In an effort to pass the one million mark in attendance, the Pirates began discounting tickets on Aug. 1 for weekday games, cutting general admission prices from $2.50 to $1 and selling a terrace-level ticket for $1 after the purchase of one at the usual $6 rate.
In their first five games under the new policy, the Pirates averaged only 8,086. Worse, they lost four of five.
...OF BOSTON FANS AND DRIVERS
The last few years Red Sox reliever Bob Stanley has taken the brunt of fan frustrations. On Aug. 4—two days after he and Tim Lollar combined to turn a 2-1 lead into a 9-2 deficit in 20 pitches—Stanley discovered just how angry he makes some New Englanders. He was driving to the ballpark on Boston's Massachusetts Avenue when a driver in the next car recognized him. The driver pulled up alongside his auto and began berating Stanley for his pitching. Stanley accelerated, but the driver caught up to him. He was so absorbed in taunting Stanley that he failed to see a car in front of him and bumped into it. Stanley drove on to the park in peace.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
?"I'm 43, and I'm still married to a 4-year-old."—Anita Piniella, after her husband, Lou, called home to wish her a happy birthday after he was ejected in Cleveland Aug. 2 for a dirt-kicking, hat-throwing demonstration.
?"It was the bushest thing I've ever seen in baseball. That's American League stuff."—National League umpire Dave Pallone in ejecting Cubs manager Gene Michael for spinning the ump's cap in an argument. Pallone didn't explain precisely what he meant.
THE PRIDES OF THE WAYWARD BUSES
When Atlanta pitcher Zane Smith couldn't make his scheduled Aug. 5 start in San Diego, 29-year-old Cliff Speck and 28-year-old Ed Olwine—who between them had 18 full minor league seasons and 17 major league appearances—combined to beat the Padres 3-2 for the first victory and save of their respective careers.
AND YOU WONDER WHERE SPECK AND OLWINE CAME FROM...
The American League's 4.28 earned run average could be the highest since the league ERA was 4.58 in 1950. With the designated hitter and the vast difference in its ballparks, the American League is averaging a combined run a game more than the NL—9.4 to 8.4—and the league ERA is 4.28 to 3.70.