xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Orioles bench coach Tom Trebelhorn has been supervising Jay Gibbons' workouts in Scottsdale, Az. three days a week and is impressed with Gibbons' health and conditioning.

"He's ready to roll," Trebelhorn said.

Advertisement

The Orioles just need to figure out what they're going to do with Gibbons, who lost his starting job in right field to Nick Markakis last season and isn't getting it back.

He'll take ground balls at first base in spring training, and probably get some innings in left field. Ideally, the Orioles would like to use him as the primary designated hitter to keep him healthy, but they also want to be flexible enough to move him around and give other players the chance to rest up.

Advertisement

Speaking of Trebelhorn, he was the Cubs manager in the strike-shortened 1994 season. Their player representative was free-spirited reliever Randy Myers.

That also was the season before Ryne Sandberg's first retirement, which was done for personal reasons and because of his disenchantment with the club's non-contending status.

Needless to say, Trebelhorn had his hands full. I'm sure sitting next to manager Sam Perlozzo as bench coach seems like a sweet gig by comparison.

Myers was quite a character, and though he had an uneven relationship with some members of the media - or much worse, if you were a certain Sun columnist who called him out for not handing out carnations to fans on Mothers Day - we always got along. For whatever reason, he took a liking to me.

It was just unsettling at times to see a guy sitting on the floor beside his locker, hacking away at a beef stick with a knife that would have scared O.J. He also wore camouflage shorts - not everyone can pull off that look - and kept a fake hand grenade in his locker, which I'm assuming would be much tougher to pass through airport security these days.

He also was an intense competitor. Once you got past Myers' unique personality, which occasionally distracted from his skills as a pitcher, you really could appreciate what a great closer he was for the Orioles. He had 76 saves in two seasons, and was 45-for-46 during the wire-to-wire 1997 season.

Which player was responsible for Myers' only blown save?

The Orioles had a tough decision to make after '97. Myers was a free agent and in line for a nice raise, but set-up man Armando Benitez seemed ready to take over the closer's role despite his blunders in the ALCS. Myers signed with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Not that you asked, but Benitez's middle name is "German." You can look it up. I did.

Here's more on Myers, and why the San Diego Padres are often used as the model for the dangers of putting in a waiver claim on players after the deadline:

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement