- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 16, 2001

BALTIMORE Major league baseball players spend so much time on airplanes that it becomes second nature. Few if any ever gave much thought to the potential for disaster while flying from one town to another.
All that, of course, has changed since Tuesday's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. For many players, the experience of boarding an airplane may never be the same.
"You're always going to be a little nervous because of the whole situation," Baltimore Orioles reliever Buddy Groom said. "We know who we are, and we know who's on [the planes]. But [the hijackers] trained as pilots. Who's to say one of those guys couldn't be our pilot? Not that it would happen, but you never know. That would be the perfect way to wipe out a team. So, yeah, it's always going to come across your mind."
Groom and his teammates will make their next flight tomorrow when the Orioles' charter departs BWI Airport for Toronto and a three-game series with the Blue Jays starting Tuesday night. Manager Mike Hargrove discussed a few new security measures with his players during a brief meeting Thursday, but for the most part things will stay the same when the Orioles travel.
"I think it's only normal to have a little apprehension traveling," Hargrove said. "You wonder who's servicing the plane, you wonder who's handling the luggage. There are a lot of things that you have to trust other people to do their jobs correctly. But I've learned with anything in life, you can't take all the uncertainty out of it."
Though they have not played since Sunday and must wait two more days for their season to resume, the Orioles have tried to regain a sense of normalcy. They worked out at Camden Yards yesterday and will do so again today.
Tuesday's events, though, are clearly on everyone's minds.
"Everybody talks about it all the time," Hargrove said. "You start a conversation with anybody around here, and that's immediately what you're going to talk about."
Players continue to support commissioner Bud Selig's decision to postpone games through the weekend, and few could have envisioned themselves having been ready to return yesterday.
"The best decision was to not play until Monday," Groom said. "The tension of the whole country there was a need for people to soak it all in and pay our respects to all the families who lost people in this. This is the worst thing that could happen. It's worse than the Oklahoma City bombing. But we'll bounce back from it, and the country will be better off for it."
Notes The Orioles do not expect to have the rest of their schedule finalized until tomorrow at the earliest. Several dilemmas from Baltimore's standpoint have complicated Major League Baseball's general plan to reschedule lost games Oct. 2-7, most notably the Ravens' 1 p.m. home game against the Tennessee Titans on Oct. 7.
The Orioles are trying to avoid scheduling their season finale and the last game of Cal Ripken's career that day and have asked MLB to push up its makeup games to Oct. 1-6. Baseball, however, does not want to schedule any games for Oct. 1.
Fans are asked to hold on to any tickets from the past week's postponed games until the new schedule is announced. Tickets for today's scheduled Orioles-Red Sox game likely will be the ones honored for the last game of the season… .
Baltimore's extended break from baseball has allowed a few players to recover from minor injuries, but three regulars are still not ready to return to full capacity.
Outfielder/shortstop Melvin Mora has an injured right elbow and probably won't be back by Tuesday. Outfielder Chris Richard's sore left shoulder continues to prevent him from throwing with any force, but he should be able to serve as designated hitter. First baseman David Segui's ongoing right knee injury has shown no improvement, and the chances of him returning this season are dwindling.

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