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Orioles' ups and downs

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Charles Johnson -- UP -- Snubbed by All-Star manager Joe Torre on the same day he cracked career-high 20th home run. He's no Posada. Just better.

J.J. -- DOWN -- No one suffered a more tortured first half than Jason Johnson. Two days after losing his spot in the rotation, he tied Mike Boddicker's franchise record for worst start (0-8) to a season. Somebody mail this guy a break.

The Thrill -- UP -- Thursday's blown 7-0 lead was too much for W. Nushler Clark, who said it all afterward - "Good pitchers get guys out."

The schedule -- UP -- Crushed by the road in the first half, the Orioles play only 30 games away from Camden Yards in the second.

The Metallica Three -- DOWN -- Jeff Conine, Scott Erickson and Sidney Ponson forget to tell Mike Hargrove about Tuesday's New York-to-Baltimore road trip to catch a heavy metal act. Even worse, somebody forgot to tell Ponson he was supposed to pitch Thursday at noon.

Peter G. Angelos -- UP -- He and local businessman Lou Grasmick recently sponsored a powerful book-signing to honor local journalist giant John Steadman. No one who attended left unmoved.

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