Rainout leads Oates to juggle his pitching plans Orioles notes


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The cancellation of yesterday's game with the Texas Rangers will cause some adjustments in the Orioles' pitching rotation.

Manager Johnny Oates wasn't sure how he would juggle thpitchers who were supposed to work yesterday, but it appears )) as though Rick Sutcliffe will lose a start.

As originally scheduled, Mike Mussina and Mark Williamson are scheduled to work four innings apiece and Gregg Olson will get one in today's game against the Cincinnati Reds.

Sutcliffe, who was supposed to start yesterday against thRangers, is likely to get in his work by throwing on the sidelines today. Oates has Sutcliffe and Mussina on a schedule that would allow either to pitch the opening game of the season.

Todd Frohwirth, Jim Poole, Wayne Edwards and Jamie Moyer wilget their work by pitching in a game at the minor-league complex today.

Blown off course

Public relations director Rick Vaughn had the most interesting non-trip yesterday while trying to navigate an alternate route to Port Charlotte.

After driving through Tampa, Vaughn missed the highway turnofheading south and drove a few miles before turning back. On his way, and after being notified that the game had been called off, he found out why he overshot his mark.

The sign pointing to the southbound exit for Route 75 was layinon the ground, having been knocked down by winds that reached gale force.

Likes quicker pace

Oates said he has no objection to baseball's suggestions to speed up the game. "I don't like sitting in the dugout and watching when nothing's going on," he said.

"As long as everybody's playing by the same set of rules, it's Owith me," said Oates. "I'll never make a farce out of the game [with delaying tactics], but I want to be sure that both sides are doing the same thing."

Oates said the biggest concern with the speedup suggestions ithat they could be a burden on umpires. "You don't want them to have to make more judgments than they do already," he said.

Big events

The Orioles' third annual BaseBall Gala will be held April 3. The event features a gourmet buffet dinner and attractions from baseball's All-Star FanFest.

Tickets are $125 and dress is either black-tie or baseball attireAll proceeds will benefit the Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation and the Orioles Children's Charities. Call (410) 727-1539 for further information.

Junior Orioles

The Cal Ripken Junior Orioles program makes its debut this year. For $16, youngsters 16 and under will get tickets at a reduced rate for three selected games, participate in a Junior Orioles clinic with Ripken, win prizes and have a chance to be a pre-game batboy or batgirl.

The kit can be obtained by writing to: Cal Ripken Junior Orioles333 W. Camden St., Baltimore, Md., 21201.

Big bats at short

Through the first eight exhibition games, Oriole shortstops are hitting a combined .500. Ripken leads the team with a .571 average (8-for-14) and 16 total bases.

Manny Alexander is hitting .438 (7-for-16). He and outfieldeDamon Buford (.182) are the only Orioles who have played in all eight games.

Chito Martinez leads the team with seven RBI, while DouJennings and Ripken are tops in home runs with two each.

The Orioles have given up only 15 earned runs for a team ERA o1.89.

Alan Mills has pitched five scoreless innings and finished three games, all of them shutouts, and Williamson hasn't allowed a base runner in the five innings he's pitched.

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