One of the perils TV announcers now face is that people with satellite dishes can hear the between-innings comments instead of the commercials. Brooks Robinson learned the hard way. He questioned the "blood and guts" of
when he came out of a game. Soon thereafter Robinson received an angry letter from Davis's mother, who lives in Jacksonville....
The Yankees tried to talk the Indians into trading lefthander
. but when Cleveland demanded either
, the discussions ended....
The Orioles were getting so edgy about
slow start—he didn't get his first RBI or extra-base hit until his ninth game—that they had his eyes checked. Vision wasn't Murray's only problem. He sprained his ankle in a pickup basketball game this winter, was told he could run normally on it in spring training, reinjured it and simply wasn't ready when the season started. In three games against Texas over the weekend, Murray was 7 for 12, with two homers and seven RBIs....
compares Cleveland rookie catcher
with the late
, considered by many to be the finest defensive catcher of the last 40 years. Tebbetts himself wasn't exactly
Choo Choo Coleman
The San Jose update: The Bees have added five Japanese players to
Steve Howe, Ken Reitz, Darryl Cias, Daryl Sconiers
has already been released because of erratic behavior. Cias and Reitz are living in a room at the ballpark. Cias painted a portrait of Charles Manson on the door. "I thought it might brighten up the room," said the former A's catcher.
DO THEY REALLY NEED THE 25TH MAN?
Really, now. Managers are talking about
when they scream about how tough it is without the 25th player. Weaver says going from 25 to 24 "cheapens the product." Players Association director
says the owners' move "demonstrates that they're not really interested in winning." Granted, the entire idea is less of a cost-saving device than a show of management power, but didn't the Blue Jays win the most games in the American League last year while carrying
, who were there just because they had been drafted out of A leagues? "You don't really need more than 22 or 23 players in this league," says White Sox vice-president
. "At that number, you get more time for the guys on the bench, and they perform better."
The National League is another story. "It's different for me because I platoon a lot and my bench is built from necessity," says the Mets'
, who last week used pitcher
to pinch-hit when he had two positional players,
, available. The Phils almost became the first team to break ranks last weekend when catcher Daulton sprained his ankle. They flew minor league catcher
into New York, but Daulton's injury wasn't severe enough to force him to miss more than a day or two.
With increasing frequency, pitchers are being used as pinch hitters. Montreal's
twice in three days. The first time he batted for
he walked and scored the winning run to give Reardon the victory. Two days later, he singled, stayed in to pitch and tripled.
has been used twice by the Giants, and the Padres sent
lo the plate as a pinch hitter. This is actually an old custom: As recently as 1974,
pinch-hit 13 times for the Pirates; in 1971
was used 18 times by the Red Sox.
THAT'S NO BULL ABOUT TARTABULL
still gets angry letters protesting the release of
sensational start and figures from the Elias Sports Bureau, which show that in 1985 Perconte was the worst player in baseball at getting runners home from second base. Tartabull hit four homers in the first week—two more than his dad,
, hit in 1,857 career at bats—and was an early leader in homers, RBIs and total bases. He homered off
after Jose called Danny with a scouting report; Jose had faced him, too. "What's impressed me about Danny isn't the offense," says Balderson, "but the way he's handled himself around second base. He has outstanding hands and he's going to be a very good defensive second baseman." ...Speaking of sensational starts,
hit four homers in his first six games; in his first two years in Cincinnati, he did not homer once in April. "He's not just carrying the team, he's carrying the entire league" gushes
. The fact that Rose postponed his return from the disabled list may be a subtle way of taking a further look at a lineup that has impressive rookie
in left and
at first.... Rose may be ending the reign of
as his short man. He went to
with two games on the line last week without even getting Power up....
was walked 16 times in his first 11 games, so the Royals might have to trade one of their great young pitchers for a hitter. "I sure hope we don't have to," says
. "We won last year with pitching, and this year it's even better," says catcher
, citing the return of
and two minor-leaguers on the verge,
told me 20 years ago that you never should trade a good pitcher," says Howser. His problem, with
ready to return, is choosing which starter to put in the bullpen so Leonard can stay in the rotation. "The reports two years ago were that the kid pitcher on our staff best suited to a short role would be Saberhagen," says Howser. "I'm not that crazy." ...In 1982, San Francisco fans selected an alltime Giants team in conjunction with the club's 25th anniversary in that city. Since then, pictures of the members of that team have adorned the press room. This year, three of the pictures have disappeared: those of
Tom Ha Her
. All have been fired by the Giants in the last two years.... Boston fans always have one scapegoat, a la
. At the Red Sox home opener,
was booed during the introductions, booed when he was brought into the game and booed unmercifully when he exited after giving up three run-scoring hits. After the game, he moved his locker to Scapegoat Corner, the spot previously occupied, in order, by Torrez, Eckersley and Clear.