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Williamson recovery hits another snag August return likely after sprained ankle


Orioles reliever Mark Williamson won't be pitching by the All-Star break because two setbacks have pushed back his throwing schedule several weeks.

Williamson gave up on his All-Star break prediction a few weeks ago, when lingering elbow tenderness made it apparent he was not ahead of schedule in his recovery from arthroscopic surgery. The situation became more clouded earlier this week, when he sprained his right ankle while playing with his children at home.

He was expected to begin light throwing this week, but the club's medical staff has advised him not to try to throw while his ankle is inflamed.

"It seems like somebody up there doesn't want me to pitch this season," said Williamson, who had bone chips and spurring removed from his right elbow May 12.

The sprain is significant. He came to the ballpark yesterday in a soft cast.

"Hopefully, it'll be about a week," Williamson said. "I'm really not able to do a lot as it is. Maybe it's a blessing in disguise. This way I can't rush myself coming back."

There was hope that he would start throwing this weekend, but there was no hope that he would be ready by the All-Star break. He made that prediction a few days after Dr. James Andrews repaired his elbow in Birmingham, Ala., but the official prognosis had him sidelined about 10 weeks.

That would have taken him almost to Aug. 1 without the two setbacks. Now, Williamson hopes to be ready by that date, but there is no way of knowing how his elbow will respond when he begins his throwing regimen.

"It will be at least three weeks from the time I start throwing until I can throw off the mound," he said. "The best-case scenario is late July."

Showalter, Meyer ejected

Yankees manager Buck Showalter was ejected from last night's game in the eighth inning after Glenn Davis was awarded second base on a fan interference call. Umpire Jim Joyce sent Davis to second after he beat out an infield hit and an errant throw by shortstop Andy Stankiewicz was picked up by a fan.

The rule allows the umpires to decide where a runner would have ended up if the ball had not been touched, and that was the reason for Showalter's outburst. Davis never attempted to go to second base on the play. He saw the ball stop at the fence and retreated to first before it was interfered with.

Bench coach Russ Meyer also was ejected for jawing at third-base umpire Dave Phillips after the play.

McLemore out on appeal

Orioles pinch runner Mark McLemore was called out on appeal after he tagged up and apparently scored on a fly ball by Leo Gomez in the eighth. McLemore apparently left the bag too soon. There was no argument from the Orioles bench.

Hit it here

The newest advertisement in the ballpark is the "Hit it Here" Maryland Lottery ad that graces the center-field fence, but there has been no word on what happens if a player hits the lottery's target-like logo. Is there a prize or something?

"I hope not," manager Johnny Oates said, "because if there is [a prize], the pitchers are going to be upset because they can't win anything. Pitchers hate that kind of thing, because they can give it up, but they can't get anything."

Second-round pick signs

The Orioles signed right-hander Brian Sackinsky, their second-round pick in the June draft. Sackinsky was drafted out of Stanford, the same school that brought the Orioles Mike Mussina and this year's No. 1 pick, Jeffrey Hammonds. Sackinsky was 8-3 with a 4.26 ERA for the Cardinal last season.

Mass transit for tomorrow

Metro, MARC, MTA bus and light rail service will be available before and after tomorrow's 8:05 p.m. game against the Yankees.

The last Metro train will leave about 40 minutes after the game. Buses will run until two hours after the game. The last light rail train will leave one hour after the game ends, and all MARC trains will leave 20 minutes after the final out.

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