Three unsigned as deadline nears


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Relief ace Gregg Olson, firs baseman Randy Milligan and outfielder Mike Devereaux, none of whom was eligible for arbitration, headed toward today's renewal deadline without signed contracts for 1991.

The Orioles can renew each player at a salary determined by the club, usually the last offer on the table. Club president Larry Lucchino was trying to avoid the renewal process, but hadn't resolved any of the cases by late last night.

It is not expected that any of the three unsigned players would leave camp, as some other major leaguers did last week. The chances are that, even if the three are renewed, the contracts will be resolved before the season starts.

In each instance it is believed the club and player are trying to negotiate for one year only, rather than attempt a multi-year agreement.

* LINEUP OF CONVENIENCE: There was no significance to the fact that Bill Ripken led off and Cal Ripken batted second yesterday. It was a matter of convenience for both players and manager Frank Robinson.

"I put them up there just to get them some quick at-bats," said Robinson. Both Ripkens and Glenn Davis left the game after batting twice.

* OLSON DEBUT: Olson's spring training program will be accelerated tomorrow night against the Texas Rangers. Olson has been held back purposely by Robinson and pitching coach Al Jackson.

"He's three or four days behind the rest of the pitchers, which is right where we want him to be," said Jackson. Olson probably will pitch one inning against the Rangers in his first appearance of the spring.

* MOOSE ON THE MEND: Randy Milligan, who didn't make the weekend trip, also is scheduled to return to the lineup. Milligan played two innings in the exhibition opener against the White Sox and suffered a slightly sprained right ankle.

"There wasn't any point in rushing him, and no sense in bringing him over here [Fort Lauderdale] to sit," said Robinson. "He thought he would play the next day, but we figured all along he'd be out a couple of days."

* ROUND TWO FOR JEFF AND BOB: Jeff Ballard and Bob Milacki, who combined for six shutout innings against Texas in their first spring appearances, will pitch against the Rangers again tomorrow night. "The first time out was very encouraging," said Robinson. "It was good to see, but I'm looking forward to the next one."

The fact the Rangers will be seeing Ballard and Milacki for the second time in five days should make this a good test for the

comeback kids, who are being counted on to rejoin the Orioles' starting rotation.

* NO REST FOR THE WEARY TRAVELERS: The Orioles have their only scheduled off day in Florida a week from today, but all that means is they won't play a game.

Robinson already is planning a "long, brisk workout" on that date. "We'll need that day to work on a lot of our fundamental stuff," said Robinson. "Because of the traveling, we haven't had a chance to do a lot of that work. This will give us the chance to make it up."

* THIS 'N THAT: Jeff Robinson and John Mitchell make their second spring training appearances Wednesday against the Red Sox at Winter Haven.

Today's game against the Red Sox (1:30, HTS) quickly sold out after it was announced that Jim Palmer would pitch for the Orioles.

Chris Hoiles' wind-aided three-run homer lifted the Orioles to a 3-1 exhibition record yesterday. Under normal conditions, Hoiles' ball would have been a sacrifice fly, but the strong winds that marred play in both games carried the ball over the right-centerfield fence. It came in the 10th inning, with Hoiles pinch-hitting for Ernie Whitt, whose home run had accounted for the Orioles' first run.

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