THE QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"It's really disgusting, isn't it, coming in here with a white uniform. It makes you feel like you're not playing a regular role. I'll probably get through the season with only two pairs of pants."—California's Brian Downing on his new role as DH.
MATTINGLY ON THE END-AROUND
Yankee owner George Steinbrenner's latest attempt to mix football and baseball is the introduction of headsets. Bullpen coach Jeff Torborg and eye-in-the-sky Stan Williams wear walkie-talkie headsets to stay in constant communication on matters such as pitchers and defensive alignments. Pitching coach Mark Connor also has a dugout headset, but he doesn't keep it on all the time because the noise bothers manager Lou Piniella. During the final week of spring training in Fort Lauderdale, the headsets were also picking up traffic reports from local police stations.
THE LEGEND GROWS
On Opening Day in Cincinnati, centerfielder Eric Davis reached base five straight times, but his importance in the 11-5 victory went far beyond that. With the Reds trailing 5-2 in the fourth, manager Pete Rose told him, "I've seen you hit a home run [in the second inning], now get on base with a single or a walk and stir things up. Get the crowd involved." Davis walked and then stole second to ignite a nine-run rally.
OPEN AND SHUTOUT
If it were only a one-game season, Braves righthander Rick Mahler would be this generation's Cy Young. His 6-0 victory over Philadelphia on Tuesday was his third shutout and fourth win against no losses on Opening Days. He also stretched his scoreless streak to 34 innings over four opener starts. Mahler, who last year led the NL in losses (18), is only 58-59 with a 3.96 ERA in non-openers.
Matt Stark, Toronto's 6'4", 225-pound rookie catcher, did his off-season training in a Marine program at Camp Pendleton. His favorite routine was a combat exercise called W.Y.E.—Waste Your Enemy.
THEY ACTUALLY PLAY NINE INNINGS?
By the time the Giants rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Padres 4-3 on Opening Day in Candlestick Park, San Francisco mayor Dianne Feinstein and baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth had already climbed into their limos and left.
When Brewer rookie B.J. Surhoff went to pick up a rental car provided by Milwaukee owner Bud Selig's Chevrolet dealership, he collected the keys and hopped into the luxury model parked outside the ticket office. The keys didn't fit. The car Surhoff assumed was his actually belonged to Selig. Surhoff was directed to the compact across the lot.
? Willie Randolph played in his 12th consecutive Yankee opener. The lineup for the first, in 1976: Mickey Rivers, CF; Roy White, LF; Thurman Munson, DH; Chris Chambliss, 1B; Oscar Gamble, RF; Graig Nettles, 3B; Randolph, 2B; Rick Dempsey, C; Jim Mason, SS. Catfish Hunter was the Yankees' starter in a 5-0 loss to Milwaukee at County Stadium. Hank Aaron was the Brewers' DH.
? Baltimore Oriole catcher Terry Kennedy is the only active player who belongs to the Society for American Baseball Research.