Bowie Baysox starter Matt Riley has pulled out of the Pan American Games, removing himself from the team of minor leaguers who will attempt to qualify the United States for the 2000 Summer Olympics.
The 19-year-old left-hander could have missed up to two weeks between the tryouts for the Games, which start Thursday, and the competition itself beginning July 24 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Bowie spokesman Dave Collins said Riley "elected not to participate in the Pan Am Games" because he didn't want to do anything to upset Bowie's success.
The Baysox (50-39) are in second place in the Southern Division at the all-star break, one-half game behind Erie. Collins, as well as others in the Bowie and Baltimore Orioles front office, said that Riley was not pressured to drop out of the Pan Am Games, in which the top two teams qualify for the Olympics in Sydney, the first to feature pro players.
Riley was unavailable for comment. He pitched in Sunday's All-Star Futures game in Boston, but Bowie Manager Joe Ferguson last week pulled him from tonight's AA All-Star game in Mobile, Ala., concerned that Riley would become overworked.
The Baysox still will lose three players to the Pan Am Games. Pitchers Maximo Heredia and Carlos Medina plus catcher Cesar Devarez are scheduled to play for the Dominican Republic.