Roch around the clock

ROCH AROUND THE CLOCK

The Kickoff

August 04, 2006|By ROCH KUBATKO

To no one's surprise, Javy Lopez cleared waivers. And as expected, the Red Sox acquired him.

Reports out of Baltimore and Boston say the Orioles will get a mid-level prospect in return. And contrary to one report out of Boston, the Orioles aren't picking up all of Lopez's remaining salary.

Why would they do that? Lopez never came close to being the 43-homer guy the Orioles signed to a three-year, $22.5 million contract, choosing him over Ivan Rodriguez because Lopez was the first catcher to take the offer. He never had much of a reputation behind the plate, but he was supposed to hit for more power and drive in more runs. And not come down with stiffness in his neck, back and knees at suspiciously opportunistic times.

He was used too much. He wasn't used enough. It was hard to keep him happy, but he didn't mope around or poison the clubhouse. He was the happiest unhappy player I've ever covered. Funny, but I'll miss him.

roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

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