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Orioles Notebook

Williams Is Quietly Effective

By Jorge Arangure Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 14, 2005; Page D10

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., April 13 -- Baltimore Orioles reliever Todd Williams doesn't mind that most people have no idea who he is. As long as he's pitching well, he'll accept the anonymity.

"That's perfectly fine with me," he said. "I've never been one to go get attention."

Baltimore Orioles Luis Matos. (Charles Krupa -- AP)

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Wednesday night, Williams pitched his fifth scoreless inning of the season, despite yielding his first hit and first walk of the year. His two-inning stint Tuesday helped the Orioles win the first game of the three-game series against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

"He's an important guy, that's what he is," Baltimore Manager Lee Mazzilli said. "[Tuesday] night was evident."

Williams is neither a setup man nor a long reliever. He falls somewhere in between.

"I look at the guys we have in the bullpen and the way it shapes up, anytime you're in there, you're helping the team," Williams said.

It is the first time since 1998 that Williams has begun the season on the same team with which he ended the previous year -- though that was in the minor leagues.

Williams earned a job this year by registering a 2.87 ERA in 31 1/3 innings last season.

"Even in the spring there was a comfort level," Williams said. "You don't have to prove yourself. I was already known by people."

Head's Up for Parrish

Reliever John Parrish arrived in the clubhouse Wednesday with a shaved head.

"No particular reason," Parrish said. "It makes me faster. I run in faster from the bullpen. It was sort of a dare." . . .

Center fielder Luis Matos took blame for turning a fly ball into a run-scoring error in the fourth inning of Tuesday's game. Matos said he never saw right fielder Sammy Sosa because he didn't want to take his eye off the ball for fear of losing it in the roof of Tropicana Field. Matos lunged for the ball, which deflected off his glove for a two-base error. Sosa stood behind Matos and had a clear view of the ball.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company