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BASEBALL
Peter Gammons
October 05, 1987
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKESIn our last look inside the 1987 season, we note that as the final week began, three of the '86 division champions, the Red Sox, Angels and Astros, had losing records. Only the Mets were above .500.
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October 05, 1987

Baseball

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THE ONE PLAYER I'D WANT FOR NEXT SEASON:
Tim Raines.

THE ONE PLAYER I WOULDN'T WANT FOR NEXT SEASON:
Catcher Rattoo Akimoto, who baited .112 (30 for 268 with 86 strikeouts) and knocked in eight runs for the San Jose Bees. The Reds' Dave Parker got eight ribbies in one game.

COMEBACKS OF THE YEAR

1) Tommy John, who briefly served as the pitching coach at the University of North Carolina in 1986 and, in '87, was the Yankees' second-winningest pitcher, 12-6 through last week.

2) David Green, who was released this year by teams in Japan and Mexico before signing with Louisville. Green is finishing the season in St. Louis and may be the Cardinals' rightfielder against left-handed pitchers in 1988.

OFFENSIVE DEFENSE
In May 1985, Geno Petralli was working on the loading dock at a Dr Pepper plant. This year he made baseball history. Serving almost exclusively as knuckleballer Charlie Hough's personal catcher, Petralli was charged with 35 passed balls in 54 games, eclipsing the modern major league record of 33 set by J.C. Martin in 1965. On Aug. 30 in Detroit, Petralli tied the record for most passed balls in a game, six, set by Harry Vickers in 1902. Petralli really shouldn't have to share the record, though, because Vickers was primarily a pitcher. In fact, that was probably the only time Vickers caught in his five-year major league career.

BEST TRADES

1) Minnesota's getting Jeff Reardon from Montreal (with catcher Tom Nieto, for pitcher Neal Heaton and four other players). It won the AL West.

2) Detroit's acquiring pitcher Doyle Alexander from Atlanta for minor leaguer John Smoltz.

3) San Francisco's deals that brought pitchers Dave Dravecky and Craig Lefferts and third baseman Kevin Mitchell from the Padres, and pitcher Rick Reuschel from Pittsburgh.

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