Walter Alston was rehired to manage L. A. for the 21st year. Ten more after that and he'll tie John McGraw. The Giants sat rookie Gary Matthews down on the last day to ensure that he would have a .300 season. Garry Maddox finished at .319, Bobby Bonds hit 39 home runs and stole 43 bases—missing an unprecedented 40-40 double by a tick.
Dave Roberts hit his 21st homer of the year for San Diego, an inside-the-park job, but as usual most of the Padres' news was bad. Cincinnati won the division despite injuries to Pitchers Gary Nolan and Roger Nelson that kept them out most of the season and Bobby Tolan's recalcitrance and suspension. But Pete Rose (.338) and Joe Morgan (.290) can make up for a lot. In addition, Third Baseman Dan Driessen finished at .301 in his first full season.
CIN 99-63 LA 95-66 SF 88-74 HOUS 82-80 ATL 76-85 SD 60-102
Last-place Cleveland had a winning record the second half of the season, leading Manager Ken Aspromonte to say he was "optimistic" about 1974. "This is a team that could have quit after things went so badly the first half," he said. "It didn't."
Cleveland should not be so optimistic that it envisions supplanting Baltimore, however. The Orioles coasted through a 5-2 week, with team MVP Jim Palmer failing to get his 23rd win and Manager Earl Weaver being thrown out of his eighth game, but the Birds are going to be solid for years to come, it appears. The big disappointment of '73 was sore-shouldered Boog Powell, with only 11 homers and 54 RBIs in 114 games. Finishing first cased the pain.
Red Sox Manager Eddie Kasko was fired just before the start of the team's last game and replaced by Pawtucket Manager Darrell Johnson. On the field Luis Tiant became a 20-game winner for the second time in his career and Tommy Harper upped his stolen-base total to 53, a club record.
The Brewers may have been the first fifth-place team in history to pop champagne corks at season's end. The celebrating was over Jim Colborn's becoming the only 20-game winner in the team's stumbling five-year history. "It's a sign of how much we've developed," said Manager Del Crandall. "A 20-game winner, a guy with 107 RBIs, two .300 hitters." The RBI guy was George Scott, and he and Dave May hit .305 and .303.
The Tigers ended their season with a 3-4 week, blowing any chance of finishing second, but Joe Coleman won his 23rd game, the best mark of his career, and Willie Horton and Jim Northrup finished with unusually fat averages, .316 and .307.
The Bronx Bombers said farewell to Yankee Stadium; they will move to the Mets' Shea Stadium while The House That Ruth Built is rebuilt. Then Ralph Houk said a different kind of farewell, retiring as manager.