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Van Slyke says forearm 'doesn't work'


BOSTON -- Orioles center fielder Andy Van Slyke said after last night's game that he intends to talk to a doctor about his strained left forearm.

"It's no good when you swing and it feels like a live wire in there," he said. "It doesn't work."

Van Slyke hurt his arm in the second day of his spring training tryout, but played through the injury until Tuesday, when Orioles manager Phil Regan rested him. Van Slyke said before last night's game that he felt better, but he flinched in pain on a swing in the sixth inning.

In four at-bats last night, Van Slyke singled and struck out, and is hitting .214.

Streak spoof not funny to O's

A New England columnist wrote a spoof, published yesterday, about Cal Ripken's suffering a series of improbable injuries -- including getting hurt walking through the post-game buffet -- after Tuesday's game. But the Orioles weren't laughing, in part because so many people took the story seriously.

John Maroon, the Orioles' media relations director, received almost 20 calls from newspapers, radio and television stations asking about Ripken's status, after Alan Greenberg of the Hartford Courant wrote that The Streak was in jeopardy.

"I think it's sick and stupid," said Regan. "To me, it's got to be the guy doesn't know what to write and has to make up the story."

Maroon said: "It's irresponsible and shoddy journalism, but we're not going to react to it."

Cleaning the dirt

In response to players' concerns that glass-like shards were coming up through the Camden Yards infield dirt, Regan said yesterday the dirt is being sifted and will be free of the debris when the Orioles return home tomorrow.

Some of the players, Regan said, collected a cupful of the fragments, which he said looked like green glass. "It was like a broken bottle," he said.

Buying a vowel

Harold Baines reached second base in Tuesday's game, and umpire Jim Joyce asked him, "How do you spell your name?"

Baines asked, "Why?"

Joyce: "The E is missing from your jersey."

Sure enough, the spelling of Baines' name on his back was B-A-I-N-S. He went in and changed shirts between innings, putting on one with the correct spelling.

Gomez hearing

The arbitration hearing for third baseman Leo Gomez will be in Baltimore tomorrow, with club counsel Russell Smouse and Houston Astros president Tal Smith presenting the case for the Orioles.

Gomez has asked for $1.85 million, double the Orioles' offer of $925,000.

The statistics for 1995 cannot be used in arguing the case, which is fortunate for Gomez, hitless in 20 straight at-bats and batting .143 with one RBI. He got that last night when he returned to the lineup after being benched by Regan for two games.

"Sometimes, you need to sit," Gomez said. "I think he wanted to RTC give me a chance to relax."

Around the horn

Orioles left fielder Brady Anderson singled in his first at-bat last night and pushed his hitting streak to 11 games. . . . Negotiations between the Orioles and pitcher Mike Mussina regarding a long-term deal are expected to resume today. . . . Regan and general manager Roland Hemond met yesterday to discuss the upcoming roster reduction; by Monday, the Orioles must cut their club from 28 to 25 players.

Parting shot

The choice of which Orioles cap to use requires an executive summit. This was the scene in the clubhouse two hours before last night's game:

Regan to pitcher Mike Oquist: "Mike, which hat do you think we should use, gray or black and orange?"

Oquist shrugged.

Regan said: "Hey, we've got to make decisions around here."

Catcher Matt Nokes: "I'd prefer the black and orange, myself."

Oquist: "Yeah."

Regan, smiling: "Black and orange it is."

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