When his attention is drawn to the pennant race McLain insists that the Tigers arc going to win. "We have the best team all around," he says, "and we just know we're going to win. You can make a lot of money in Detroit if you are good, and you can have a lot of fun, as well."
The next three weeks are going to be big ones for the hotshot kids of the American League. Not so much for individuals like home-run-hitting George Scott of the 10th-place Boston Red Sox, who this time last year was playing for Pittsfield in the Eastern League and now is the starting first baseman on the All-Star team, or Tommie Agee of the Chicago White Sox, who is about the only cheerful thing the troubled Sox have come across this season (Agee has created excitement in Comiskey Park because he openly imitates the center-field style of Willie Mays—flapping his arms when a ball is hit his way, running out from under his cap, making basket catches and generally resembling a man playing the outfield on a skate board). But for those on the pennant-contending teams, this may well be the time of decision. Last year the Minnesota Twins won the pennant in July; they began the month in second place and concluded it six games in front and waving goodby to their distant pursuers. The 1966 schedule, a real nightmare of imbalance, has the first-place Orioles and the second-place Tigers meeting six times in eight days in mid-July, after which they play but five games the rest of the season. The Orioles moved into first place during June, when they played only half a dozen games against first-division teams. But in midsummer Detroit will get its chance when it plays 30 of 33 games against lesser teams in the league.
Whatever happens, the wealth of talented young players rising to prominence as Yankee stars and Yankee dominance fade, give promise of bright years to come. They have revived sagging interest, and in All-Star and World Series play they seem certain to regain for the American League a good measure of its lost prestige.