Alomar Back in Orioles’ Lineup

Times Wire Services

The Baltimore Orioles won their first four games and are 4-1 with Jeff Reboulet as their second baseman.

Today in Kansas City, the first team is back together.

Roberto Alomar would prefer to blend into the background when the Orioles open Kansas City’s home season, but nobody is going to let him. He’ll bat second, play his first game with shortstop Mike Bordick--they had only three exhibitions together because of Alomar’s ankle injury--and take what comes.

It will probably be loud.

It will be Alomar’s first game after serving a five-game suspension for spitting in the face of umpire John Hirschbeck on Sept. 23, 1996 in Toronto. The incident created an ugly, divisive affair just as baseball seemed to be repairing damage to its image caused by the 1994 strike.


Umpires were incensed when AL President Gene Budig allowed Alomar to remain in the lineup during Baltimore’s chase for a wild-card berth, saying the suspension would take effect at the start of this season.

Amid the controversy, Alomar hit clutch home runs that helped the Orioles reach the playoffs and advance to the second round.

He was booed everywhere but in Baltimore. Even the few at-bats he had in spring training were booed. He is in Kansas City, but not registered in a hotel in his own name.

After being with the Orioles on opening day, he went back to Florida to continue rehabilitation on the ankle.

He steadfastly maintains the entire incident is behind him.

“I don’t want to talk about it. I’ve already said what I have to say about the whole situation,” he repeated recently. “I’m just going to think about baseball.”