On May 29 the Indians, still in last place, traded LeMaster to the last-place Pirates, giving him the distinction of playing for three cellar teams in only 23 days. In case you're wondering, the Texas Rangers, the last-place team in the AL West, are not looking for a shortstop at the present time.
When the Cardinals arrived in Atlanta last week, they led the majors with 90 steals in 116 tries. When they left town after three games, they still had 90 steals, but in 120 tries. The Braves' catchers aren't that good. Score this one for the grounds crew.
Just before a game on a grass field, the home team usually gives the base paths a light sprinkle to keep the dust down. But the Braves kept their hoses going. And going. And going. When they were through, the Cardinals' rabbits needed flippers. "You're not going to steal a base here," yelled one grounds-crew member at Vince Coleman, the leading thief in the majors. "You'll drown." Coleman commented, "Why don't you put a bridge over this thing?"
"If I was the Atlanta Braves and I was playing the St. Louis Cardinals," said Cardinal manager Whitey Herzog, "I'd do the same thing." But he added a warning. The next time they play in St. Louis, "we're going to run every chance we get. We'll run if we're 10 ahead."
Life is difficult for world champions. Ask the Tigers, who find themselves five games behind Toronto and now stand accused of being cheap. It seems that reliever Bill Scherrer had his World Series ring appraised recently for between $90 and $250. The stone in the middle is really a piece of glass. Tiger management decided to base the quality of rings on the size of the postseason share voted to each player. Scherrer didn't join the team until 34 days were left in the season so he got one of the cheap rings. "I've seen better rings around the collar," Kirk Gibson said.
"When I first got my ring, I said, 'I'm going to give it to my dad,' " Scherrer said. "But I wouldn't give this to my dad. I wouldn't give it to my little boy."
"What does he expect?" said team president Jim Campbell. "Nobody ever told them it was a diamond."
The players have one other gripe. Owner Tom Monaghan gave replicas of the World Series trophy to the board of directors of Domino's Pizza, and now the Tigers want them, too.
How bad are things going for the fifth-place Phils? "I'm rapidly approaching the mentality of an ax-murderer," rookie manager John Felske told his troops before one game.... When pitcher Jay Tibbs of the Reds was knocked out in the third inning of a game against the Cubs, he was losing 6-0. Figuring his record was going to drop to 3-8, Tibbs changed into running shorts, left the park and ran five miles through downtown Cincinnati. "Sometimes when I need to think, I just go out and run," he said. When he got back, his team was on the way to a 13-11 victory.... Montreal's Jeff Reardon, with a new manager (he never liked Bill Virdon), and without an aching back, is 15 for 15 in save opportunities.
The Yankees are 11-1 at home for Billy Martin, who says, "This is my home. Really. Look at my driver's license." Indeed, under home address it reads: " Yankee Stadium."... When Angel catcher Bob Boone was ejected by Vic Voltaggio last Wednesday in New York it was Boone's first thumb in 14 years. Angered that Boone had disputed a call, Voltaggio said, "Do that again and I'm chasing you." Boone replied, "Why don't you chase me now?"...Tiger shortstop Alan Trammell is struggling at the plate, batting only .272, but it took him 48 games to commit his first error, and even then the official scorer apologized because it came on a bad hop.... Kansas City lefthander Charlie Leibrandt (5-3, 2.67) has become one of-the AL's most effective pitchers in less than a year, and one recent outing prompted Royal teammate Willie Wilson to say, "That's not Leibrandt, that's Rembrandt."