TIME FOR A SWITCH?
At week's end, Braves reserve infielder Jim Morrison was batting .143, but he had pitched 3? scoreless innings as an emergency reliever. "I'm hitting like a pitcher," says Morrison, "so I might as well throw like one."
BLACK HORSE POWER
After Boston's Dennis (Oil Can) Boyd, who had been on the disabled list because of a blood clot in his right shoulder, lasted only 2? innings against the Athletics on Aug. 20, his mother, Sweetie, sent him ajar of Black Horse liniment to rub on his shoulder. "Mama normally speaks only in spirits," the Can told reporters. "She says, 'The Lord will take care of it, and if He can't, maybe Black Horse can.' " In his next start, against the Mariners on Aug. 26. Boyd pitched six innings, allowing only two hits and one run, and the Red Sox won 5-3.
THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS
It's interesting to note that since divisional play began in 1969, 59 of the 72 eventual division winners—excluding the strike year, 1981—were in first place on Labor Day. And of 13 Labor Day leaders that failed to win their divisions, only two were out in front by more than 2� games: the '69 Cubs, who led by four and lost out to the Mets, and the '78 Red Sox, who led by five and lost to the Yankees in a playoff.
When Cardinals righthander Scott Terry beat the Reds 7-1 and 4-2 on Aug. 21 and Aug. 26, he settled an old score with the Cincinnati front office. In 1982, Terry was the regular rightfielder for Cincinnati's Class A club in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, along with current Reds outfielders Eric Davis and Paul O'Neill. Terry batted .254 that year and had four more homers than O'Neill, but the Reds decided to take advantage of Terry's strong arm and convert him into a relief pitcher. Then they traded him to the Cards last year for pitcher Pat Perry.
WHAT HAPPENED TO AMERICA'S TEAM?
Even club owner Ted Turner's WTBS superstation doesn't give the Braves any respect. On Aug. 25 the Braves were scheduled to play the Cubs at 5:40 p.m., even though they had returned from a road trip at two o'clock that morning. Why not a standard 7:40 p.m. start? Because WTBS wanted to use the prime-time slot to broadcast a colorized version of the 1941 movie Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
?Cub fans were worried when infielders Leon Durham and Keith Moreland, who had a combined 54 homers in '87, were traded. This year they have seven between them.
?On Aug. 24, Milwaukee leftfielder Jeffrey Leonard became the first player this season to strike out five times in a game. He went down swinging each time.
?While Brewers centerfielder Robin Yount and Pirate centerfielder Andy Van Slyke were the first players in their respective leagues to reach double figures in homers, triples, doubles and stolen bases. White Sox shortstop Ozzie Guillen and Braves first baseman Gerald Perry became the first to hit double figures in three quite different categories: caught stealing, errors and grounding into double plays.