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BASEBALL
Peter Gammons
August 18, 1986
FOSTERING SHAKY RELATIONS
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August 18, 1986

Baseball

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The decision by commissioner Peter Ueberroth and Player Relations Committee executive director Barry Rona to dump arbitrator Tom Roberts, who was in the middle of hearing a case claiming owner collusion on salaries, indicates they were worried Roberts would rule against them. Donald Fehr, the Players Association executive director, will file a grievance asking that Roberts be reinstated. The owners think that this snafu will get them through another free-agent season, although should there be no interest in such free agents as Jack Morris, Tim Raines, Lance Parrish, Rich Gedman, Jack Clark and Andre Dawson, then what further proof of collusion would the players need?...

Managerial chapters may be over for Steve Boros in San Diego and John Felske in Philadelphia, both of whom could be gone at season's end. "I came to the Padres organization and signed a multiyear contract to be with the organization and a one-year deal as manager," says Boros, who likely won't be sad to get away from that bizarre clubhouse. San Diego G.M. Jack McKeon says, "Some of these players may not be as good as I thought." Look for a house-cleaning to get defense into the infield, speed and more pitching. With Benito Santiago expected to take over behind the plate, the most marketable player will be catcher Terry Kennedy....

Don't be surprised if former Astros manager and current Giants coach Bobby Lillis is the first name to crop up for either of those managerial jobs....

On Tuesday, July 29 Calvin Schiraldi was the Red Sox' long man out of the bullpen. On Aug. 1 he was the seventh-and eighth-inning setup man. Two days later the 6'4", 200-pound Texas teammate of Roger Clemens was their closer, and he got his second and third saves over the weekend. "I think you'll see a lot of him in that position the rest of the season," says Boston manager John McNamara, who is hoping to catch lightning in Schiraldi—obtained from New York for Bobby Ojeda—just as Toronto did with Tom Henke and St. Louis with Todd Worrell last year.

RUSHING INTO THE FRAY

The Dodgers ran into an embarrassing situation when they allowed Pedro Guerrero to rush himself back into leftfield on Aug. 4 without putting him through any simulated games or rehab assignment. Guerrero was tentative on fielding several balls, struck out twice and was back on the bench for the rest of the big series with the Astros. Monday the Dodgers put him on the 15-day DL. "He looked like a wounded animal out there," says Houston reliever Dave Smith. "Why was he playing when they won seven in a row without him?" The Dodgers won the seven straight because their starters went a minimum of seven innings six times out and Orel Hershiser was back in form....

With Willie McGee out for at least two weeks, Ozzie Smith has taken over the Cardinals' RBI lead—even though he has not hit a home run. The last man to lead the Cards in RBIs without a homer was one Jake Beckley back in 1906. Beckley drove in 44 runs. Of course the Cardinals only hit 10 home runs as a team that season....

Manager Chuck Tanner has already told the Atlanta media that Doyle Alexander will be his 1987 opening day starter. At the time, Alexander was 0-4 in his last five starts. Not only that, but Alexander is a free agent at the end of the season....

The two independent minor league clubs—the San Jose Bees and the Miami Marlins—have now provided the A's with lefthanded pitcher Dave Von Ohlen and the Angels with Vernon Ruhle....

When the Cardinals went 15-for-15 stealing against the Phillies last week, they were left with a 39-for-42 for the season. "I have to say it's a combination of things," says Vince Coleman. "Several of their pitchers have high leg kicks, and at the same time, [John] Russell doesn't have the greatest arm in baseball. You could go by my comments, but just go by the statistics." Philadelphia catchers have thrown out only 48 of 204 runners for the season.

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