MILEPOSTS—FIRED: As manager of the Houston Astros, HAL LANIER, 46, who was 254-232 in his three years with the Astros, including this season's 82-80 record and fifth-place finish in the National League West.
SUSPENDED: By the National Football League for one game, Minnesota Viking defensive end AL (Bubba) BAKER, 31, for poking Philadelphia Eagle tackle Ron Heller, 26, in the eye and causing severe corneal damage during a game on Sept. 25.
By the NBA for an indefinite period of time, Atlanta Hawk center-forward CHRIS WASHBURN, 23, for a second violation of the league's substance-abuse policy.
TRADED: By the Chicago Cubs, catcher JODY DAVIS, 31, to the Atlanta Braves for righthanded pitchers KEVIN COFFMAN, 23, and KEVIN BLANKENSHIP, 25.
By the Philadelphia Flyers, defenseman DOUG CROSSMAN, 28, to the Los Angeles Kings for JAY WELLS, 29, also a defenseman.
DIED: Race car driver AL HOLBERT, 41, who won the 24 Hours of LeMans three times (1983, '86 and '87) and was the alltime career leader on the International Motor Sports Association GT circuit with 49 victories; when he crashed his private plane shortly after takeoff from Don Scott Field in Columbus, Ohio.