- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 20, 2002

BALTIMORE Jay Gibbons has become comfortably numb emphasis on comfortably.
A day after removing himself from a game in Toronto when he lost feeling in his surgically repaired right wrist, Gibbons was back at first base last night, relieved to learn there was nothing seriously wrong with him and grateful to be feeling no pain thanks to some numbing medicine.
A doctor's visit yesterday revealed no structural damage in Gibbons' wrist, which was operated on last August after he broke his hamate bone. The second-year slugger feared that torn cartilage might be causing the aches he had experienced lately, but he learned yesterday that the problem was a leftover suture that never dissolved after last year's surgery.
"There's a little bump on the scar that's causing nerve irritation," Gibbons said. "I just need to take some anti-inflammatories."
Gibbons said he will probably receive another shot for the pain in a week. At the end of the season, he'll get the bothersome stitch removed.
"Right now I'm feeling like a million bucks," Gibbons said. "Hopefully, it stays that way."
Mora is a thrill
In the two games since Mike Bordick fractured his kneecap and landed on the 15-day disabled list, Melvin Mora's return to shortstop has been an adventure.
Mora, who has made starts at five different positions this year but mostly plays the outfield, made a two-base throwing error in the first inning Wednesday at Toronto. He also had one on Tuesday.
In all, six of Mora's nine errors this season have come at short. Nonetheless, Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said he wasn't concerned over Mora's uneasy transition back into the infield.
"His first shot was back on turf," Hargrove said. "The ball comes at you a lot quicker. I expect him to be better on natural turf. He's played the position before. Melvin's a good athlete. He'll get it."
Mora batted leadoff for the second straight game last night after getting hit by pitches three times Thursday. The abuse boosted Mora's on-base percentage to .348, a low total but still the best among Orioles regulars.
"I'm not advocating that he get hit, but whatever it takes," Hargrove said jokingly.
Extra bases
After missing Wednesday night's game in Toronto to attend a memorial service for friend and former Indians trainer Jimmy Warfield, Hargrove was back in the dugout last night.
He admitted he couldn't keep his mind off the team while away. He even tried calling to check in during Thursday's game but did so too late.
"Obviously, I thought about the game continually," Hargrove said. "I don't like to call in the middle of a ballgame. I called at exactly 9:46 thinking I'd catch the last part of the game. I was surprised that the game was over."
Claudio Reyna, captain of the U.S. men's soccer team that finished eighth at the World Cup, was honored before last night's game.

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