IT'S ONLY MONEY
When the Atlanta Braves released infielder Damaso Garcia last week and paid off the remainder of the $1.3 million they had contracted to pay him for 1987 and '88, it meant the team had spent $185,714.30 for each of the seven hits Garcia had in the two seasons. To replace Garcia, the Braves signed 35-year-old Jerry Royster, who was attending a broadcasting school in West Palm Beach, Fla. Some youth movement. The last three players the Braves have recalled—Royster, Juan Tyrone Eichelberger III and Jose Alvarez—have a combined age of 101.
With the Yankees and Mets both in first place at week's end, New Yorkers are already talking about a Subway Series in October. Imagining how baseball crazy the city will become if that happens, Yankee pitcher Rick Rhoden said, "It won't be far to travel, but we'll have to make the trip in an armored truck."
THE HEAT IS ON
During the broadcast of a 4-0 loss to the Texas Rangers on May 18, Toronto television station CTV conducted a phone-in poll, asking the question: "Would firing Jimy Williams solve the Blue Jays' problems?" The response: 882 yes votes, 431 no's. The Toronto Sun ran a similar poll last week and got the exact same number of anti-Williams calls. Was it a coincidence or could there be a conspiracy in the works?
MAN OF MANY TALENTS
In their 39th game, on May 17, the San Francisco Giants became the last team in the National League to get an outfield assist, when leftfielder Harry Spilman's throw home was cut off by third baseman Kevin Mitchell and relayed to second to get Philadelphia's Steve Jeltz. Spilman, normally a utility infielder, had played the outfield only one other time in the majors, on May 3, 1980. In addition to getting the assist, he let a blooper fall in for a double and made an error on a single by Juan Samuel, allowing him to advance to second.
Talk about durability. In their combined 27-plus complete major league seasons, Detroit's Darrell Evans and Jack Morris have yet to be put on the disabled list, while Alan Trammell and Frank Tanana have each been disabled only once in a combined 24 years. That quartet plus eight other key Tigers—Doyle Alexander, Mike Henneman, Guillermo Hernandez, Chester Lemon, Gary Pettis, Jeff Robinson, Walt Terrell and Lou Whitaker—have served a total of 14 stints on the DL. That's less than Milwaukee's Paul Molitor (9) and Kansas City's George Brett (8) have between them.
?The Cardinals' Jose Oquendo played seven innings at first base on May 14, then pitched four innings. In the next two games he started in center and at third. So far this year he has played every position except leftfield and catcher.
?Identical twins were winners for the Giants organization on May 17. Monte Phillips threw a six-hit shutout for the Class A San Jose Giants in an 11-0 win over the Bakers-field Dodgers, while his brother Lonnie picked up a win in relief for the Class A Clinton ( Iowa) Giants in a 1-0 victory over the Peoria (111.) Chiefs.