Fenway return `fun' to Millar

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

`Cowboy Up' hero set to saddle up in first visit

Tejada credits Crowley

May 05, 2006|By CHILDS WALKER | CHILDS WALKER,SUN REPORTER

ARLINGTON, Texas -- No matter what the rest of his career holds, Kevin Millar expects the championship he won with the Boston Red Sox in 2004 to remain his greatest highlight.

Today, he'll return to Boston for the first time since signing with the Orioles last winter. "Yeah, this'll be fun, man," he said yesterday. "It'll be fun to be back."

Millar played three seasons in Boston and was among the most recognizable and popular voices on the 2004 championship team with his "Cowboy Up" slogan.

"No matter what, I don't think you can ever win a championship like that," he said. "I think the Boston Red Sox doing it that year with that group of guys you know, it's history. A lot of things go on through a season in Boston that are tough. It comes a lot from just the pressure from the past. The guys on that team didn't care about that and that was what was neat."

He faced less joyous times last season, when his production slipped and he wasn't assured of starting. Nonetheless, Boston fans welcomed him like an old friend when the Orioles visited the Red Sox's spring complex in Florida.

"They always treat you warmly and realistically it's the right thing to do," he said. "I mean, that team was a special team in '04. I did a lot of things for that city."

Millar said he won't be surprised if he hears a few boos but said he expects nothing like the catcalls his friend Johnny Damon received upon returning with the New York Yankees.

"The Johnny thing was a little bit magnified media-wise, being in the pinstripes," Millar said. "It was a little bit magnified because of the money he makes. But all that being said and done, they love him."

Tejada credits Crowley

Even after going 0-for-5 Wednesday night, Miguel Tejada was off to the best all-around start of his career with a .405 average and eight home runs.

He credits Orioles hitting coach Terry Crowley with staying on him to put in extra work. But Crowley said all he has done is focus Tejada on what he does best.

"There are certain things that Miggy has to do to be a good hitter," Crowley said. "You know he would hit regardless of any approach he had. But when he's the special hitter, the kind of hitter that's in the top of the league in hitting, that's when he uses the whole field and concentrates on right field and lets the ball come to him and doesn't get anxious. Those are little things we work on ... but believe me he's in a class by himself."

Tejada also jumped to a blazing start last year but had only seven home runs and 36 RBIs after the All-Star break. That drop-off combined with a lethargic spring had some predicting an off year for the shortstop.

Crowley scoffed at that idea, suggesting that a talent like Tejada only needs a bit of fine-tuning.

"Just point out a couple good things he did yesterday and the day before, remind him of his approach," Crowley said. "And he takes it from there. He's a great hitter, he's a competitor and he wants to win."

Matos close to returning

Luis Matos has hit well in two rehabilitation starts for Single-A Frederick, and Perlozzo said the center fielder could be activated this weekend.

Matos was out with shoulder soreness that severely hampered his throwing. Perlozzo said reports from Frederick suggest his arm strength has improved.

"It sounds like his arm is good enough," Perlozzo said.

Hernandez sits

After starting for nine straight days, catcher Ramon Hernandez had the night off yesterday.

"He's been going at it pretty hard," Perlozzo said. "He's gotten a lot of foul tips, he's been hit a few times by the hitter on backswings, so he could use a day."

childs.walker@baltsun.com

Statistics (Through last night's game)

Batting

Player Avg. OBA SLG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS E

Tejada .392 .426 .608 30 120 22 47 2 0 8 26 7 12 0 0 3

x-Roberts .330 .387 .436 24 94 13 31 8 1 0 13 10 9 9 0 2

Hernandez .313 .368 .500 26 96 12 30 6 0 4 20 7 11 0 0 5

Patterson .295 .317 .475 23 61 14 18 2 0 3 11 2 10 7 0 1

Gibbons .286 .301 .563 29 119 15 34 9 0 8 21 2 14 0 0 0

Mora .281 .360 .471 30 121 21 34 8 0 5 15 10 14 0 0 2

Fahey .278 .316 .278 5 18 2 5 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 1 1

y-Newhan .265 .306 .441 10 34 8 9 0 0 2 7 2 4 3 0 1

Conine .226 .293 .417 23 84 8 19 4 0 4 11 8 13 2 1 0

J.Lopez .221 .284 .368 19 68 9 15 5 1 1 8 5 11 0 0 0

Millar .205 .284 .356 22 73 12 15 5 0 2 10 6 9 0 0 1

Gomez .194 .265 .194 20 31 5 6 0 0 0 1 2 3 0 0 1

Markakis .184 .262 .303 26 76 9 14 3 0 2 6 7 17 0 0 1

x-Matos .138 .303 .379 9 29 5 4 1 0 2 2 1 5 1 0 0

Chavez .100 .100 .100 5 10 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0

Terrero .000 .000 .000 9 14 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0

Totals .269 .322 .441 30 1048 156 282 53 2 41 151 70 139 22 2 21

Pitching

Player W L ERA G GS CG Sav IP H ER BB SO HR

Williams 0 0 0.00 4 0 0 1 4 2/3 4 0 0 1 0

Manon 0 0 0.00 2 0 0 0 2 2 0 4 2 0

Birkins 0 0 0.00 1 0 0 0 2 1/3 1 0 1 1 0

Ray 1 0 2.38 12 0 0 7 11 1/3 5 3 7 13 0

Benson 4 2 3.32 6 6 0 0 38 35 14 13 18 3

Bedard 4 1 3.58 6 6 0 0 37 2/3 43 15 12 21 4

Rleal 0 1 3.60 13 0 0 0 15 14 6 8 7 4

Hawkins 0 1 4.61 14 0 0 0 13 2/3 15 7 3 5 2

Cabrera 2 2 4.73 6 6 0 0 32 1/3 26 17 25 34 1

Halama 1 1 4.76 9 0 0 0 11 1/3 16 6 6 5 3

R.Lopez 1 3 6.81 6 6 0 0 37 44 28 14 20 8

Chen 0 4 8.40 6 6 0 0 30 45 28 10 18 11

y-Byrdak 1 0 18.00 5 0 0 0 3 4 6 5 0 2

Totals 14 16 4.87 30 30 0 8 251 1/3 273 136 111 154 39

Note: Totals include players no longer on roster. x-15-day disabled list. y-60-day disabled list. Errors by pitchers: Byrdak (1), R. Lopez (1), Rleal (1). On 15-day DL since start of season: Parrish. On 60-day DL since start of season: Rakers.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.