O's Williams counts blessings after hit to head

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Liner off pitcher `so scary'

Surhoff returns with HR

July 28, 2004|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Besides feeling "a little woozy" and having some neck stiffness, Orioles reliever Todd Williams considered himself pretty lucky after being hit Monday and momentarily blacking out.

A line drive from Boston's Gabe Kapler struck Williams at the base of his skull after he delivered a pitch in the eighth inning. The ball caromed to third baseman Melvin Mora, who threw out Kapler.

Williams watched the play before rolling on his back. Trainer Richie Bancells told him to stay down after he tried to move.

"It felt like I could get up at the time," he said, "but everyone was telling me to calm down."

Williams suffered a mild concussion but realizes it could have been much worse. He was examined again yesterday, and the Orioles don't know when he'll be available.

Williams also said he's seen the replay "about 1,000 times," and was more interested in the pitch location.

"For hitting a bad spot, I guess it hit a pretty good spot," he said. "But it was scary at first when I heard the cracking sound of it hitting me."

Upon impact, Williams said he blacked out for a few seconds, then tried to find the ball.

"I don't like being a part of something like that," Kapler said. "My heart kind of stopped. Thank God he's OK."

"It sounded awful," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "It was so scary."

Roberts sits, sniffs

Brian Roberts keeps telling Lee Mazzilli he can play, but with his voice coming between sniffles, the Orioles' manager decided to rest him before last night's game was rained out in the third inning.

Roberts has been battling a sinus infection for the past four days and began taking antibiotics Monday.

Luis Lopez replaced Roberts at second base, with Jerry Hairston staying in right field. Outfielder B.J. Surhoff came off the disabled list yesterday, but Mazzilli needed him at first base so he could sit Rafael Palmeiro, who was 9-for-49 (.184) lifetime against knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.

Palmeiro failed to start for only the sixth time in 99 games.

Surhoff returns with bang

Surhoff played for the first time since straining his left calf during a June 18 game in Colorado.

"I didn't think it would take this long but a lower-leg injury is tougher because it's hard to stay off it," he said.

Surhoff noticed improvement in the leg last week while the team was in Kansas City, and began running the next series in Boston. He had no desire to join one of the Orioles' minor league affiliates and get a few at-bats before being activated.

"I never had planned on going on a rehab assignment," he said.

He showed he didn't need one in his first at-bat, homering off Wakefield. The home run was wiped out by the rain, however.

No makeup date

No makeup date has been announced for last night's postponed game. The Red Sox return to Camden Yards for the last series of the season Oct. 1-3.

Fans holding tickets from last night's game are urged to use them for the makeup date, but they also may exchange them for any remaining home game in 2004, excluding the Sept. 10-12 series against the New York Yankees.

Fans residing outside a 75-mile radius of Camden Yards may request a refund, which must be submitted in writing along with the tickets.

Paradis released

The Orioles have released right-hander Mike Paradis, the 13th overall pick in the 1999 draft out of Clemson University.

Paradis was 29-47 in six professional seasons. He pitched for four affiliates this year, beginning at Triple-A Ottawa and finishing at low Single-A Delmarva, posting a combined 14.02 ERA with 26 walks in 17 1/3 innings.

In his only Delmarva appearance, Paradis allowed two runs, hit two batters and threw a wild pitch, and didn't retire anyone.

"We exhausted all the player development methods, and four months into the season, we weren't seeing any progress," said Doc Rodgers, director of minor league operations. "It was time to move forward. All the results this year have been bad. If you look at his numbers at each stop, this is a young man who did not have command of his stuff. As an organization, we've seen periods where we thought he was on his way, but they were more infrequent as time went on."

Paradis, 26, was the first of seven selections for the Orioles among the top 50 picks. They also took Roberts and Larry Bigbie.

Sun staff writer Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.

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