WALLY PIPP REVISITED?
Cubs pitcher Al Nipper has 114 major league starts without ever pitching a shutout, 14 shy of Roy Mahaffey's record of 128. So what happened when Nipper went on the disabled list last week? Rookie Jeff Pico started in his place on May 31 and shut out the Reds 4-0 to become the first Cubs pitcher to throw a shutout in his major league debut since King Cole in 1909. Pico is luckier than Nipper, too. Bricks from a collapsing building fell on Pico's car as he was driving to his last start for the Triple A Iowa Cubs. The car was totaled, but he escaped unhurt.
THE SWELL OF SUCCESS
The Athletics came close to moving to another city in the last decade because of poor attendance. But now the turnstiles are singing. During their last home stand, which was nine games, the A's drew 288,722 fans, or just 18,041 fewer than for the entire 1979 season.
WHAT WAS THAT AGAIN?
Houston Astros pitcher Joaquin Andujar was ejected from the May 31 game against the Cardinals after St. Louis catcher Tony Pena swung and missed one of his inside pitches, and then yelled at Andujar to throw the ball over the plate. Obviously misinterpreting what Pena said, Andujar threw down his glove and stalked toward the plate. Afterward Andujar, who is not known for being especially discreet, said, "Sometimes Tony Pena speaks before he thinks."
HOLD THE BALONEY
One Saturday night in New York, San Diego Padres reliever Mark Davis went into a deli that featured a Gary Carter Sandwich, which came with cheese, salami and tongue. "You had to figure that with Carter, there had to be a lot of tongue," said Davis. "There was no way I could bring myself to eat it."
BASEBALL IS IN HIS BLOOD
Lee MacPhail IV is working as a public relations assistant for the Orioles. His great-grandfather Larry was a legendary executive with the Dodgers, his grandfather Lee was president of the American League and his uncle Andy is general manager of the Twins.
?Through Sunday the Yankees were 23-9 in games in which the opposition started a righthanded pitcher.
?The Cardinals were 18-10 in May, despite getting no homers from first baseman Bob Horner, no wins from Danny Cox, Joe Magrane and Randy O'Neal and only one win apiece from Greg Matthews and John Tudor.
?The punchless Red Sox had no more than one extra-base hit in 17 of their first 51 games.
? White Sox leadoff hitters were batting .205 at week's end, their second-place hitters .198.