- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 25, 2002

BALTIMORE Since he joined the Baltimore Orioles in 1997, Mike Bordick has been linked one way or another with Cal Ripken. It was Bordick who became Ripken's permanent replacement at shortstop that season as the Iron Man moved to third base.
Now the two stand side by side as co-owners of a defensive record no other shortstops have reached. Bordick likely will pass Ripken and claim the record for himself today.
With three successfully fielded balls in the first game of yesterday's doubleheader, Bordick tied Ripken's record for consecutive errorless chances by a shortstop at 428. He was geared to pass the Orioles great (on Ripken's 42nd birthday nonetheless) but managed to play nine innings with only two assists and one putout.
"Anytime you get into a situation like that and Cal's name is brought up, it's something special," said Bordick, who has gone 80 games without an error. "I think in most people's minds, Cal is probably the greatest shortstop to play the game. So, yeah, that's special."
Bordick's excellence in the field is all the more impressive considering that he missed most of last season with a separated right shoulder and was out one month this year with a fractured kneecap.
But at 37, Bordick has become one of the game's most reliable defensive players, leading all shortstops with a .998 fielding percentage.
"He's throwing the ball better now than before his injury," manager Mike Hargrove said. "His arm strength is better now than at any time in the last five years."
Bordick was not in the starting lineup for the second game of the day-night doubleheader. He'll look to eclipse Ripken's mark, set in 1990, in today's series finale.

Matthews active, for now
Outfielder Gary Matthews Jr., who had to leave Friday's game after the first inning with a strained right wrist, was examined by a hand specialist yesterday. Tests revealed no broken bones or torn tendons, and Matthews remains on the active roster.
The club has not ruled out placing Matthews on the disabled list but will wait to make that decision.

Erickson out of rotation
Right-hander Scott Erickson, who lasted 1⅔ innings Friday night against the Blue Jays, will not make his next scheduled start Friday at Anaheim and could wind up out of the Orioles' rotation altogether.
"We will skip Scotty's next turn, at the very least," Hargrove said.
Hargrove did not name a replacement for Erickson, who has an 11.25 ERA over his last six starts, but possibilities include Rick Bauer (who started the second game last night) and minor leaguer Sean Douglass.

Chris Rock takes field
Actor/comedian Chris Rock was at Camden Yards just before the start of last night's game to film a scene for an upcoming movie. Rock, who portrays an aspiring presidential candidate throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at an Orioles game in the movie "Head of State," needed three takes (after a dozen or so practice throws an hour earlier) to get the scene right.
After each toss, the black and orange Oriole mascot danced around. Following the scene Rock told the crowd, "I love the Orioles. They're the only team with a black mascot."

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