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Armando Benitez -- DOWN -- Orioles need to know if he can handle adversity. Getting sent down is adversity.

Manny Alexander -- UP -- Could be at second base to stay.

Ben McDonald -- WHO KNOWS -- Got a $1.3 million call after arbitrator's ruling, but hard to believe O's won't sever ties unless he starts pitching like Cy Young candidate.

Jeff Manto -- UP -- Not eligible for Comeback Player, or Rookie of

The Year. We'll think of something.

Rafael Palmeiro -- UP -- He's hitting regularly and making a concerted effort to work with the younger players. Two thumbs up.


"When I get traded, it'll be the greatest thing that ever happened to me, and if it's to an American League team, I'm going to stick it [to the Orioles].

Pitcher Brad Pennington, after the Orioles designated him for assignment Thursday

Stat of the Week

The Orioles have given up four grand slams since May 25, two by Armando Benitez. During the 3,948 innings of his career, Jim Palmer never gave up a grand slam.

The week ahead

At Cleveland (Monday-Wednesday): The O's lost two of three to the Indians in May, getting shut down by Dennis Martinez and Orel Hershiser. Mike Mussina pitched a three-hitter for the Orioles' victory. The O's did a tremendous job against the meat of the Cleveland lineup, holding Kenny Lofton to 1-for-8, Albert Belle 0-for-10 and Carlos Baerga 2-for-10. Orioles will start their Big Three of Kevin Brown, Mussina and McDonald, so they would hope to get a couple of wins out of this series. Hope.

At Detroit (Friday-Sunday): A ninth-inning collapse by the bullpen cost the Orioles a game against the Tigers May 16, but the Orioles came back to win the last two games of the series. Tigers playing better than expected, but this is kind of series the Orioles need to win to make up ground on the Red Sox. Two of three or a sweep.

The good

There are times when you hardly notice Harold Baines. Shows up every day, gets a couple of hits and goes home without saying much. Old Reliable.

The bad

That Sunday night loss to the Athletics, all those walks, those 14 runs, the two homers allowed to Craig Paquette, including the grand slam ... That was bad.

The ugly

The Wednesday night loss to Seattle, those nine runs in the eighth inning, the grand slam homer by Edgar Martinez, the enraged Benitez throwing at Tino Martinez, the benches clearing ... That was ugly.

A move that paid off...

The addition of Curtis Goodwin has been a major plus for the Orioles' offense. In his first week with the team, he had six multi-hit games.

...and one that didn't

To think that the Orioles were thinking about using the 22-year-old Benitez in the closer's role. He's ready physically, but not yet mentally.

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