Orioles' ups and downs


Ray Miller - UP - The supposed lame-duck skipper oversaw the American League's longest winning streak this season as his charges make a belated run at .500 and third place. Suddenly, warehouse whispers are heard that Peter Angelos might be rethinking this firing stuff.

Cal Ripken - DOWN - Ripken's splendid, even inspirational season ended Thursday on an orthopedic surgeon's table in Cleveland. After hitting .340 with the team's highest slugging percentage, he's stuck on 2,991 hits for 6 1/2 months. Did someone on Eutaw Street say marketing opportunity?

Matt Riley - DOWN - The 20-year-old supposedly throws three pitches. He only needed one more to get his first major-league win Thursday vs. Oakland. After dealing 55 strikes and seven walks in 112 pitches, the rook shouldn't be shocked at Miller's hook. It's a pennant race for some people. This September experiment looks a little premature.

Michael Reghi - UP - Despite recent shots from sports page remote users, HTS' straight man remains an industry oddity -- a non-player who refuses to serve as a club's cable mouthpiece.

Doug Johns - DOWN - World's biggest Cowboys fan, he didn't even get points and a room rate when he checked in unannounced in Arlington last week.

Postseason brokering - UP - With their last 14 games against playoff contenders, the surging Orioles serve as kingmakers. They can help deny the Yankees the league's best record or the Red Sox a wild-card berth. Neither is likely, but it beats a repeat of last year's Dead Man's Float.

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