ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Keeping His Finger on The Pulse

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By Dave Sheinin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 7, 2005

ARLINGTON, Tex., Aug. 6 -- Sam Perlozzo, the Baltimore Orioles' interim manager, walked through the clubhouse before Saturday's game, asking players how they were feeling, telling others when they might expect a day off and, in general, taking the team's temperature. Many players thus had more interaction with their manager in those 10 minutes than they did in the previous few months with his predecessor.

"That's me," he explained. "I might not be the smartest guy in the world or the best manager in the world. But one thing I like to do is talk to my people and let them know I care about them and keep them as informed as I can."

Perlozzo, who took over for Lee Mazzilli on Thursday, has vowed to rest some regulars, many of whom he believes are worn down. On Saturday, third baseman Melvin Mora sat out a second straight game with a sprained ankle and center fielder Luis Matos was also benched, despite a .455 career average against Texas.

Shortstop Miguel Tejada, whose consecutive-games-played streak is up to 866, will not be held out of the lineup, but might spend some time at designated hitter. . . .

Perlozzo said catcher Geronimo Gil, on the disabled list with a sprained thumb, might not rejoin the team until rosters expand on Sept. 1.

Rangers Honor Oates

The Rangers retired the late Johnny Oates's No. 26 uniform in a ceremony that included past stars such as Nolan Ryan, Will Clark and Jeff Zimmerman, as well as Oates's widow, Gloria.

Oates, who guided the Rangers to three division titles between 1995 and 2001, passed away on Christmas Eve after a long battle with brain cancer. He managed the Orioles from 1991 to '94.


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