SPORTS ROUND-UP:

Orioles Struggle; City Gains New Teams
by Darrell K. Carter
       The first quarter saw the Baltimore Orioles amass a 17-23 win/loss record, compared to an 18-22 win/loss record in the first 40 games of last season. First quarter results translated into ticket buyer jitters, as daily attendance dropped near 7,000 per game. Also, the first quarter signaled the end of Cal Ripken’s full-time playing status when manager Mike Hargrove informed Ripken that he would share third base with Jeff Conine and Mike Kincade.

       Pitching improved without former ace Mike Mussina. In 2000, pitchers gave up 6.0 runs per game in the first quarter, compared to 4.6 runs this season.

       Chris Richard has been the most valuable offensive player thus far, and pitcher Jason Johnson has excelled in the starting rotation. Rookie pitcher Willis Roberts won his first four decisions (one in relief) and faulted in his next three starts, though only given up one home run in 43 innings.

       Veterans Delino Deshields, Brady Anderson, Ripken, and Brooke Fordyce were disappointing, hitting around the .200 mark. David Segui went on the disabled list early, and veterans Greg Myers and Jeff Conine contributed off the bench. It’s almost certain that for the second time in two years a clubhouse purge of veterans will happen before the trade deadline of July 31.

       Boxing

       Baltimore native and heavy weight champion Hasim Rahman shocked the boxing world twice in a matter of weeks. Rahman’s straight right hand to Lennox Lewis’s jaw in South Africa unseated Lewis as the International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Council champion. Then, Rahman surprised everyone when he signed with promoter Don King.

       Promoter Cedric Kushner and boxer Lennox Lewis filed separate lawsuit against Rahman and King. A U.S. District court judge in New York will hear both lawsuits on June 12. Lewis claims Rahman breached his rematch agreement, while Kushner is suing Rahman for breach of contract. Also, Kushner is suing King for coercing Rahman to sign a four-fight deal for $75 million while under contract. The Hasim Rahman camp contends that Kushner voided his contract when he did not pay $75,000 prior to the Lewis fight. Don King said Rahman will battle Australian Brian Nelson in August and will face the winner of the Evander Holyfield v. John Ruiz contest for the World Boxing Association championship.

       Women’s College Lacrosse

       The University of Maryland women’s lacrosse team won the NCAA championship in grand fashion. The Terps women concluded their undefeated season (23-0) by winning their seventh consecutive NCAA Lacrosse Championship, thereby maintaining their 43-game winning streak. Allison Comito scored in double overtime to give Maryland the 14-13 championship win over Georgetown. Georgetown had scored 11 goals to tie the game at 12, forcing the first overtime.

       Women’s Football

       Baltimore has a new entry on the sports scene—the Baltimore Burn of the newly formed National Women’s Football League. The ten-team league fields teams in Northern and Southern divisions. Each team plays four games at home and four games on the road. Joining the Burn in the Northern Division are the DC Divas, Philadelphia Liberty Bells, Connecticut Crush, and Massachusetts Mutiny.

       Burn games are played at the Community College of Baltimore County at Dundalk. The Burn will host the Crush on June 10 at 1:05 p.m. and the Mutiny on June 23 at 7:05 p.m. Tickets prices are $12 on game day, with students ages 8-17 and seniors ages 55+ $8 and children under age 8 $5. For further information call 410-488-2428.

       Professional Lacrosse

       The Baltimore Bayhawks will be one of six teams in the new Major League Lacrosse League. Joining the Bayhawks are the Long Island Lizards, New Jersey Pride, Bridgeport Barrage, Rochester Rattlers and Boston Cannons. Bayhawks games will be played on Homewood Field, at Johns Hopkins University. For further information call 866-99Hawks.

 


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This story was published on May 30, 2001.