Roch around the clock

ROCH AROUND THE CLOCK

February 08, 2006|By ROCH KUBATKO

I sense that fans aren't overly excited about having Luis Lopez in camp for another tour of duty with the Orioles. On the right team, he's a decent 25th player, someone who can move around the infield and get an occasional hit for you. He also rivals Melvin Mora for the most clubhouse chatter. This guy's mouth never rests. He's pretty good at keeping people loose. He's always been a popular figure among teammates. I just don't see him going north with the Orioles.

Speaking of spring invitations, left-hander John Halama is on the list. If the Orioles want three lefties in their bullpen, he has a shot, especially with John Parrish unavailable on Opening Day after undergoing ligament-replacement surgery.

For those of you asking about B.J. Surhoff, I'm told he's prepared to sit out this season unless he receives an offer from a team that's a really good fit for him. He's at a crossroads of sorts because he still loves the game and believes he can play, but he also cherishes his time with his family. The tug of retirement appears to be pretty strong right now.

I've written in the past about what a great guy Surhoff is, a man who played the game and approached his job the right way. Every sport needs more people like him.

A young female employee for the Orioles recently was found to have a rare form of cancer. Surhoff heard about it and paid her a surprise visit. He's not with the team anymore, but he cared enough to drop by and lift her spirits. How many players would do this?

roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

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