OAKLAND, Calif. -- For the man involved, it is just another workday, but for those who were there when it started, The Streak is one of the most remarkable accomplishments in baseball history.
It was 10 years ago yesterday that Cal Ripken's name last failed to make a box score. Today, the Orioles' perennial All-Star shortstop is scheduled to play in his 1,620th consecutive game, second only to Lou Gehrig's record of 2,130.
"He's got 510 [games] to go, and it's probably very reachable for him because he's so strong," said Rick Dempsey, one of four players from 1982 still wearing an Orioles uniform. "You don't find anybody stronger than him -- either physically or mentally."
Pitchers Mike Flanagan and Storm Davis were also with the Orioles when Ripken's streak started.
"It seems that everybody else has changed, gotten older, and he's stayed the same," said Flanagan. "You just expect him to be there. The only time you can really appreciate it, I guess, is if you have a spring training game and you look at shortstop and somebody else is there. It's a shock. That's when you realize what he's been doing every day for the last 10 years."
Manager Johnny Oates has a personal way of reflecting on Ripken's durability. "It was May 30, 11 years ago -- 1981, that I got released [by the Yankees]," said Oates.
Bell on loan to Oklahoma City
In what could be a forerunner to a future deal, the Orioles have sent shortstop Juan Bell on loan to the Oklahoma City 89ers, the Texas Rangers' Triple-A club. Bell was hitting .196 in 39 games with the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings, for whom he hit .285 two years ago.
Texas is one of the teams the Orioles thought would claim Bell if they tried to get him through waivers a year ago. After being outrighted this year, Bell opened the season at second base. He has played the last 24 games at shortstop as the Orioles showcased him for a possible trade.
The Rangers apparently will have the rest of the year to decide
whether to pursue a trade for Bell.
Right-hander Mike Mussina, who has been scratched from two starts on this trip, participated in pre-game drills last night and appeared closer to recovery from the stomach virus that had him sidelined. Mussina threw briefly on the sidelines. He is scheduled to do that today. If all goes right, he would pitch against the Angels on Tuesday night.
Welch might miss start
Athletics pitcher Bob Welch likely will miss tomorrow's scheduled start against the Orioles because of a troublesome knee.
"He started to toss, but he didn't fare well," manager Tony La Russa said. "His start is in jeopardy. We'll see how Bob looks [today], but I've already told Ron [Darling] to get ready."
Rickey Henderson, who suffered a strained hamstring muscle Wednesday, did not play last night. The left fielder said he hoped to return before the weekend series was over. However, Jose Canseco, who had missed Oakland's most recent series because of a shoulder injury, returned to the batting order and homered in the sixth.
Most games over 10 years
Player .. .. ..Yrs. ...G .. .. Missed
Cal Ripken .. .1982-91 1,618 .. 0
Lou Gehrig .. .1929-38 1,543 .. 0
Pete Rose .. ..1973-82 1,562 .. 4
Billy Williams 1962-71 1,614 ..10
Cap Anson .. ..1883-92 1,258 ..11
Nellie Fox .. .1952-62 1,544 ..15
Stan Musial .. 1946-55 1,533 ..17
Dale Murphy .. 1980-89 1,537 ..18