SI Vault
Herm Weiskopf
October 10, 1983
Despite his 27 homers, 101 RBIs, .318 average and 211 hits, Baltimore Shortstop Cal Ripken downplays his chances of being the American League's Most Valuable Player. "I've always had this picture of an MVP winner," Ripken said. "He's a guy who hits 40 home runs, bats .320 and has 140 runs batted in. And the guy has to be able to do everything. The guy has to have a Jim Rice-caliber season. Lately, though, people have told me differently." One of those who has endorsed Ripken is Rice's manager, Ralph Houk of Boston. Said Houk, "The thing that gives Ripken the nod over anybody else is that he's a shortstop and has played every game."
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October 10, 1983


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In their final at bats before retiring from baseball, Carl Yastrzemski of the Red Sox popped up to second base against Cleveland's Dan Spillner on Sunday in Boston, and Johnny Bench of the Reds singled to left against the Giants' Mark Calvert on Thursday in Cincinnati. Other players of note who aren't expected back in '84 are Bobby Murcer of the Yankees, Larry Hisle of the Brewers, Vida Blue and Gaylord Perry of the Royals, Jim Kaat of the Cardinals and Bill Robinson of the Phillies.

Chicago's 20-game victory margin over second-place Kansas City in the American League West equals the largest in the 15-year history of divisional play.... The American League East was vastly superior to the West, as its 332-226 (.565) record in interdivisional play proved. In the National League, the West beat the East 228-204 (.528).... Dennis Leonard, who won 136 games in nine seasons with Kansas City before undergoing surgery on his left knee on May 29, had a second operation last week. He's expected back next year.... After 16 days and 487 official at bats without a homer, the Mariners got one—by Dave Henderson.... Bob Stanley of the Red Sox wound up with a club-record 33 saves, and Jim Rice's 21 assists were the most by a Boston outfielder since 1944, when Bob Johnson threw out 23 runners.... Manager Steve Boros of the A's says that Davey Lopes, 37, who tied with Dwayne Murphy for the A's home-run lead this season with 17, won't be the starting second baseman in '84. "We're thinking of him as a DH or pinch hitter, and as a pinch runner," Boros said.

Brett Butler, the Braves outfielder who's headed for Cleveland as a player to be named later in the Len Barker trade, planned to wear an Indians cap during last Tuesday's batting practice. But a teammate stole the hat out of Butler's locker, which was fine with Butler, who said, "I've decided it was a poor joke." Braves owner Ted Turner, who was fined $25,000 for telling Butler he was one of those to be named, is reportedly interested in reacquiring Butler.

After Pittsburgh's last home game, Dave Parker shook hands with the members of the grounds crew and waved goodby to the fans in Three Rivers Stadium. But Parker, who can now become a free agent, still wants to remain a Pirate. "I'd like to stay in Pittsbrugh and play for Chuck Tanner, because I think he's the best manager in baseball," Parker says. "I'm only sorry we couldn't have won this thing for him this year, because he deserves it. I've got a close friend here in Bill Madlock, and I'd got a close friend here in Bill Madlock, and I'd hate to leave him, too." But, Parker added, "I also think I could adjust to a new team."

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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