After the second round of voting, three A's were leading at their positions: outfielder Jose Canseco (507,525 votes), first baseman Mark McGwire (405,302) and—believe it or not—catcher Terry Steinbach (210,528). Even Steinbach, who spent 3� weeks on the disabled list and was hitting .219 at week's end with three homers and 12 RBIs, found the returns perplexing. "I haven't been following it that closely, so I don't know who is having a good year, but I was surprised," he said. "I think this shows our team is starting to get a lot more national exposure." That's one way of looking at it.
A STAR IS REBORN
Don't be surprised if St. Louis's Whitey Herzog, who will manage the National League All-Stars, picks Atlanta Braves pitcher Bruce Sutter for the team. If he does, it won't be just because the only other Brave having an All-Star season is first baseman Gerald Perry, who is competing against the likes of the Mets' Keith Hernandez, the Expos' Andres Galarraga, the San Francisco Giants' Will Clark and the Houston Astros' Glenn Davis for a spot on the team. (The National League is so loaded at first that when Herzog was asked whom he was going to pick, he replied, "Has anyone picked four pitchers and 11 first basemen?")
Sutter is the best comeback story in baseball. After undergoing three operations on his right shoulder and not pitching for almost two years, at week's end he had a 1-2 record with 10 saves and a 3.07 ERA. He has been successful in nine of his last 11 save opportunities. "He's worked so hard, he's now getting guys out more with his rising fastball than the split-finger," says Braves general manager Bobby Cox. "The split-finger hasn't got its old consistency yet. But we've gotten him at 91 on the [radar] gun, which is harder than he ever threw before."
If justice is served, Herzog will have at least three Pirates on his team, third baseman Bobby Bonilla and outfielders Andy Van Slyke and Barry Bonds. Bonilla has been among the leaders in homers and RBIs all season; Van Slyke is one of the 10 best all-around players in the league; and Pittsburgh manager Jim Leyland says, "Bonds keeps making improvements that are staggering, both offensively and defensively." Through Sunday, Bonds was hitting .393 batting first and had scored during the first inning in 19 of the 58 games he had started in the leadoff position. "I try to beat the pitchers to the punch," says Bonds. "They don't usually throw that nasty pitch in the first at bat."
Even though the Detroit Tigers have failed to score runs at anything close to their league-leading 1987 pace, their pitching has kept them in the race in the American League East. At week's end they were in second place, only one-half game behind the New York Yankees, even though their ace, Jack Morris, was only 6-8.
The biggest surprise for the Tigers has been Jeff Robinson, who was 9-6 with a 5.37 ERA last year, but was 8-2 with a 3.38 ERA after beating the Orioles last week for his seventh win in eight starts. Another pitcher to look out for is 24-year-old lefthander Steve Searcy, who had 95 strikeouts in 87? innings through June 16 with the Triple A Toledo Mud Hens. Reports indicate that Searcy is ready for the Tiger rotation, a move that will allow general manager Bill Lajoie to continue shopping pitchers Walt Terrell or Eric King for a No. 3 hitter.
Some scouts believe that Morris isn't throwing as hard as he used to, and others think he isn't using his slider enough. Morris says, "I've thrown more pitches than anyone in baseball over the last 10 years, and right now everyone's laying off the tough forkballs and sitting on the fastball." But manager Sparky Anderson says Morris is "the one guy I'm not worried about." Anderson expects Morris to go on a big winning streak soon, just as he has done in each of the last five years.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
The Baltimore Orioles are having unexpected trouble signing 12th-round draft pick Pete Rose Jr., and he may go to junior college because he considers Baltimore's offer—the typical signing bonus for a 12th-round pick is $12,000-$15,000—to be too low. Meanwhile, former Los Angeles Dodgers vice-president Al Campanis, acting as an agent, tried to get $100,000 from the Mariners for his grandson Jim, a catcher selected in the third round. "If an agent had ever asked Al for $100,000 for a third-round pick," says one Dodgers official, "he'd have told him to go home and get a job." Jim eventually signed a one-year contract with the Mariners on June 13 for an undisclosed amount, presumably well below his asking price.