SARASOTA, Fla. -- Call them the Hob-O's.
The Orioles got a not-so-pleasant taste of life on the 1991 exhibition circuit here last night. It was the first of three "home games" scheduled for Ed Smith Stadium, the spring home of the Chicago White Sox.
What the Orioles found was they had better accommodations last Thursday, when they were the visiting team. Because only a small part of the White Sox quarters was available to them, the Orioles had to use their dugout to change from warmup to game jerseys, while the Texas Rangers had the "luxury" of the visiting locker room.
The scene served as a reminder of the grueling schedule the Orioles face throughout the exhibition season. Under the circumstances, the 33-game schedule seems excessive, in effect putting the team on the road for each game.
As a result, manager Frank Robinson will be more liberal in rationing the playing time of most of his veterans. The scary part is that the Orioles still haven't been able to finalize plans for a spring training complex and could be the nomads of Florida again next year.
* ROUGH ROOKIE DEBUT, QUICK RECOVERY: Paul Carey, the young slugging prospect obtained last week from the Miami Miracle, had a tough indoctrination to life in a big-league training camp.
Because of a flight delayed by weather on the West Coast, Carey didn't arrive in Sarasota until 2 a.m. Monday. After five hours sleep, he reported to the club's complex and was immediately dispatched to a "B" game against the Chicago White Sox. The next thing the young lefthanded hitter knew he was in the game -- facing lefthanded pitching.
"I've been working out at Stanford [his alma mater], but I hadn't seen any live pitching," said Carey. "It was a tough way to start, but it's good to be here."
It got a lot better last night, when Carey got a couple of at-bats in the 7-2 loss to Texas. He drove in the Orioles' second run with an infield rocket that almost got through for a hit, then lined a single in his second at-bat.
The Orioles are hoping Carey will be able to play at Double A Hagerstown this year.
* UPCOMING PROBABLES: Jeff Robinson, John Mitchell and Anthony Telford were scheduled to face Boston this afternoon. Greg Harris was slated to start for the Red Sox.
* THIS 'N THAT: Mike Devereaux, who didn't play last night, was second among American League hitters with six hits during the first week of exhibition play.
Jeff Ballard allowed four hits and one run in his second outing of the spring last night. Those are the only blemishes against the lefthander in the seven innings he's pitched.
The Orioles had a team earned run average of 2.00, best among AL clubs before last night's game, when that figure was inflated to 2.83.
Six Texas pitchers limited the Orioles (4-2) to six hits last night.