Cardinals first baseman Pedro Guerrero apologized last week to manager Tom Lasorda for telling reporters that the Dodgers had treated him "like a dog" before he was traded to St. Louis last August But Guerrero (right) blamed sportswriters for creating the problem in the first place, saying, "Sometimes they write what I say and not what I mean."
SEIZE THE DAY
More than 20 scouts turned out last week to watch Tyler Houston, a catcher for Valley High School in Las Vegas who is expected to be one of the top five picks in the June draft, play against Bishop Gorman High School of Las Vegas. However, because Valley's regular shortstop was injured, Houston played short, and alternate catcher Doug Mirabelli worked behind the plate. Mirabelli made the most of the opportunity, hitting four homers in four at bats to pace the Vikings to a 22-0 win, while Houston went three for four with a homer. After Mirabelli's barrage, raves general manager Bobby Cox, whose team has been scouting the Vikings, said, "That kid'll get drafted now."
When Red Sox manager Joe Morgan wrote out his lineup on May 3, he listed the righthanded-hitting Rick Cerone as catcher instead of the lefthanded-hitting Rich Gedman, because he thought White Sox starter Shawn Hillegas was a southpaw. Not to worry. Cerone hit a two-run homer off Hillegas in the sixth inning, which provided the game-winning run in an 8-4 victory.
RETURN TO SENDER
San Diego outfielder John Kruk, who was hitting .186 at week's end, has figured out the reason for his prolonged slump. "Somebody sent me one of those chain letters last June, and I threw it away," he said. " Tony Gwynn got one too. He said he mailed his out. I'm going to get me one of those things and start mailing them out. I've heard about bad things happening to people if they don't send theirs out. One guy got cancer two months later, and another guy got in a car wreck. But I never thought I'd stop hitting because of it."
AND IF THAT SOUNDS WEIRD...
Before each start, Cleveland lefthander Greg Swindell bites off the tip of one of his fingernails and holds it in his mouth throughout the game for good luck. Bizarre as it sounds, this practice seems to be working: At week's end Swindell was 3-0 with a 2.50 ERA and 41 strikeouts.
CHRISTMAS IN MAY
When the White Sox visited Yankee Stadium on April 29, they had to play in a downpour and lost to their former teammate, lefthander Dave LaPoint, 8-2. But the White Sox got revenge of a sort last Saturday. As the Yanks arrived in Comiskey Park for a night game, it was snowing heavily, and the groundskeepers were building snowmen behind home plate. The snow was still falling 20 minutes before the scheduled start; but the flurries tailed off, and after a half-hour delay the umpires decided to begin the game. "They're making us play this game because we made them play in New York," LaPoint said after he heard the decision. The snow didn't seem to make that much difference, however. The Sox lost anyway, 5-2.
?At least one shutout was pitched every day from April 10 through Sunday.
? Cleveland leftfielder Oddibe McDowell has been called out twice this season for leaving too early while tagging up.
?When the Yankees traded lefthander Al Leiter to the Blue Jays for outfielder Jesse Barfield, Leiter had given up the most walks in the American League and Barfield was leading the AL in being whiffed.