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BASEBALL
Peter Gammons
August 01, 1988
CLEANING HOUSE
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August 01, 1988

Baseball

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The Orioles are baffled by outfielder Larry Sheets's performance this year. Last season he was hitting .321, slugging .609 and had 24 homers and 71 RBIs after his first 302 at bats. This year, through 302 at bats, his batting average had dropped to .219, his slugging percentage was .311, and he had only four homers and 28 RBIs. "Physically, I'm fine," says Sheets. "Mentally, I'm deranged. I really believe I've hit the ball as hard as I did last year. But I can't get it into the air."...

Forty-year-old White Sox catcher Carlton Fisk, who is expected to return from the disabled list in August, has been catching flak from his teammates about his age. "[Shortstop] Ozzie Guillen thinks I played with Babe Ruth," says Fisk. "He keeps asking me, "Did he really have a great swing?' " ...

The Phillies are giving rookie Ricky Jordan a crack at first so they can move Von Hayes back to the outfield next season. Jordan responded by hitting three homers in his first 17 at bats.... Giants general manager Al Rosen went to Everett, Wash., last week to take a look at his No. 1 draft choice, shortstop Royce Clayton. He came away saying, "I'll guarantee you that someday they'll call him " Rolls Royce." "...Last week the Braves' Zane Smith had to leave a start against the Phillies after 1? innings because his right foot had fallen asleep. It seems Smith had rested it in an awkward position during a flight three days earlier and pinched a nerve. At last report, the foot was still snoozing.

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

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