SI Vault
 
A FEW CASES FOR THE BUREAU OF MISSING PLAYERS
Henry Hecht
June 17, 1985
Either the manager doesn't like them, or they don't have enough talent, or they play for the wrong team. These poor unfortunates, who never get a chance to dirty their uniforms, form INSIDE PITCH'S Ill-Star team:
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
June 17, 1985

A Few Cases For The Bureau Of Missing Players

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

Either the manager doesn't like them, or they don't have enough talent, or they play for the wrong team. These poor unfortunates, who never get a chance to dirty their uniforms, form INSIDE PITCH'S Ill-Star team:

C—Dave Engle, Twins. No starts, eight at bats. An All-Star team member in '84, he's in a prolonged hitting slump—no RBls since last July 27. What's even worse is that Engle is suffering through the catcher's nightmare of not being able to throw the ball back to the pitcher.

1B—John Wockenfuss, Phils. Fifteen at bats since May 17. He was out of favor anyway as the righty half of the first base platoon, but the move to first by Mike Schmidt sealed his fate.

2B—Doug Flynn, Expos. Six at bats. The Expos don't want to release him because his $425,000-a-year contract runs through '86. But no other team will take this excellent fielder until he's released.

SS—Ivan DeJesus, Cards. No starts, 12 at bats. Acquired in case Ozzie Smith wasn't signed, DeJesus carries a $600,000 contract. "Something will happen sooner or later," says a stoic DeJesus.

3B—Marty Castillo, Tigers. Twenty-three at bats. After three starts at third and a homer in the '84 World Series, he has become Detroit's third-string catcher and a fourth-siring third baseman.

OF—Dan Ford, Orioles. No at bats since May 21. Joe Altobelli grimaces at the mention of his name. Ford is the last guy to arrive at the park and the first to leave. Now on the disabled list because of his knees. Tough to release because his contract for '86—$550,000—is guaranteed.

OF—Omar Moreno, Yankees. Twenty-three at bats in Billy Martin's 33 games. When Moreno asked Martin why he wasn't playing, Billy had this impeccably logical answer: Ken Griffey, Rickey Henderson and Dave Winfield. Another player with a big contract—$600,000 per year through 1987—that scares people.

OF—Reid Nichols, Red Sox. Seventeen at bats. He's not making big bucks, but he plays behind Jim Rice, Tony Armas and Dwight Evans. What's worse, he also hits righthanded. Lefties Rick Miller and Steve Lyons get the fill-in duty.

P—Bob Shirley, Yankees. Five innings since April 27. A flake's flake. Martin didn't like him in 1983, and after Shirley worked an inning on April 30, he went 22 days without pitching. Then he worked an inning of a 13-1 game. His teammates were even considering a pool: Guess Shirley's next game. "I think the reason I pitched was the result of something that happened nine months ago," he said afterward. He was referring to reliever Rich Bordi, who left the team to be with his pregnant wife.

1