- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Mariner owner George Argyros created a storm of controversy last week when he replaced the popular Rene Lachemann with Del Crandall, who managed Milwaukee from 1972 to '75 and most recently has directed the Dodgers' successful AAA team in Albuquerque. "I don't have to ask the fans," said Argyros. "Nobody said if you're going to lead something you have to be a populist." He didn't ask the players, either. In the clubhouse, Outfielder Richie Zisk said, "It's the first time that I've had tears in my eyes while in a baseball uniform since I dropped a fly ball that cost us the state championship in Little League."
Lachemann was acclaimed last season for guiding the Mariners to a 76-86 record, the best in their six-year history. At the time of his dismissal, Seattle was 26-47 and clearly missed two players from last year whom the front office failed to sign—Bruce Bochte (.297 in '82) and Floyd Bannister (12-13).
On the day of the Lachemann firing, Seattle also dropped Pitcher Gaylord Perry—he was 3-10 with a 4.94 ERA—and Shortstop Todd Cruz, who hit .230 last season and had 16 homers. This year he'd batted .190 with seven homers. Perry, who has a 310-261 career record, and Cruz could be picked up by other clubs or sent to the minors.
Pittsburgh used its lumber to end its slumber last week. The Pirates, who had been 23-36, went on a .321 hitting tear as they ran off eight straight wins, their longest streak since 1980. During that spurt they had 93 hits—at least 10 in all but one game—and 12 of their 29 extra-base hits were homers. Catcher Tony Pena led the way by batting .478. And fleet Marvell Wynne, acquired two weeks ago in a trade that brought him up from the Mets' AAA Tidewater club, established himself in centerfield by going 10 for 32 and keeping his average at .313.
Dodger Second Baseman Steve Sax, who made 19 errors in 1982, committed three last week to run his total to 21 for this season. This projects to 48 errors for the year; the modern National League record for a second baseman of 55 was set by George Grantham of Chicago in 1923.
When Sax missed two games last week because of food poisoning, it was suggested that he got it from eating his glove. Actually, his glove has not been at fault; it has been his arm. Almost all of Sax's errors have come on throws, the majority on routine plays when he has had ample time. "It's just a mental thing," says Sax. "Sometimes I pick up the ball and think too much instead of throwing it."
Rookie Outfielder Mel Hall of the Cubs is such a loud and relentless talker that his teammates have put up a clubhouse picture of a long-eared dog, beneath which is this inscription: "My ears got this way from listening to Mel Hall for just three innings." ...The 10 homers hit by Gary Redus, who was batting .244 at week's end, are the most by a Cincinnati rookie since Bernie Carbo had 21 in 1970.... Kansas City second baseman Frank White set a club record by getting one or more RBIs in 11 straight games.
"His fastball is working, and he should use it more," said Detroit Catcher Lance Parrish recently of Pitcher Jack Morris with whom he'd been at odds about pitch selection. Last week, according to Morris, the two "had a little talk before the game. The main thing is we've got to believe in each other. If I shake him off, he shouldn't get upset. And if he feels strongly enough about something, he has the right to come to the mound to talk about it. I benefited from our talk, and he benefited from it." They must have: Morris gave up four hits while beating Milwaukee 6-2. "I threw my fastball more because I had a good, live one," Morris said. "Some days I don't, and that's why I use other pitches to set it up."
During their last 37 games through Sunday, Padre relievers had pitched 89? innings and had a 7-3 record, 11 saves and a 2.01 ERA.... Rick Honeycutt of Texas, who was 10-3 with a major league-leading 1.45 ERA at week's end, had given up one run or less in 11 of his 15 starts.... Boston's John Henry Johnson has become the consummate mop-up man: He's been in 12 games, all losses, during which the Sox have been out-scored 98-39.... The Phillies will unveil their $4 million, 31�' X 42' video screen this week.... With three veterans on the disabled list, the A's are carrying five rookies on their pitching staff.