A scary way to start Father's Day

When it officially became Father's Day at midnight, Orioles reliever Mark Williamson was at the hospital with his son Christopher.

During the seventh inning of Saturday night's 11-6 win over the Minnesota Twins, Williamson received a phone call in the bullpen from pitching coach Dick Bosman, who informed him of a family emergency.


Williamson dressed and quickly made it to the hospital, where Christopher, 5, was taken after having complications from a tonsillectomy he underwent early this month.

"He's doing great now," Williamson said of Christopher yesterday. "It was scary there at first. That's a parent's worst nightmare."


Williamson said he arrived home around 1:30 yesterday morning while wife Lori and Christopher spent the night at the hospital.

"They came back home before I left for the game," Williamson said. "He was smiling and doing great."

Pitching short of rest thanks to the eventful evening, Williamson threw 5 1/3 effective innings in 99-degree heat in yesterday's loss.

Father's Day memories

Manager Johnny Oates was as relaxed as a grandma rocking on the porch knitting yesterday, Day II of the lighten up-for-shut up truce with club owner Peter Angelos.

He began this Father's Day talking about his dad, the late Clint Oates.

"The last time I saw him was at the ballpark," Oates said. "We were in Atlanta when I was with the Cubs. It was a getaway day and I stopped by the backstop to say goodbye to him. I was in a hurry like you always are on getaway day. A month or so later he died of a heart attack."

One aspect of Oates' memories of playing catch with his father stuck out. "His arm hurt so bad from working construction he couldn't throw overhand," Oates said. "He had to throw sidearm."


Anderson misses start

Brady Anderson was not in the starting lineup for the first time this season. He did pinch-hit in the ninth, keeping him on a pace to play in 162 games.

"We talked and I said one of us will have to pick a day and he picked today," Oates said. "He really would like to play 162 games this year and I think that's given him a greater appreciation for what Cal has done."

The addition of Dwight Smith to the roster and the emergence of Leo Gomez gives Oates a stronger bench than at any point this season. He says he will use it.

"I'm trying to," Oates said. "[Jeff] Tackett has caught every day game lately and I'm going to continue to try to do that. I talked to NTC Leo and he's still feeling real good and doesn't need a day off."

Brainy Bufords


Orioles coach Don Buford has three sons who attended the University of Southern California. Don Jr., a former Orioles farmhand who stole 77 bases for Class-A Hagerstown in 1988, graduated from UCLA's medical school and is a resident at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. The middle son, Darryl, is studying for the bar exam.

"Yep, a doctor, a lawyer and we're working on a ballplayer," Don said.

That would be Damon, who has had three brief stints with the Orioles this season. Damon homered twice Saturday for the Rochester Red Wings in a 15-0 win.

Around the horn

Gomez's 10-game hitting streak ended when he went 0-for-3. Still, he is hitting .405 with three home runs and nine RBIs in his past 11 games. . . . The Orioles have 21 home runs in their past 14 games after hitting four in their previous 10. . . . Kent Hrbek homered for the 35th time against the Orioles, tying him with Frank Howard for seventh all-time for home runs against the Orioles. He is the leader among active players. . . . The Orioles have reached double figures in hits in eight of their past 11 games.