Demotion to Ottawa has Newhan reeling


Outfielder `was hoping maybe they could make a trade'

Surhoff activated


July 08, 2005|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Packing his bags for a trip to the minors wasn't any easier the second time around for Orioles outfielder David Newhan. It still left him hurt and confused, and it strengthened his belief that a trade would benefit both sides.

The Orioles optioned Newhan to Triple-A Ottawa for a second time yesterday and activated B.J. Surhoff from the disabled list. Newhan went 2-for-8 in nine games, including two starts, to leave his average at .198.

"I was hoping maybe they could make a trade, either trade me or somebody who's in front of me. It's not doing anything for my career to sit on the bench," he said.

"I don't know what I'm doing here if they're not going to use me. They gave me a great chance. I love the organization. I like a lot of the guys. But the bottom line is I want to be on the field and be playing in the big leagues."

Newhan, who batted .311 in 95 games with the Orioles last season, isn't in a hurry to report to Ottawa. He'd prefer an assignment with one of the state affiliates to remain close to his wife and infant son.

"They really screwed up my [All-Star] break," he said. "I'll figure out when I can get there. That place is a mess and really doesn't deserve to be a Triple-A city at all. It's just a terrible place to be at. Terrible stadium, bad weather, bad fans, bad atmosphere, going through customs. Hopefully I can play in front of some other scouts and somebody will make a move and I'll get a chance to play again."

Newhan also is agitated that he took ground balls at third base but didn't receive any starts while Melvin Mora nursed a strained right hamstring. Chris Gomez replaced Mora, and Newhan was limited to a few late-inning appearances.

"I know Chris is a heck of a defensive player, but at some point you've got to give me a chance to get going," he said. "We faced about 10 righties in a row from Toronto to Atlanta and coming back here, and I thought I'd get a couple chances to play third. I don't know why I carry all these gloves around for nothing. It's just frustrating.

"I'm at the point right now that I don't feel like I'm a minor league player. Unfortunately I've got an option left, so hopefully I can burn it and see what happens. They say they believe in me and they like me. They say they feel one way and then they act different.

"All I can do is go out and play. If a ball is coming over the plate at Camden Yards, I've got to try to hit it. If it's coming over the plate in Ottawa, I've got to try to hit it. I've got to go down and make my money and provide for my family."

Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli wants Newhan to start every game at Ottawa and regain his stroke. "He's an offensive player, and he needs to get at-bats," Mazzilli said.

Stating their case

Mazzilli and Steve Kline spoke separately by phone yesterday with John McHale, Major League Baseball's senior vice president for administration, in an attempt to reduce their suspensions.

Mazzilli is facing a two-game punishment after being ejected from a June 19 game against the Colorado Rockies. Since managers can't appeal, he simply gave his side of the story to McHale.

Kline was suspended four games after being ejected from a June 27 game and later implying that the umpires favor the New York Yankees. A ruling on both suspensions isn't expected before late next week.

Palmeiro's discussion

Rafael Palmeiro participated in a round-table discussion yesterday with representatives from MLB, the NFL, NBA and NHL, as well as anti-drug advocates, concerning methods to test athletes for steroids and educate people on the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs.

Palmeiro took part via conference call for the second time. "It was just an open discussion, throwing around ideas," he said.

J. Lopez needs more time

Catcher Javy Lopez isn't expected to be activated for the first series after the All-Star break because he'll need more time to strengthen his surgically repaired right hand.

The Orioles want Lopez to reduce his baseball-related activities after he developed mild swelling in the hand.

"We're going to back off until he gets full strength in his hand," Mazzilli said, "and I don't know what that does to the timeline yet."

Red Sox moves

Since Wednesday night's win over the Texas Rangers, the Boston Red Sox have activated outfielder Adam Stern from the 60-day disabled list and optioned left-handed pitcher Lenny DiNardo to Triple-A Pawtucket. They made a trade to acquire infielder Alex Cora from the Cleveland Indians for Ramon Vazquez, designated Jay Payton for assignment, and announced that closer Keith Foulke underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

At this rate, manager Terry Francona joked, they'll make 32 more moves by the All-Star break. So predictably, the Red Sox manager, who will also manage the American League All-Star team, hasn't given much thought to who will bat leadoff for the AL team next week. Boston's Johnny Damon and the Orioles' Brian Roberts appear to be the likely candidates.

When asked about the decision, Francona said, "You make a good point, but I am not there yet. You're way ahead of me."

Sun staff writer Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.

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