Bill Ordine's rant

For pitchers, safety first

June 19, 2008|By BILL ORDINE

The Orioles continue interleague play by going on the road starting Friday for nine straight games in National League ballparks in Milwaukee, Chicago and Washington -- which brings up the prospect of Orioles pitchers performing the unfamiliar roles of batters and base runners.

Fans might chuckle over Daniel Cabrera's perfectly imperfect career batting statistics of nine at-bats and nine strikeouts, but the recent experiences of American League East foes New York and Boston give sobering pause. The Yankees' Chien-Ming Wang tore a tendon and sprained a ligament in his foot rounding third base in Houston last weekend; he is out for at least 10 weeks. The Red Sox's Bartolo Colon hurt his back swinging against the Philadelphia Phillies this week; he is now on the 15-day disabled list.

So, it's probably a sensible idea that Orioles fans forget about the pitchers adding much offensively and just hope that the Orioles staff heeds the caution of Sgt. Phil Esterhaus at the beginning of Hill Street Blues -- "Hey, let's be careful out there."

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