- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 7, 2002

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Baltimore Orioles pitcher John Parrish will likely miss the 2002 season after an MRI test yesterday revealed the 24-year-old has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Parrish, who was trying to make the Orioles' Opening Day roster as the third left-hander in the bullpen, was injured during Tuesday's exhibition game against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers. Trying to avoid a baserunner caught in a rundown, Parrish planted his right foot awkwardly and said he heard his knee pop.
He returned to Fort Lauderdale with the team Tuesday evening and underwent the MRI, still hoping the injury was not serious. But upon arriving at the stadium yesterday morning, Parrish was told he had a torn ACL and will need reconstructive surgery.
The Orioles are not putting a timetable on his return until the surgery is performed in three weeks, but recovery from this type of injury is typically four to six months meaning at best Parrish might make a few minor league rehabilitation appearances in August or September.
He'll remain in Florida for the next three weeks, working with Orioles trainer Richie Bancells and waiting for the fluid in his knee to be drained before returning to Baltimore to undergo surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
"We don't have any idea how long he'll be out," manager Mike Hargrove said. "He has very little swelling there, but he'll have it surgically repaired and once we get that done, we'll get a prognosis on how long he'll be out. But for the indefinite future, he's not going to be available."
The injury occurred during a fine defensive play by Parrish in the eighth inning against the Twins. With a runner on second and one out, Parrish reached far to his right to snag a sharp grounder. With Minnesota's Dustan Mohr hung up between second and third base, Parrish ran straight at the runner, forced him back to the bag and then threw to Jerry Hairston.
Anticipating a rundown, Parrish tried to get out of the baseline but instead fell to the ground clutching his right leg. He had to be helped off the field by Hargrove and Bancells.
"It's pretty disappointing," Parrish said. "I go out and play hard every time, and I'm not going to ever stop playing hard. I just hope to go through an extensive rehab and come back stronger."
Said Hargrove: "It was really a freak thing. He didn't twist it, he just stopped. He got the guy caught in a rundown between second and third, gave the ball up to the second baseman, did everything the way you're supposed to do it. He went to stop, and when he did, it popped. He's got to be disappointed. We're disappointed. John was having a good camp."
Parrish has pitched in 24 games for the Orioles during the past two seasons and owns a career 3-6 record and 6.79 ERA. He made 16 appearances during three visits in the majors last year and battled control problems. But he came to camp this spring impressing the organization with a livelier fastball that was routinely clocked in the mid-90s.
"I've been feeling really good," he said. "My timing's there, my mechanics are there, everything was going good."
Parrish was competing against fellow left-handers John Bale and Sean Runyan for a spot in the Baltimore bullpen, though Hargrove said yesterday that Parrish had only "an outside chance" of making the Opening Day roster.
"He was in the mix, and he has good stuff," Hargrove said, "but John's bugaboo has always been his lack of command with his fastball."
Orioles catcher Brook Fordyce was the recipient of good news yesterday: The results of a biopsy taken last week showed no signs of cancer. That came as a major relief for Fordyce, who on Jan.23 ruptured an artery between his esophagus and stomach at his home in Stuart, Fla.
Since the bizarre incident, Fordyce has been searching for an answer. Though doctors still don't know definitively what caused him to spit up five pints of dark blood mixed with stomach acid in the wee hours of the night, they can rule out an ulcer or cancer.
"They don't know what happened or why it happened," Fordyce said yesterday. "But there's no ulcers, it's all healed up and the biopsy has come back negative. [The doctors] said that we can minimize it from happening again, but we can't promise you 100 percent that it will never happen again."
Fordyce spent three hours on his bathroom floor in agony before passing out, knocking his head on the wall and waking his wife, Jaci. After five days in the hospital, he returned home and says he has felt fine since.
Doctors have instructed Fordyce not to take any anti-inflammatory medicine or aspirin to help minimize the chances of another attack, though he will continue to watch for symptoms like nausea, fever and sweat.
He's more concerned with devoting his full attention to baseball.
"To me, it's [like it] never happened," Fordyce said. "Going out on the field and doing what I've been doing has really eased my mind. It was just a matter of bleeding. It wasn't like there was a broken bone or something that needed healing. Once they stopped the bleeding, I was back to normal." …
Orioles prospect Ed Rogers finally arrived in Fort Lauderdale yesterday after spending the last three weeks stuck in the Dominican Republic dealing with visa and age problems. The prize shortstop, whose true age is believed to be 23, not 20 as had been previously accepted, will make his first appearance at team headquarters today.
Fellow minor league infielder Eddy Garabito remains in the Dominican Republic facing birth certificate problems. …
Right-hander Calvin Maduro, a leading candidate for the No.5 spot in the Orioles' starting rotation, yesterday signed a one-year contract, the final member of the 40-man roster to do so. …
The Orioles turned a triple play during the fourth inning of yesterday's 5-3 exhibition loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. With runners on first and second, Mike Matheny popped up a bunt. Pitcher Sean Douglass allowed the ball to drop, then fired to third to set off a 1-5-4-3 triple play.

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