Gomez says he sympathizes with Sabo


Chris Sabo's words of discontent were harsh but the effect on the atmosphere in the Orioles' clubhouse has been unnoticeable.

Among other things, Sabo said Leo Gomez, the man who moved him off of third base, is "no Mike Schmidt."

Dissension over Sabo going public with his dissatisfaction and requesting a trade? None is evident.

Gomez, for one, didn't flinch.

"I understand what he's going through," Gomez said before his 11-game hitting streak ended last night. "The same thing happened to me when I got hurt. They played [Tim] Hulett there and he played great. I wanted to play so bad."

Now, Gomez comes to the ballpark every day assured he will see his name in the lineup.

"I feel like part of the team now," Gomez said. "It's hard to feel like part of the team when you aren't playing."

Gomez, who would have welcomed a trade during spring training, never has felt better about wearing an Orioles uniform.

"It's a funny game," Gomez said. "I hope it stays like this all year. I'm feeling real good and I'm swinging at my pitch now."

Sabo, who sat out last night, is letting his trade request do his talking. "I'm through talking," he said. "Now I'm waiting for action."

Said Orioles manager Johnny Oates: "I can think of 13 guys who asked to be traded since I've been here. None of them left because they requested it."

Hammonds update

Outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds, who was sidelined all of May, will report to Florida next week for extended spring training, Oates said.

Oates said the plan is for Hammonds, who is recovering from a strained knee ligament, to play catch early in the week, then hopefully get a number of at-bats at the end of the week. The team hopes to have him back when it returns from a six-game road trip on June 13.

"We'll see where he is when we get back," said Oates.

The Klingenbeck Era, Day II

Scott Klingenbeck spent part of his day taking a baseball around the clubhouse and having the Orioles autograph it.

After limiting the Detroit Tigers to four runs (three earned) in seven innings in his major-league debut Thursday, Klingenbeck went to dinner with family members who had driven in from Cincinnati. Then he returned to his apartment in Annapolis to talk about his debut with a few of his Double-A teammates.

A decision on where Klingenbeck will make his next start will not come until after Ben McDonald (strained groin) tests his injury in fielding drills today.

If all goes well, and McDonald receives a medical clearance, he will be scheduled for a Tuesday start in Kansas City.

+ Right-hander Kevin McGehee,

removed from the 40-man roster to make room for Klingenbeck, cleared waivers yesterday and was assigned to Rochester.

Rhodes bypassed

Why didn't left-hander Arthur Rhodes, who is 2-0 with a 4.40 ERA and has five walks and 17 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings since being demoted to Triple-A Rochester, make the start Thursday?

"We talked about Arthur, but if we brought him up for just one start and it's a good start, he might be upset to go back down," Orioles assistant general manager Doug Melvin said. "If he pitches bad, it might wipe out what we've accomplished in the minors."

Melvin said there is a good chance Klingenbeck will go to Rochester instead of back to Bowie.

Sticks to your ribs

Robin Ventura's 398-foot fourth-inning homer hit the side of the Bambino's Ribs eatery just off the Eutaw Street corridor. Ventura's homer was the first to land on that spot, and just missed becoming the fifth ball to land on the corridor.

Around the horn

Brady Anderson hit his first homer in 20 games, dating back to April 27, and stole his 13th base in 14 attempts. . . . Rafael Palmeiro's batting average jumped 10 points to .342 after he went 3-for-3. . . . Former Oriole Bob Milacki is scheduled to pitch against his former team in the final game of the Kansas City series Wednesday.

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