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05/04/10 10:28 PM ET

O's broadcaster Thorne remembers Harwell

Inaugural voice loses battle with cancer on Tuesday

NEW YORK -- Former Orioles broadcaster and legendary Tigers voice Ernie Harwell died on Tuesday after a months-long battle with inoperable cancer of the bile duct. He was 92.

Harwell was one of the Orioles' inaugural voices, serving as a broadcaster from 1954-59. Current O's announcer Gary Thorne remembered Harwell's kindness to him when he was first starting out in the broadcasting realm.

"I always came to him with questions, he never said no," Thorne recalled during the Orioles-Yankees game Tuesday night. "[Harwell] just loved the game so much, he couldn't be around baseball enough because he cared so much about the game, the players and the fans.

"Ernie always broadcast for the fans. And his idea was make the game as entertaining and as accurate as you can be. If you've done that, you've done your job as a broadcaster. And that's exactly what he did."

Harwell was the voice of the Orioles for their first six years after the franchise came to Baltimore from St. Louis in 1954. Beloved by generations of fans during his 55-year career, Harwell spent 42 seasons broadcasting with the Detroit Tigers. He was their play-by-play radio voice from 1960-91 and 1993-2002.

"I always said if there was ever a rocking-chair broadcaster, it was Ernie Harwell," Thorne said. "You could sit there for 20 innings and listen, and never got tired of what he did on the air."

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig issued a statement expressing his condolences and reflected on Harwell's impact on the game.

"All of Major League Baseball is in mourning tonight upon learning of the loss of a giant of our game, Ernie Harwell," Tuesday's statement said. "This son of Georgia was the voice of the Detroit Tigers and one of the game's iconic announcers to fans across America, always representing the best of our national pastime to his generations of listeners.

"Without question, Ernie was one of the finest and most distinguished gentlemen I have ever met. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest sympathy to Ernie's beloved wife Lulu, his four children, his friends and his countless admirers throughout our game."

Jones acclimating to O's leadoff spot

NEW YORK -- While there's no replicating Orioles leadoff man Brian Roberts -- sidelined with a herniated disc in his lower back -- manager Dave Trembley will stick with Adam Jones in the No. 1 spot for the foreseeable future.

"No way whatsoever, any way, shape or form [can Roberts be replaced]," Jones said. "But I feel like I can do an adequate job until he gets back."

So far this season, it has been feast or famine at the plate for Jones. He entered Tuesday batting .233 with three homers and six RBIs, with eight multihit games. In the 18 other games, he is hitting .095 (7-for-74). Jones went 0-for-4 in Monday's 4-1 loss to the Yankees in the Bronx, but he is coming of a 9-for-27 (.333) six-game homestand.

Predominantly the team's No. 2 hitter (when Roberts is healthy, that is), Jones said he's fine with filling in as leadoff man, but he won't change his offensive approach.

"I just need to work the counts for myself to get myself comfortable up there," Jones said. "I'm not going up there like, 'Oh, I need to see seven pitches, I need to see this guy's curve for everyone else.'"

"When I go up there and try to hit everything is when I get into trouble. So I'm just trying to wait them out, get a good pitch to hit. Not every strike is a good pitch to hit."

Uehara's return will give O's possibilities

NEW YORK -- When Koji Uehara is activated later this week, the Orioles could chose to take a position player off their 25-man roster instead of a reliever.

Orioles manager Dave Trembley said prior to Tuesday's game that the corresponding roster move hasn't been decided between him and president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail. The decision of when Uehara will rejoin the team is likely to come Wednesday, although it's expected that he will be in Minnesota for the O's four-game weekend set at some point.

"When we add Koji to the roster, we will make the corresponding move -- and until that point of the time, it's kind of open to conjecture and discussion," Trembley said.

With the recent move to send setup man Jim Johnson to Triple-A, it would make sense if Baltimore feels an extra position player, such as Lou Montanez, is more expendable than another arm. Trembley said the O's off-days do not afford them a situation where they can use a four-man rotation, so that all but rules out the possibility of sending down a starter. Relievers Matt Albers, Cla Meredith and Alberto Castillo are also candidates, although Albers is out of options, meaning he would have to clear waivers before accepting a Triple-A assignment. Meredith has pitched to a 2.57 ERA with appearances in 11 games.

"We will get to that point, and I think it will become very self-evident when, in fact, we add Koji to the roster," Trembley said.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.