The Brewers were beginning to think they would have to write off Pitcher Bill Parsons for 1973. He won 13 games each of the last two seasons, but in spring training new pitching coach Bob Shaw (since resigned) made some changes in his delivery. The young righty started walking everybody in sight and hasn't been the same since. He was O.K. for three innings against Cleveland, then the Indians knocked him out. "I hope I get another chance," said Parsons. The Indians were hitting and fielding better, but they were still 20� steps to the rear.
BALT 58-47 NY 61-51 DET 58-50 BOS 57-51 MIL 52-55 CLEV 40-70
The Dodger-Giant feud, transplanted to California from vines that grew in New York City, reached ridiculous new dimensions when Los Angeles Coach Tom Lasorda and San Francisco Manager Charlie Fox got in a fistfight 90 minutes before Saturday's game started. It was during Giant batting practice; the two exchanged words behind the batting cage and then traded punches before being separated. "Lasorda was riding our players. I told him to cut it out or there would be trouble," said Fox. The Dodgers (4-3) lost a little ground to Cincy but still had a three-game lead at week's end. Andy Messersmith shut out the Giants 3-0 on Friday and gave credit to his improved breaking ball, but he got his uniform a little dirty when Relief Pitcher Elias Sosa fired one in tight in the ninth inning. "People aren't the best of friends on these two clubs," said Messersmith, who hit the dirt on the pitch. Other than Fox' fisticuffs, and the introduction of white shoes, it was a lackluster week for the Giants (2-4). Chris Speier's damaged shoulder obliged him to throw sidearm, and two bad Speier throws against San Diego lost the game 6-5.
Atlanta and Cincinnati played a four-game series that set the art of pitching back a century. The Braves won 14-6, lost 9-5, 13-11 and 17-2. "This is the best offensive club in baseball," said Second Baseman Davey Johnson. "We hit more home runs than anybody. It's contagious." Henry Aaron hit No. 701 of his career Tuesday night, leaving him 13 short of Ruth's record. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference gave Hammerin' Hank a 16-pound, silver-plated sledgehammer at a luncheon in his honor. He will not be allowed to use it at the plate.
C. Arnholt Smith, majority owner of the Padres (certain to finish last for the fifth time in their five years of existence), was hit by Internal Revenue with a whopping demand for $22.9 million in back income taxes and interest. The action came when a Japanese group was contemplating making an offer to buy the team and keep it in San Diego. The IRS filed liens in nine Southern California counties against Smith's personal assets, which should not include the money-losing, game-losing Padres. On a happier note, Third Baseman Dave Roberts, who had only two hits in his first 33 at bats this season, was up to .270. He hit six homers in the last three weeks.
Houston (4-4) got a fine performance from Don Wilson, who beat Cincinnati 1-0 in 10 innings and allowed only four singles, but Outfielder Cesar Cedeno continued on an on-again, off-again basis. His tender ankle forced him to miss a game. "For five weeks now I have played with that ankle taped," he said. "I just can't get it well." All that Cincy firepower unleashed in Atlanta (45 runs and 52 hits) helped move the Reds closer to first place than they have been in more than two months. But Pitcher Jim McGlothlin, who gave up six runs in the 14-6 loss, said, "I'm embarrassed that the players on this club have to associate with me."
LA 68-42 CIN 68-46 SF 61-48 HOUS 57-56 ATL 51-64 SD 37-72
St. Louis beat the Mets 4-3 Saturday, but the Cardinals' pennant hopes were dealt a blow when Pitcher Bob Gibson, who twice has broken his right leg, twisted his right knee trying to get back to first base to avoid being doubled up on a line drive. The team surgeon said it was a probable cartilage tear; if the tear was not large, Gibson might pitch again this season. The Cards hung on to the lead despite an epidemic of respiratory flu and despite not being able to beat left-handed pitching (they are 18-21 versus lefties and 41-29 versus righties). The Cuban bullpen tandem of Diego Segui and Orlando Pena pitched very well; Segui saved Saturday's game and tied the club record for saves in one season (15).