Mussina OK with his first All-Star miss


TORONTO -- It doesn't bother Mike Mussina that for the first time in his four-plus-year career he isn't a member of the AL All-Star team.

"It's obviously an accomplishment," said Mussina, a member of the 1992, '93 and '94 AL teams. "I don't start out in spring training [aiming] to make the All-Star team. At least that's not my goal for the year. If your focus was the All-Star team, then your season stops in the middle of July."

If Mussina were to win his last two starts before the All-Star break, he would have nine wins and be on a pace to have 19 victories in a 144-game season. But he effectively lost any chance of being an All-Star on June 18, when he gave up six runs in one-plus inning against Detroit.

But Mussina, who has won his past two starts, said he thinks that brutal game in Detroit has a value for him. "I could have nine or 10 wins by the break because of what happened," Mussina said. "It may actually make me a better pitcher, because it made me realize what was going wrong. If I make the All-Star team, it hides it even more.

"Greg Maddux didn't make the All-Star team two years ago, and he won the Cy Young Award."

Knuckler for Mussina?

Mussina, incidentally, has been practicing a knuckleball. "I've got a pretty good one," he said, showing off the grip. "I threw one in high school, because I couldn't throw my changeup. . . . You always try to work on something."

Mussina said he was tempted to throw a knuckler to Boston center fielder Lee Tinsley during the last homestand, but didn't because catcher Chris Hoiles didn't have a sign for it. "I might've featured it," Mussina said, smiling.

No word on Fernandez

Orioles manager Phil Regan said he hasn't talked with Sid Fernandez since telling the left-hander he was being moved to the bullpen. Fernandez has been thinking about retiring.

"He's got to work that out for himself," Regan said.

The manager acknowledged that Fernandez's role with the team now is as the long reliever -- translated, the No. 12 pitcher on a 12-man staff. "It is right now," Regan said. "I think always the tTC bottom line is competition. You have to produce. He's had a lot of chances, and now we've got to do something else.

"That's not to say that working out of the bullpen won't work [for Fernandez]. . . . Sometimes you go down and out of the rotation, and work out those things."

Goodwin HR no worry to Regan

In the wake of rookie Curtis Goodwin's first career homer, Regan said he wasn't worried about the rookie trying to hit homers. He recalled that during the last homestand, Goodwin hit a homer in batting practice, turned to Regan and said, "That's just an accident."

Regan said: "I think he knows what he can do and what he can't do."

Moyer update

Orioles left-hander Jamie Moyer, who rushed home from Saturday's game to be with his wife, Karen, who is expecting their third child at any time, apparently could have taken his time.

Teammates had not heard any baby news before departing Toronto last evening.

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