove said. "But in a year when a guy sets the records that Mike set this year defensively, you would think he'd be a lock on the Gold Glove. We'll wait and see."

To put Bordick's one error into perspective, here are some error totals for this year's five AL All-Star shortstops: Alex Rodriguez, seven; Miguel Tejada, 19; Vizquel, six; Nomar Garciaparra, 23; Derek Jeter, 14.

Lopez climbs charts

With the Orioles using a six-man starting rotation, Rodrigo Lopez will probably get just two more starts this season, and both of them will likely come against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Lopez won his 15th game Friday, giving him the most wins by an Orioles starting pitcher since Mike Mussina won 18 in 1999. Lopez tore his right middle fingernail, causing his finger to bleed as he walked off the mound after the sixth inning, but he thinks it will be healed in time to make his next start.

Around the horn

The Orioles have announced their starting time for next Sunday's game against the Red Sox. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ... In five games against Boston, including four starts, Lopez is 4-0 with a 2.54 ERA.

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