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When the Dodgers arrived in St. Louis for a three-game series last week, Third Baseman Pedro Guerrero went to the home of Cardinal Pitcher Joaquin Andujar, a childhood friend from the Dominican Republic. While dining on rice, beans and shrimp, Guerrero boasted he would hit a home run off Andujar the next day. It didn't concern Guerrero that he had never tagged his buddy for a four-bagger—not in school, playground, winter league or major league ball. Andujar's wife, Walkiria, even told him, "If you do, you won't be coming back here to eat." But with the count 1-2 in the sixth inning the following evening, Guerrero belted one out. "I wanted to pitch him high inside," Andujar said. "But I went to his power, low outside. A fastball, 92 miles an hour it was, and he hit it." Was Guerrero then barred from further rice and beans at Andujar's place? "Hell, no," Andujar said. "We're friends."
Rod Carew may retire at the end of the season because of what he feels is unfair media pressure and criticism of, for example, his RBI output. California's 37-year-old first baseman is a .331 lifetime hitter and was batting .470 at the end of last week. "I've already decided what I'm going to do," he says. "I'm just not ready to disclose it."
Baltimore Reliever Tim Stoddard, miffed because he has been used sparingly despite pitching well, sounded off last week. With three righthanded Oakland hitters coming up in the eighth inning, Stoddard felt he should have been brought in rather than lefty Tippy Martinez. After the game Stoddard complained to Manager Joe Altobelli and then told the press, "If he's not going to use me, then I don't want to stay here."
Altobelli fired back: "I confronted Tim. I'll probably confront him again. I guarantee he won't do this to me again."
Pitching Coach Ray Miller was upset, too, saying that Stoddard's outburst was "the dumbest thing I've ever seen in baseball. Seventeen games into the season, and he says he doesn't want to pitch for this team? Especially after Tippy retires the side on seven pitches. That makes it twice as stupid."
Seattle's Julio Cruz's streak of successful steal attempts was stopped at 23 when Boston Catcher Jeff Newman nailed him trying to swipe third.... St. Louis' Ken Oberkfell may not be able to carry the Cards with his bat, but in games in which he has carried the starting lineup card to the plate, St. Louis is 6-1.... The anticipated sale of the Indians is "on the back burner now," according to majority owner Steve O'Neill. He wants to know exactly how large Cleveland's share of the new network television contracts will be.
"A lot of managers go by the book just to cover their butts," says Texas Manager Doug Rader, who isn't a big fan of the sacrifice bunt. "They can't be doubted, even if the strategy fails. The basic point is that many times, depending on the club, you can't do things by the book."
Although a number of scouts and general managers say there's less trade talk than usual, two players are almost certain to be swapped soon. Several clubs have expressed interest in Pitcher Ed Farmer, for whom the Phils would want a young prospect. And Outfielder Warren Cromartie is not likely to be wearing an Expo uniform much longer.
Minnesota Reliever Ron Davis is a third who may go. Some general managers are buying the opinion of scouts who say that Davis will have an improved attitude and fastball if he leaves the Twins and owner Calvin Griffith, with whom he has been at odds.
Former Oriole Manager Earl Weaver, who is watching games from the stands for the first time in 35 years, says, "The big difference is that ice cream sandwiches cost 75 cents. They used to be a dime."