So Much for the Voice of Reason
Montreal reliever John Wetteland was upset after giving up a game-winning grand slam in the ninth against the Reds on May 19. But in the visitors' clubhouse, Cincinnati closer Rob Dibble had words of encouragement for Wetteland. "He can't be down on himself," Dibble said to a reporter. "He has nothing to be ashamed about. He had good stuff, and he's going to be a fine relief pitcher. But there will be setbacks." The next night, with the Reds leading the Expos 5-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Dibble walked in two runs and then allowed a game-winning two-run single. Later he flew into a rage when approached by another reporter."——you," said Dibble. "We won last night, and you didn't want to talk to me. Now we lose, and you want to talk to me?"
He's Right, That Is a Different Perspective
Seattle's 6'10" pitcher, Randy Johnson, no longer has the exclusive distinction of being the tallest player ever to play in the majors. Pitcher Eric Hillman, who is also 6'10", made his debut for the Mets against the Padres last week before returning to the minors on Sunday. "I love being tall," says Hillman. "It gives you a different perspective on the world." Asked if he ever played basketball, Hillman said, "No. The ball is too big, and there's no chance of a rainout."
A Memorable Major League Debut
Indians rookie third baseman Jim Thome, who grew up in Peoria, Ill., says his boyhood idol was onetime Cub player Dave Kingman. The 21-year-old Thome recalls the time his father took him to his first game at Wrigley Field, in 1980. Before the game, Jim sneaked into the Chicago dugout, looking for Kingman. "My father tells me [Cub catcher] Barry Foote came out of the dugout with me under one arm," says Thome. "They had to announce over the public-address system for my father to come get me."
An IQ Test Might Also Be in Order
The worst error of the year so far belongs to Yankee reliever Steve Howe, who made a whopper last Friday. During an appeal play at third base in the eighth inning, Howe threw the ball over the head of third baseman Charlie Hayes and into the leftfield stands, allowing a runner at third to score and a runner at first to advance two bases. "They get two bases, and I get a urine test," said Howe.
By the Numbers
? Toronto drew more than one million fans in its first 21 home games, the fastest any team has ever gotten to the million mark. By contrast, the Cleveland Indians drew 239,023 in their first 21 home dates.