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BASEBALL
Peter Gammons
September 01, 1986
IS THE JUNIOR CIRCUIT THE BETTER CIRCUIT?
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September 01, 1986

Baseball

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CORY'S THE STORY IN CLEVELAND

Snyder, who has 16 homers in 65 games, is already being touted as a superstar. He has played right-and leftfield, shortstop and third, all with notable success. "He's got the best right-field arm I've ever seen, and that includes Jesse Barfield," said one scout after Snyder ran at top speed into the rightfield bullpen area, spun around and narrowly missed throwing the runner out at the plate. Snyder went from first to third on infield groundouts twice in one game in Baltimore, and he made two plays at shortstop that Indians G.M. Joe Klein compares to the best of Mark Belanger....

George Steinbrenner ranted about Boston's acquisition of Spike Owen and Dave Henderson from Seattle, saying, "My front office was asleep." Of course, if Steinbrenner wasn't so busy maintaining his bizarre relationship with the White Sox owners, he could have gotten Owen and Henderson rather than Wayne Tolleson and Ron Kittle. Steinbrenner didn't want Tom Seaver, either, and Seaver has won as many games (five) in his 10 starts for Boston as any of the Yankee starters have in that time....

Speaking of Yankee starters, Ron Guidry is 2-9 since May 9. "The Guidry we used to know threw so hard that he grunted after every pitch," says George Brett. "Now he's trying to pinpoint everything."... Ted Williams says Rey Quinones, 22, the shortstop the Mariners acquired from Boston along with pitchers Mike Trujillo and Mike Brown and outfielder John Christensen, "has a classic hitting style and might be a Frank Robinson at shortstop."...There was considerable speculation last fall that Buddy Bell was finished as a player when he hit only six homers in 67 games after being traded to Cincinnati. But last week he hit seven in seven days to bring his season total to within two of his career high of 18. "I had to learn the National League pitchers." Bell explained. "And the adjustment, to be frank, took too long." Bell also said, "I'm so surprised at myself that even I wanted to check my bats [for tampering]."...The Reds can now start a lineup with six homegrown Cincinnatians: Pete Rose at first, Ron Oester at second, Barry Larkin at short. Bell at third, Dave Parker in right and Chris Welsh pitching....

If the Reds wanted a complete set, they would have to acquire Leon Durham, Pat Tabler, Daryl Boston, Billy Doran, Len Matuszek, Rich Dotson, Kent Tekulve, Roger McDowell, Bill Wegman and Jeff Russell. And Barry Bonnell could fly the team plane.

FISK IS CAUGHT IN A SQUEEZE
White Sox manager Jim Fregosi benched Carlton Fisk, whose 11-for-33 streak in the eight games prior to the demotion had raised his average to .215. Meanwhile, the front office tried to peddle him to Toronto. The Jays almost had a deal worked out last Thursday, but it fell through. That night Fisk hit a pinch-hit three-run homer after taking three minutes to get to the plate. "I'm wondering if this is a nice little premeditated move to make me angry enough to do something," Fisk said of his benching, a probable attempt to get him to waive his 10-and-5 rights....

When pitcher George Frazier got to Minnesota, he was critical of Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray. "I don't know if I was his personal whipping boy or what," Frazier said. "I'm not blaming Harry for my problems. But you have to understand that Harry Caray and Steve Stone are more popular in Chicago than any players." Caray's reply? " Frazier was the most inept pitcher I've ever seen." ...Don't be surprised if former Royals and Cubs manager Jim Frey ends up with the Twins next season, or if Reggie Jackson returns to Oakland to finish his career....

Earl Weaver now plans to return as the Oriole manager, but he wants several changes. He would like to deal for Twins third baseman Gary Gaetti (because this year's eight Oriole third basemen have 32 RBIs and 32 errors). Weaver also plans to use Larry Sheets as a catcher....

The saddest sight of the year: Bobby Meacham, batting .144 with 11 RBIs and 11 errors at Triple A Columbus. "That," said a Columbus teammate, "is what the Yankees can do to you."

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