Jim Palmer has a bad back again, and this time he can't blame Earl Weaver for getting on it.

Palmer was put on the 21-day disabled list today, retroactive to April 29.

The Orioles said he has an ailing muscle in the lower right side of his back and a stiff neck.

Asked if he wanted to talk about it, Palmer said, "Hell, no, why bore anybody?"

Manager Joe Altobelli said Palmer was "having problems in spring training, but I think he thought it was just a matter of time and would work itself out. Unfortunately, it never did."

Palmer missed his first starting assignment, pitched two good games and then was ineffective in Oakland April 26.

After passing up a scheduled start in Seattle Sunday, Palmer went to Boston, where he was examined by orthopedic surgeon Arthur Pappas, who prescribed therapy and told Palmer not to throw for at least 10 days.

Before tonight's scheduled game against California, Palmer shagged flies in the outfield. He bent over somewhat awkwardly to pick up balls off the ground, then threw with an easy motion.

"It's not the arm that's bothering him," Altobelli said. "He said he can do everything on a small scale, even throw. I'll wait for Jim to tell me when he can go again."

Storm Davis, who threw a complete-game victory in Seattle, will take Palmer's place in the rotation.