SOAP OPERA JOURNAL
All My Children (WPIX, SportsChannel): George the Owner, known by his employees as Phineas T. Bluster, is no longer speaking to Lou the Manager, and has told Woody the G.M. not to talk to Lou, either. This is because when Mr. Bluster placed a prearranged phone call to Lou's hotel room on Aug. 4, Lou was supposedly having lunch. "The simple fact," Bluster said in a press announcement last week, "is that Piniella didn't even bother to 'come back from lunch,' if that is where he really was, to get the call from his boss at 2 p.m....I don't know of too many guys—even sportswriters—who, if their boss told them to be available for a call at a certain time, wouldn't be there!"
Since the Yankees began skidding, Lou has wanted to recall catcher Joel Skinner from Columbus, but says, "I haven't been in control of the roster moves for a while now," as evidenced by the fact that chubby pitcher Al Holland was recalled without his knowledge. Bluster, who does control the roster moves, said, "We're close to falling apart," as the Yanks were losing three of four to Detroit last week after having won five of six, including two of three against the Tigers, the week before. What's more, star player Don Mattingly said he didn't expect to end his career in Yankee pinstripes and added, "A lot of things are bottled up inside of me." Bluster responded, "I hope he doesn't think he's threatening me."
At the end of the week's episodes, the Toronto Blue Jays were in first place.
Despite the protests of commissioner Peter Ueberroth, the Rangers recalled Steve Howe, whose career has been interrupted seven times by drug problems. After signing with Texas, Howe had spent just 3� weeks in Triple A. Ueberroth prefers that multiple drug offenders spend at least 60 days in the minors (hence Pascual Perez's holding pattern in Indianapolis before the Expos can recall him).
Howe was tested four times in five days before he flew to Texas, and he says he has passed more than 200 drug exams in the last two years. "I was concerned about his control," quipped manager Bobby Valentine. "But after being tested 200 times I feel his aim is pretty good."
?The 23 homers by Detroit's rookie catcher Matt Nokes are one more than the combined output of the four free-agent catchers: Lance Parrish, Rich Gedman, Bob Boone and Ernie Whitt.
?The Twins have the best home record in baseball and play 28 of their final 49 games in the Metrodome.