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BASEBALL
Peter Gammons
May 02, 1988
HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN
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May 02, 1988

Baseball

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Pete Jr. got seven (out of eight) points for both instinct and aggressiveness, and one scout said his "bloodline" was a plus. All of this indicates that he may go before the fifth round. As his father says, "His being my son should count for something."

ANYBODY REMEMBER CHRIS BROWN?
The season wasn't three weeks old when San Diego Padres manager Larry Bowa brought up second baseman Roberto Alomar, moved Randy Ready from second to third and benched Chris Brown, who was supposed to become one of the premier third basemen in the National League. Even though Brown has a history of minor injuries, some members of the Padres organization had difficulty understanding why Bowa wasn't willing to give him half a season to prove himself. After all, Bowa fought hard to get Brown in San Diego's seven-player deal with the San Francisco Giants in July.

SPEED DEMONS
The Red Sox may have the hardest-throwing pitching staff since the 1968 Cleveland Indians, which included Luis Tiant, Steve Hargan, Sam McDowell, Sonny Siebert and Stan Williams and is the only staff in history to finish with more strikeouts than hits allowed. Boston has two pitchers, Jeff Sellers and Roger Clemens, whose fastballs have been clocked at 95 mph, and another, Steve Ellsworth, who has hit 90 mph. At week's end the starters had more strikeouts (100) than hits allowed (87). At their current pace, the Red Sox pitchers will end up with 1,013 strikeouts. The American League record is 1,189, set by the Indians in 1967.

BRAVE NEW WORLD
The tension between Atlanta Braves manager Chuck Tanner and G.M. Bobby Cox continued to mount last week when Cox brought in minor league hitting instructor Clarence Jones to help the struggling team. Tanner defended his own hitting coaches, Bob Skinner and Willie Stargell, and then, on April 20, he made a gaffe in a game against the Houston Astros. When Glenn Davis came to bat in the fourth inning, Tanner shifted second baseman Ron Gant behind the bag to load the left side of the infield. Davis hit a ground ball where Gant was supposed to be, setting up the only run of the game. Asked why he had ordered the shift, Tanner said, " Davis hasn't hit a ball the other way in two years." When a reporter reminded him that Davis had hit two singles to the right the previous night, Tanner ignored the question.

EVERY WAY, JOSE
Oakland Athletics slugger Jose Canseco, who was leading the majors with seven homers at week's end, is turning himself into an all-around player. Not only has he stolen seven bases, but he has also come into his own as a fielder, now that manager Tony La Russa has switched him from leftfield to right. "Rightfield is a better showcase for his talents because it's less restrictive," says La Russa. "We talked about putting him in center. He could play it, easily, but we want his arm in right."

THE METS ARE SET

Dwight Gooden, who was 4-0 through Sunday, appears to have bounced all the way back from his troubles of last season, when he missed 25 games while undergoing treatment for drugs. His fastball was clocked at 95 mph last week—the hardest he has thrown in two years....

Another Met making a successful comeback is Gary Carter, who, after hitting just .235 in 1987, had six homers, 13 RBIs and a .321 average. The key to his rebound is off-season knee surgery and rehabilitation, which have allowed him to get back his quick swing....

Don't worry about the Mets missing reliever Jesse Orosco, whom they traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. According to Philadelphia Phillies manager Lee Elia, Orosco's replacement, Randy Myers, "is the hardest-throwing lefthander in the National League."

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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