Be My Guest
In a scene reminiscent of a pickup game, Expo first baseman David Segui shared his mitt with Cub first baseman Mark Grace when Chicago played at Montreal on July 12. Because of a shipping snafu, Grace's gear didn't make it back with him from the All-Star Game in Arlington. The Cubs didn't have another lefthanded mitt, so Grace had to borrow Segui's. The two left it on the bag between innings, as players did at the turn of the century. "If he had bad hands, I wouldn't have let him use it," Segui said, smiling. "But he's a Gold Glover. I told him, though, if he took a hit away from me, I'd take the mitt back."
A Loss of Control
Last Thursday, Brave pitcher Greg Maddux ended his streak of 51 innings without issuing a base on balls when he walked Padre pitcher Joey Hamilton—a career .041 hitter. That lifted Maddux's base-on-balls total this year to nine, matching his win total at week's end. Only four pitchers in this century have finished a season with more wins than walks.
Phillie infielder Mariano Duncan is not one who feels a walk is as good as a hit. Through Sunday he had 167 at bats this season without a walk. "Walking isn't me," he says. "I've got no walks, and I'm hitting .277. If I had a bunch of walks, I might be hitting .220. If I finish the year without a walk, I'll be happy."
Jim Palmer pitched 3,948 innings in his Hall of Fame career and never hit a batter in the head. He learned about beanballs from his former manager Earl Weaver. "[Oriole pitcher] Grant Jackson buzzed a guy under the chin once," Palmer said. "Earl ran to the mound and said to Jackson, 'Who is our third baseman? Brooks Robinson. He's better than their third baseman. Who is our shortstop? Mark Belanger. He's better than their shortstop.' Earl went all around the field, then said, 'If you hurt their guys, then they're going to hurt us, and we lose. So stop it.' "