Share this article

print logo

ROMERO'S QUEST FOR RECORD MUST WAIT

Imagine being a contestant on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire."

You've won $500,000 and have all your lifelines remaining. But we're out of time, and you have to come back for the next show.

But there's no next show. "Millionaire" has been canceled. And not only do you lose your chance at $1 million, you never even get your $500,000.

If such a scenario transpired, Armando Romero would have to be in the middle of it.

Romero singled Wednesday afternoon as the Buffalo Bisons resumed their suspended game with the Norfolk Tides. It didn't make much difference. The Bisons still lost, 3-2.

It was Romero's fourth hit of the game, his fifth hit in as many at-bats. Hits in his next two at-bats would give him a share of the Herd's modern-day record of seven consecutive hits.

Who knows when that might be? Romero was sent back to Double-A Akron upon the conclusion of the suspended game, which was seen by about 300 people. Wednesday's regularly scheduled game was postponed and made up as part of a doubleheader today.

The sun was shining when the regularly scheduled game was postponed because, with rain and high winds skirting the area, placing the tarp on the field would be next to impossible if the weather turned.

That would have endangered today's game as well.

Romero was jolted when the Indians assigned him to Double-A out of spring training. He hasn't played that low in the minors since 1996. He's appeared in 39 big-leagues games, including 12 with the Red Sox in '98. Double-A is no place for a 32-year-old catcher.

Still, Romero understood. The Indians have a glut of players at the position. Sandy Alomar Jr. and Einar Diaz opened the season in Cleveland. Bobby Hughes, Jesse Levis and Heath Hayes started out with Buffalo. There was no room for Romero anywhere but Akron.

Romero accepted his assignment, but at the same time he felt he needed a fresh start. So what he did was revert to his given name. Goodbye Mandy Romero. Say hello to Armando.

"It was just like, wow, I've got to do something different to change my luck," Romero said. "I did it for the first game, after spring training. We'll see what happens."

What happened is that Romero came up to Buffalo, played about as well as a player can play, and still got a return ticket to Akron. He drove in both Buffalo runs against the Tides. He also gunned down a runner trying to steal third.

Truth is, Romero could have homered four times and it wouldn't have made a difference. His fate was sealed when Hughes, who had been subbing for the injured Alomar in Cleveland, cleared waivers Wednesday and was reassigned to the Bisons.

"They told me I have three to five days here, tops six days, maybe," Romero said. "I knew it was a matter of Bobby Hughes clearing waivers."

The Bisons have endured some wild and crazy roster moves over the years, but nothing quite like what transpired during their game against the Tides.

Shortstop John McDonald was activated off the disabled list for the game and deactivated by the end of it. Infielder Jeff Patzke was sent to Akron before the start of the game and pinch-ran by the end of it. Who says it's impossible to be in two places at one time?

McDonald came off the disabled list Tuesday, played, left in the fourth inning when he realized his injured quadriceps wasn't fully healed and was back on the disabled list before the game resumed on Wednesday.

With McDonald out of the lineup, the Bisons were again in need of Patzke, who was recalled and pinch-ran for Romero in the ninth inning.

The Bisons will be without McDonald for at least another six days. He might take some batting practice and infield a few days from now, but for the most part the Indians want him idle. He's Cleveland's primary insurance policy against an injury to shortstop Omar Vizquel.

"I came back too soon," McDonald said. "I've never had a major injury before so I had nothing to compare it to."

There are no comments - be the first to comment