Benched trio awaits its '96 fate Manto, Barberie, Moyer sit and hope


The Orioles' housecleaning will begin when the season ends tomorrow, but a few players already have received the cold shoulder.

Jeff Manto, Bret Barberie and Jamie Moyer have not played since the middle of September. They all want to come back next season, but can't do anything about it if they're not playing.

"I'm definitely frustrated," said third baseman Manto, who last started Sept. 15. "I'm sure there's a reasoning behind it. Do I deserve to play? I think so."

Manto's 17 home runs have been a pleasant surprise for the Orioles. Manto has said he finally proved he belongs in the big leagues. But he hasn't played much of late.

"As soon as I try to read into it, I start to drive myself crazy," Manto said. "I did what I was supposed to do this year, you just hope for the best next year."

For second baseman Barberie, it has been a disappointing season. He has hit .242 in 89 games after hitting .300 with the Florida Marlins in 1994.

"When Manny [Alexander] went down, I was hoping I would have gotten a lot more time than I did," said Barberie, who hasn't started since Sept. 16.

As for next season, Barberie said it is out of his control.

Moyer (8-6, 5.21 ERA) made 15 straight starts before making a bullpen appearance Sept. 16. The team's fourth-winningest pitcher hasn't made another since.

Moyer said he recognizes the importance of giving prospects, such as his replacement, Jimmy Haynes, the opportunity to pitch. Moyer's focus is on the future.

"I think I can pitch and can be a part of this club," Moyer said.

Price for Smith?

San Diego club officials are considering the possibility of exercising a 1996 option on the contract of general manger Randy Smith, who resigned Tuesday.

That way the Padres could force any team interested in hiring Smith -- like the Orioles -- to give up compensation.

'96 schedule announced

The Orioles announced their 1996 schedule, which opens April 1 at home against Kansas City and ends Sept. 29 in Toronto.

(The Sun will run the complete schedule in tomorrow's editions.)

The April 1 Opening Day is the earliest in club history; the Sept. 29 finale is the earliest closing date since 1975. Game times and ticket information will be announced at a later date.

Trammell thanks Mussina

Alan Trammell approached Mike Mussina before last night's game, thanking Mussina for grooving fastballs to him and Lou Whitaker in what was probably their final plate appearances at Tiger Stadium.

"I told him I appreciated it," said Trammell, who has played in an American League-record 1,917 games with Whitaker.

Around the horn

The Tigers will hold a news conference Monday at 10 a.m. in Detroit, presumably to announce the official parting of ways with longtime manager Sparky Anderson. . . . Orioles general manager Roland Hemond presented Harold Baines with a silver bat in a pre-game ceremony honoring Baines' 300th home run. . . . The Tigers have played 17 straight games in less than three hours.

Hits and misses

On the field: Bobby Bonilla's fourth-inning triple extended his hitting streak to 18 games, which matches the longest of his career.

In the dugout: Jeff Huson led off and started at second base for the second straight game last night. Huson singled after going hitless in his first eight leadoff at-bats.

In the clubhouse: Orioles manager Phil Regan said he did not know when he would be meeting with owner Peter Angelos to discuss his future and the future of the team. "No news is good news," Regan said, jokingly.

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