Angel G.M. Buzzie Bavasi, who drained his farm system and spent billions of Gene Autry's trillions to win two division titles, is retiring after the season. His replacement is Mike Port, who as Bavasi's right-hand man since 1977 has rankled some players in contract negotiations. "From my experiences," says third baseman Doug DeCinces, "he doesn't have much integrity. Now I hope Buzzie doesn't retire."
Joe Klein, the Ranger G.M. who was the toast of Texas for a while in '83 because the Rangers were in first at the All-Star break, resigned under pressure. Tom Grieve, the club's 36-year-old farm director, will succeed him.
The votes of confidence went to Braves manager Joe Torre and to Pirates manager Chuck Tanner and G.M. Harding Peterson. Stay tuned.
The Platoon Move of the Week came in Minnesota with Rance Mulliniks, the lefty half of the Blue Jays' third base team, batting against righty Mike Smith-son. Mulliniks had eight straight hits at the time and a 3 and 1 count in his favor. But when lefty Pete Filson came in, Bobby Cox sent up Garth Iorg, the other half. He grounded out.... Dick Howser on the possibility—how dreadful—that the Royals could win the AL West with a sub-.500 record: "I wouldn't mind spending the winter thinking about being the first manager to finish first with a losing record."... Sparky Anderson, baseball's King of Hyperbole, outdid himself after Mariner rookie Mark Langston beat the Tigers on a 12-strikeout two-hitter just 10 days after he struck out 11 Tigers in 8? innings. "He's the very best pitcher I've seen since I came into the American League," said Sparky.... California's Jim Slaton and Don Aase combined to beat the Orioles 4-2 and tied a major league record by getting 19 outfield put-outs. Slaton, who sent his outfielders to the warning track six times in eight innings, said after the game, "I'm going to the trainer's room to ice my outfielders' legs."..."I think I get more upset when I lose a fish," says Twins' stopper Ron Davis, an ardent fisherman. "In baseball there's always another game tomorrow, another chance to be a hero. That's not true with a big fish."...Most Honest Answer of the Week: After Don Sutton, 22 wins shy of 300, saw his bullpen blow a 6-1 lead for him in a game the Brewers ultimately won, he said, "If we were in a pennant race I'd be happy that we won, but now I'm struggling to be happy."
For Al Holland, the Phillies' stopper, the decline began in the middle of June. He lost a foot or two off his heater, a terrible fate for a reliever who throws fastballs on almost every pitch and for a contender that is 8� games out with 27 to go.
Through June 17 Holland was 4-3 with a 2.23 ERA and 15 saves in 15 opportunities. Since then he's 1-6 with a 3.95 ERA and 13 saves in 19 chances.
Last season Holland was on the disabled list until April 29. But was he ever fresh—and effective—in September. This season he's already worked 96? innings, five more than last year, and as he points out, "This is the first time in my career I've pitched the whole season as the No. 1 relief pitcher. You get tired. But this isn't the time to get tired."
Steve Garvey set a one-season major league record last Friday with his 132nd straight errorless game at first; the major league consecutive-game record is Mike Hegan's 178.... The Cubs aren't forgetting their great fans. During Chicago's last home stand, Gary (Sarge) Matthews passed out SARGE caps to the Bleacher Bums in leftfield, and then Keith More-land, Bob Dernier, Ryne Sandberg, Leon Durham and Jody Davis kicked in $800 apiece for 3,500 T shirts for the fans in rightfield. The message on the shirts: IT'S A BLAST IN THE BLEACHERS.... Expo reliever Gary Lucas ripped Bill Virdon after the manager was fired last week. "Virdon was outmanaged this year, especially in the late innings," Lucas said. "The starters would take him to the seventh and eighth innings, and instead of using a fresh bullpen, he would stay with the starters."