FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Former Orioles great Frank Robinson has been struggling to find a job since he was fired as the Orioles assistant general manager in December.
"I don't know what it is," Robinson said yesterday, from his California home. "It's like the door has been closed, and I don't even exist."
Robinson talked with San Diego CEO Larry Lucchino -- formerly the president of the Orioles -- about a front office job with the Padres. One possibility was a position in which Robinson would work out of his home, but that didn't work out.
FTC Robinson said he hasn't spoken with Lucchino since Jan. 3. Since then, Robinson has called two teams about openings. First, Robinson called the Arizona Diamondbacks, speaking with Joe Garagiola Jr., and Garagiola told him that maybe something will become available next year.
Robinson then called Don Baylor, a manager with the Rockies, and Baylor didn't know of any openings in the organization.
At one time, Robinson was looked upon as a possible successor to former Orioles GM Roland Hemond. But by the time Hemond resigned last October, it was apparent Robinson would either be replaced or have to accept a position with little authority on player moves.
Shortly after Pat Gillick took over as Orioles GM, Robinson was told his contract would not be renewed. According to a league source, Robinson and Hemond were both given six months' severance pay.
Hammonds on way out?
Jeffrey Hammonds continues to play inconsistently, and the idea of moving him in a trade is being entertained within the organization. He's had a couple of good days at the plate, but has performed poorly on defense at times, and yesterday was his worst game of the spring.
Hammonds, playing center field, made one good running catch. He also misjudged a bloop that landed in front of him for a hit, and then a ground single bounced off his glove, and the runners advanced on the error. In his three at-bats, Hammonds grounded to third, struck out swinging and grounded out to first on a check swing.
A GM with another team said he's hearing the Orioles are concerned about Hammonds' early showing; Orioles manager Davey Johnson said two weeks ago he thought Hammonds appeared to be a little behind the other position players.
Jimmy Haynes started and got through the first inning with the help of his curveball. He threw a sharp breaking ball to strike out Jose Canseco. But that was his only good curve of the day -- he allowed six hits and three runs in two innings.
"I made some good pitches," he said after the Orioles' 12-0 loss to Boston, "but some I left up and over the middle of the plate. After that one to Canseco, my curveball didn't have the snap or bite I'd want it to have."
The Orioles allowed one walk in the first 24 innings, three runs in their first three games of spring, and new pitching coach Pat Dobson looked like a genius. Now, after the Red Sox pounded the O's for 12 runs . . . "an idiot," Dobson said, shrugging his shoulders.
Former Orioles left-hander Jamie Moyer, who has been having a great spring for the Red Sox and is the front-runner to be Boston's No. 5 man in the rotation, started yesterday and threw four good innings, allowing one hit and one walk and requiring a total of 33 pitches.
The Orioles didn't extend any offers to Moyer after last season. "I'm not bitter or upset or angry or any of the above," he said. "The only thing I would've liked is to know why."
A repentant Weaver
Earl Weaver, selected for the Hall of Fame on Tuesday, met with the media yesterday, and said he cringes when he views tapes of his tirades against umpires. "Those incidents are still kind of embarrassing," he said. "When I see the clips, I say, 'How could I do that?' "
Around the horn
Mike Mussina's strained stomach muscle feels better, but isn't healed. "I don't have Mr. Miyagi in my corner," he said, referring to the mystical mentor in the movie "The Karate Kid." Mussina may try to throw in a couple of days and thinks he might be out a week, but nobody really knows how long he'll be sidelined. . . . B. J. Surhoff continues to improve at third. "It looks like he gets better every day," said assistant GM Kevin Malone. . . . Catcher Gregg Zaun was hammered by a foul ball in the first inning, but stayed in the game despite a delay of a couple of minutes. . . . Predictably, Johnson wasn't happy with the Orioles' showing yesterday. "Basically, the Red Sox were working on their base running and we were working on our cutoff plays," he said sarcastically. . . . Dobson said Arthur Rhodes and Alan Mills, recovering from shoulder surgery, felt OK after pitching in a B game Tuesday. Rhodes had a little stiffness, Mills none whatsoever. "I'd have to say that the way it's been going," Dobson said, "barring any setbacks, I think they may have a pretty good chance of starting the season [with the Orioles]." Rhodes and Mills will pitch in another B game on March 9, and after that Dobson intends to use them in regular exhibitions. . . . Johnson on the play of Sherman Obando at first: "He's not Baryshnikov over there. But except for getting picked off [in Tuesday's exhibition], he's done the job."
Ups and downs
Highlights and lowlights from the Orioles' 12-0 exhibition loss to the Red Sox yesterday:
Ups Mark Smith had another hit, improving his spring average to .429.
Downs The Orioles managed just five hits, dropping their spring batting average to .241.
The Orioles committed three errors; Bill Ripken made his second error of the spring.
The pitching staff was pounded, starting with Jimmy Haynes (six hits and three runs in two innings), all the way to Jesse Orosco (five hits and three runs in a third of an inning).
The O's outfielders battled the sun, and lost. Brady Anderson lost a fly ball, and Jeffrey Hammonds misjudged a bloop to short center field.
The Red Sox totaled 18 hits, including tremendous homers by Mo Vaughn and Milt Cuyler. Dwayne Hosey and John Valentin had two doubles apiece.
Pub Date: 3/07/96