Orioles' ups and downs


Doppler Radar - DOWN - The meteorologist's "green mass" didn't engulf Camden Yards until 10 p.m. Wednesday. Too bad crew chief Durwood Merrill called the game on account of rain 2 1/2 hours earlier. Look at the bright side. The Orioles expanded their refund policy, school kids got to bed on time and Joe Torre dined in Little Italy.

Injuries - DOWN - Delino DeShields, Cal Ripken, Arthur Rhodes, Doug Johns, Brady Anderson, Scott Erickson and Jason Johnson were either missing or limited in the final week. Rookie Matt Riley and laboring Sidney Ponson were reluctantly given starts. Make it stop.

Albert Belle - UP- The AL Player of the Month entered the weekend with 30 RBIs in the month, tying the club's September record. Hey, save a few for next April.

Sidney Ponson - DOWN- Manager Ray Miller has told the amply talented Ponson to avoid "Rocky Coppinger Disease." The condition can lead to a swollen ERA and unexpected trips to Rochester and Milwaukee. To be avoided at all costs.

The Riley experiment - DOWN- By the time Riley, 20, arrived, an innings overload had robbed him of velocity, proper mechanics and, not surprisingly, confidence. Three starts of 4 2/3 innings or less suggested exposure to Triple-A next season wouldn't be a bad thing.

Ernie Tyler - UP- Today, the Orioles' umpire attendant works his 3,201st consecutive home game. A gold star to anyone who merely toughed out this season's 81.

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