Ups and downs
Phil Regan -- EVEN -- His future could hinge on whatever he says to owner Peter Angelos when they meet.
Randy Smith -- UP -- The front-runner if (or when) Hemond is replaced as GM.
Mike Mussina -- UP -- For him to maintain his concentration over the entire, terrible season is remarkable.
Rafael Palmeiro -- UP -- One of the AL's 10 best players in 1995, and its second-best left-handed hitter. (Sorry, Will.)
Scott Erickson -- UP -- Going into September, whether the Orioles would re-sign him seemed a tossup. Now it's a must.
The Orioles -- DOWN -- What went wrong? Well, let us count the ways . . .
"I guess I'm an optimist, but I'm under the assumption I'm coming back. I have a contract for [the 1996 season]. I hear a lot of rumors [about getting fired], but I don't deal in rumors."
Manager Phil Regan
Stat of the week
The Orioles have outscored their opponents in the first, second, third, fourth and sixth innings this season -- suggesting the bullpen has been a primary reason the Orioles will finish the year with a sub-.500 record.
The week ahead
Organizational meetings. In the Orioles' case, this is a euphemism for making a last, best argument, rather than the mere discussion of player performance and personnel evaluation and the future of the club. Regan will have to make a case -- and there's evidence -- that this team was fated to mediocrity because of problems in the bullpen, the rotation and at second base. Hemond's future may hinge on what Regan says: If Angelos determines that the Orioles' late stretch drive is an indication of how the club will play next year, the owner may not want to send his team into another elongated period of transition. He knows Hemond, knows how he works, knows how to deal with him. On the other hand, if Angelos thinks improvement must be accomplished under the expertise of somebody else, Hemond will be gone.
Scott Erickson shut out Toronto with 91 pitches Wednesday, the fewest pitches required for a complete game by anyone in the AL this year. He surpassed Mike Mussina's 100-pitch effort in May, when Mussina beat Cleveland.
That night, the Blue Jays started a lineup in which eight of nine players had played in the minor leagues sometime in the last two years.
The effective exile of reliever Armando Benitez, who, at the end of a disappointing season, has not pitched since Sept. 10.
A move that paid off ...
Promoting Jimmy Haynes to the majors and giving him three starts gave the Orioles an encouraging view of their future; Haynes will be a member of the O's rotation next year -- perhaps in April.
... and one the didn't
The late promotions of all those relievers looks like overkill, now that there are so many bodies sitting around, waiting for an opportunity to pitch. This can't be good for Joe Borowski, Jamie Moyer, Mike Hartley, Benitez, et al.