Mazzilli glad Spider-Man off lineup card


`Traditionalist' applauds Selig's change of heart

O's Ramsay saga ends

May 08, 2004|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Major League Baseball won't get any arguments from Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli over the decision to tone down its promotions for Spider-Man 2. The purist in him applauds the restraint.

Faced with heavy criticism from the national media, commissioner Bud Selig announced Thursday that the league wouldn't put logos on the bases as part of its $3.6 million promotional deal with the makers of the movie, which is set for release June 30.

"I'm an old traditionalist at times," Mazzilli said. "I believe that this is what baseball should be - playing regular baseball. I think this game is above that. It should hold itself to a certain standard."

Outfielder B.J. Surhoff understands the league's desire to generate revenue, saying it's "part of the business." His concern is where it chooses to draw the line.

"My biggest problem is, you start this, then what's next?" he said.

"I don't know how big a deal it would have been. People didn't like the rolling [advertising] screens in the back and they got used to that. People didn't like exploding scoreboards and they got used to that. But there are certain things I definitely wouldn't do.

"You have to understand that players are asked to do a lot of things that generate revenue, and a lot of the revenue comes back to the players. But you try to do it in the right context."

Surhoff would prefer that television cameras and microphones be prohibited from the dugouts. He's also opposed to in-game interviews.

"I'm not a real big believer in that stuff," he said.

Ramsay is released

The Orioles released pitcher Rob Ramsay from extended spring training, perhaps ending his chances of returning to the majors after surgery two years ago to remove a brain tumor.

Ramsay threw two innings at the minor league complex in Sarasota, Fla., compiling a 22.50 ERA.

"He's still throwing in the high 70s and low 80s after two months and we didn't feel that he'd be able to get back to the velocity he needed to be competitive," said Doc Rodgers, director of minor league operations.

Ramsay appeared in 43 games with the Seattle Mariners in 1999 and 2000, but he missed the entire 2002 season after doctors diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme, a severe type of cancer that usually claims its victims within a year.

The Orioles signed Ramsay to a minor league contract exactly two years after the surgery and hoped to assign him to Triple-A Ottawa, but he never made it. He appeared in two spring training games before being sent to the minor league complex.

Ponson second thoughts

San Francisco Giants owner Peter Magowan showed some buyer's remorse this week when reflecting on last year's trade for Sidney Ponson.

The Orioles dealt Ponson at the non-waiver deadline for pitchers Kurt Ainsworth, Damian Moss and Ryan Hannaman. The Giants had no intention of re-signing him after the season, hoping only to make a run at the 2003 World Series. He won three games in the final two months, and San Francisco was eliminated by the Florida Marlins in the NL Division Series.

The Orioles signed Ponson to a three-year, $22.5 million contract in January.

"It doesn't make sense to make bad trades," Magowan told the Contra Costa Times. "We really rolled the dice last year when we went after Sidney Ponson. We really thought he could help us win the World Series. We gave up a darn good pitcher and two pretty good prospects."

Around the horn

Outfielder Marty Cordova had a magnetic resonance imaging test on his right elbow Wednesday in Anaheim, and the Orioles are awaiting the results. Cordova, who had ligament-reconstructive surgery last year, was shut down at extended spring training. ... Last Sunday's rainout in Cleveland will be made up June 14. Starting time is 1:05 p.m. ... Yesterday marked the six-month anniversary of Mazzilli's being named Orioles manager. Reminded of this before the game, he said, "Can I make another six months?"

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