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BASEBALL
Peter Gammons
May 09, 1988
WHAT THE ECK?
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May 09, 1988

Baseball

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? Mike Moore, Mariners. When he won 17 games in 1985. he seemed to have overcome being rushed from Oral Roberts to the big leagues. But he has slipped. Some scouts blame an unusual hitch in his delivery; others cite a conflict with manager Dick Williams. Perhaps the fault lies not with Moore but with the Mariners. Every year we hear about Seattle's great young talent, but the franchise has never had a winning record. The club says it needs righthanded power and a leadoff hitter. How about Danny Tartabull, Ivan Calderon, Darnell Coles or Phil Bradley? The M's traded all of them away in the last three seasons.

? Chili Davis, Angels. He is one of those do-it-all guys who let his legs get heavy. His time from home to first went from 4.1 seconds to 4.6 in five years. Davis evolved into a decent player using only a fraction of the tools that earned him acclaim.

? Oddibe McDowell, Rangers. He was the first of the '84 Olympians to make the majors, and he hit .266 in 1986. But some members of the Rangers' coaching staff were apparently right when they said in '84 that McDowell was as good coming out of Arizona State as he would ever be. He hit .241 in '87 and as May 1988 began, he was hitting .213.

IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN
The New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays, having lost top starters Rick Rhoden and Jimmy Key, respectively, to injury, are both stepping up efforts to deal for pitching help. Atlanta Braves general manager Bobby Cox played one team against the other and got solid offers for lefthander Zane Smith. The Yankees offered Atlanta two former "untouchables" from their farm system, third baseman Hensley (Bam-Bam) Meulens and outfielder Jay Buhner, but Cox wanted a pitcher. Toronto offered righthanded pitcher Jose Nunez and two minor league outfield prospects, Junior Felix and Geronimo Berroa, to the Braves. The Yanks also want to look at lefty Bob Knepper of the Houston Astros, but Knepper missed a start with a bad elbow. Both New York and Toronto have talked to the Orioles about righty Mike Boddicker.

WHO'S COUNTING?

It had been 208 days since the Orioles last won a regular-season game. On Friday they beat the Chicago White Sox 9-0 to snap their record season-opening losing streak at 21 games, two short of the 1961 Philadelphia Phillies' within-a-season record. After the win, Orioles general manager Roland Hemond, dressed in a tattered, champagne-stained suit he had last worn in 1983, when he was general manager of the White Sox and they won the AL West division crown, was stopped by a fan as he made his way through the stands toward the field. "Can I pour beer on you?" asked the fan. "Sure, celebrate," said Hemond, and the fan doused him.

Inside the clubhouse, there were three cases of bubbly, but few Baltimore players went for it. "Everyone expects us to be jumping around and celebrating," said pitcher Boddicker. "We're all glad this nightmare is over. We're sick of being followed around and laughed at. We won a game. We're also 1-21."

By Sunday, the Orioles were 1-23.

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

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