Tejada may seek to put end to streak

Run of 886 games No. 8 all time and longest among active players

August 30, 2005|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

It hasn't happened since May 31, 2000, but at some point over the next four weeks, Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada says that he probably will miss a baseball game.

Tejada has played in 886 consecutive games, including the Orioles' 10-5 loss to the Oakland Athletics yesterday at Camden Yards. He doesn't see the streak as a burden and is immensely proud of it, but he feels it's about time to end it.

"My streak will be over, probably this year," Tejada said. "I am going to take a day off. I don't care [about the streak]. I just need to start taking some days off. I want to do it like everybody else does it, get some days off, too. I have to rest my body, too."

Tejada's is the longest current streak in baseball and eighth longest all time. New York Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui has the second-longest current streak with 455 straight games. Severna Park native and Texas Rangers first baseman Mark Teixeira is next at 252.

Tejada is only 10 games shy of passing Stan Musial and moving into seventh place all time on a list topped by Cal Ripken's 2,632 consecutive games.

On Sept. 6, the Orioles will commemorate the 10th anniversary of Ripken's milestone 2,131st consecutive game, in which he broke Lou Gehrig's mark. Tejada is unsure whether his streak will be still standing on that day. Asked when he will ask manager Sam Perlozzo for a day off, Tejada said that it will probably be soon, but he isn't sure.

"I think I just have to find a day to do it," Tejada said.

Tejada, who has clearly been one of the most frustrated Orioles during their drop from first place to fourth in the American League East, admitted that he has considered asking his manager for a day of rest a couple times this season.

Several Orioles, including most recently Tejada's double-play partner, Brian Roberts, have said that they feel the shortstop would benefit from it.

When he was named interim manager earlier this month, taking over for the dismissed Lee Mazzilli, Perlozzo said he was hoping to at least find ways to rest Tejada. But he said yesterday that Tejada has never asked for a day off.

"It's up to him," Perlozzo said. "Once you get to a point where he's at now, he's got to be the one to make that decision. If he wants to do it, I don't really have a problem with it. Unless you think you can break Cal Ripken's, I don't have much use for [streaks]."

Perlozzo used Tejada at designated hitter on Aug. 21 in Cleveland, the first time Tejada served as DH in his career. Tejada looked lost pacing the dugout while his teammates took the field that day. Later, he said he enjoyed the experience so little, he hoped to never have to do it again in his career.

Apparently, he has warmed to the idea of not being out there for a day.

"This year, I've been close. I've been close to getting a day off," Tejada said. "Not because of injuries. I just feel like I should take a day off. I am not tired. I just feel it sometimes."

A's sweep sliding O's

After rallying twice from deficits, the Orioles miss a scoring chance in the eighth inning and fall to Oakland in 12 innings, 10-5. The four-game sweep left the Orioles a season-worst eight games under .500. Page 5E

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