DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR
The Mets' Kevin Elster isn't happy about being platooned at short. "A guy my age having to sit, it's just awful," said the 24-year-old Elster last week. "If I was on any other team, I'd be stuck out there every day." At week's end Elster's career batting average was .215.
STATISTICS CAN LIE
Toronto first baseman Fred McGriff hit a homer in the SkyDome last week that bounced off the windows of the restaurant overlooking centerfield. Although the restaurant is located beyond the 400-foot mark, the IBM Tale of the Tape, which flashes an electronic measure on the scoreboard, said the ball had traveled only 391 feet. Quipped Blue Jay pitcher John Cerutti, "It just goes to show that IBM doesn't stand for Intelligent Baseball Measurement."
THIS IS THE BIG LEAGUES?
How badly have the Reds been riddled by injuries? The Opening Day lineup for the Triple A Nashville Sounds consisted of: Keith Lockhart (2B), Marty Brown (2B), Luis Quinones (3B), Van Snider (CF), Rolando Roomes (RF), Chris Jones (LF), Jeff Richardson (SS), Joe Oliver (C) and Jack Armstrong (P). When the Reds faced the Expos on July 15, Quinones, Roomes, Oliver, Brown and Richardson were all in the starting lineup. Armstrong and Snider have also played for Cincinnati this season.
The Expos have added a 16-year-old pitcher named Antonio Alfonseca, who has six fingers on each hand, to their organization in the Dominican Republic. Predicted one reporter, "He's going to be twice as good as Mordecai [Three Finger] Brown."
NICKNAME OF THE WEEK
The Royals have dubbed utility man Bill Pecota I-29, which is the interstate that runs between Kansas City and Omaha, home of the team's Triple A club. In the last four years, Pecota has been called up from Omaha seven times.
THE PLAY'S THE THING
After Padres outfielder Chris James hit five homers in nine games, manager Jack McKeon said, "A lot of guys wanted to cross him off the board. But as Shakespeare said, 'How poor are they that have not patience!' " Asked where the line came from, McKeon replied, "The Pickoff Play." Actually it was Othello.
?Much has been made of pitcher Mike Morgan's miraculous improvement since joining the Dodgers this season. But he's still pitching just well enough to lose. Going into this year, his ninth in the majors, Morgan's lifetime winning percentage for the first four months of every season he has played was .353. This year he has pushed it up all the way to .375.
?No righthanded hitter has won the American League batting crown since Carney Lansford did so in 1981 while with the Red Sox. At week's end, however, the top three hitters in the league were righthanded: Minnesota's Kirby Puckett, Lansford (now with Oakland) and Texas's Julio Franco.
?You can bet that the White Sox will think long and hard before putting another Williams at third base. Last season Kenny played there for 32 games and had 14 errors. This year Eddie tried it for 65 games before being sent to the minors with 16 errors.