'Fake deadline' poses little concern to O's

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

No trades likely today, but deals possible in Aug.

July 31, 2008|By Dan Connolly | Dan Connolly,Sun reporter

NEW YORK - Baseball's nonwaiver trade deadline expires at 4 p.m. today, and the Orioles aren't worried about what will happen when the dust settles.

"I don't see it any different than any other time. I think the misnomer is that it's the trading deadline," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "People still make trades after the trading deadline.

"They go through waivers. I think, to be quite honest with you, it's overhyped."

Reached last evening, Orioles club president Andy MacPhail said trade talks with other teams have not heated up.

"I don't see anything on the horizon," MacPhail said. "That could change with a phone call, but I see nothing on the horizon for now."

For a player to be traded after 4 p.m., he must pass through waivers without being claimed by another club. If claimed, the Orioles can revoke the waivers once.

Over the next few days, the Orioles - like all clubs - will attempt to get most, if not all, of their players through waivers so they, in theory, could be traded in August.

Several Orioles, such as first baseman Kevin Millar, outfielder Jay Payton and reliever Chad Bradford, are expected to pass through waivers and could be the subject of trade rumors next month.

"[July 31] is a fake deadline," Millar said. "Anybody in this locker room can clear waivers after the 31st. You see more deals going on in August."

Closer George Sherrill, one of the club's most marketable pieces, said he expected to be out with his girlfriend in Seattle when today's deadline approaches.

"We'll probably be busy all day, out doing stuff just to keep my mind off of it," he said. "But I honestly don't think anything is going to happen."

Orioles designated hitter Aubrey Huff has been through this before. He was traded from Tampa Bay to Houston in July 2006.

"It's challenging," Huff said. "You are moving wherever, cross-country maybe, moving your family and everything is going haywire. Ultimately, you'd rather be traded in the offseason."

D. Cabrera's odyssey

Orioles right-hander Daniel Cabrera was still bewildered yesterday afternoon about his ejection from Tuesday night's game after hitting Alex Rodriguez in the left shoulder the at-bat after a home run by Rodriguez.

The New York Daily News' back page yesterday featured a picture of Cabrera, Trembley and umpire Chad Fairchild with the headline "Dirty Bird." Yankees manager Joe Girardi intimated after the game that the pitch might have been intentional because Cabrera had hit other Yankees in the past, such as Derek Jeter.

Cabrera, who leads the league in walks, hit batters and wild pitches, reiterated yesterday that he wouldn't have intentionally plunked Rodriguez with Jason Giambi on deck in the eighth inning of a tense game.

Cabrera did get the last laugh of sorts.

His victory Tuesday was his third of the year against the Yankees, making him the first Oriole to go 3-0 in one season against them since Steve Stone in his 1980 Cy Young year.

"It's a good feeling really. The Yankees are the Yankees," Cabrera said. "Maybe I have been lucky."

Dominant Millar

Millar has a theory as to why he hits so many homers against the Yankees.

"It's because I hit good pitching. Manny [Ramirez] and those guys, they hit bad pitching. I hit good pitching," Millar said jokingly.

Millar's homer Tuesday was the 21st of his career against the Yankees (his most against any opponent).

He has hit six against them this season; no other player has hit more than four against the Yankees in 2008.

Ramon Hernandez holds the club record with seven against them in 2006. Chris Hoiles (1993) and Curt Blefary (1965) also hit six.

"It is coincidence, like losing 15 straight on Sundays," Millar said.

Tough endings

With yesterday's loss to the Yankees, the Orioles have lost eight of their past nine series finales.

They are 10-24 in the last game of a series. If the Orioles had won yesterday, it would have been their first sweep at Yankee Stadium since June 1986.

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

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