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Peter Gammons
June 05, 1989
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June 05, 1989

Between The Lines

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Cub reliever Mitch (Wild Thing) Williams walked two batters, hit two more, balked and threw a wild pitch in the seventh inning of a game against Cincinnati on May 21—and didn't allow a run.

He started the inning by getting Todd Benzinger to fly out. Williams hit the next batter, Jeff Reed, and then he picked Reed off first. In succession came another hit batsman, Lenny Harris: a wild pitch that was followed by a walk to pitcher Rick Mahler; a balk and then a walk of Chris Sabo, which loaded the bases before Joel Youngblood flied out.

By the end of the inning, Reds manager Pete Rose was wearing a batting helmet in the dugout. "Just another day in the legend of Mitch Williams," said Williams.

Charles Scoggins of the Lowell (Mass.) Sun recently determined that of the 69 former major league players who have committed suicide, none was a lefthanded pitcher. Indeed, why would a lefthander ever despair; there is always work available. Pete Falcone, for instance, is 35 and has been out of the major leagues since 1984, but he was signed by the Dodgers last week and assigned to their Albuquerque farm team.

Utilityman Rey Palacios of Kansas City never lets a ball eat him up. On the contrary. Palacios has the astonishing ability to eat the ball—or at least to hold a baseball inside his mouth. He won't say how or why he developed this peculiar ability, but he demonstrated it on cable TV in Texas last week before a game against the Rangers. When Palacios removed the baseball, the announcer, Norm Hitzges, asked him if he was a two-sport athlete and then tossed him a football.

The Brothers Ripken—Cal Jr. and Bill—made a point of watching The People's Court on the television in the visitors' clubhouse at Comiskey Park on May 24. The case that day involved a dispute between two 10-year-old boys over the famous Bill Ripken baseball card that shows Ripken holding a bat with an obscenity written on its handle. One kid sold it to the other for $1, but the father of the kid who sold it wanted it back after learning it was worth a great deal more. Judge Wapner was confused. "You mean to tell me that one Bill Ripken baseball card is worth $50?" he said. "His brother is much more famous than he is." Wapner ordered the kid who bought the card for a buck to give it back.

When Blue Jay rookie Alex Sanchez walked the leadoff hitter in his first major league game, on May 23, catcher Bob Brenly paid a visit to the mound. "Well," said Brenly, "you've got your first big league hitter out of the way and you've still got your no-hitter, kid."


? Doug Jones has broken the Cleveland Indians' record for career saves (53) set by Ray Narleski in the mid-1950s. Jones now has 55, nine more than the Yankees' Dave Righetti collected in '86 alone. But that's not the worst career record for a major league team. The Mariners' mark is 52, and the Rangers' is 37.

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