So, which way is best. Piniella's or Leyland's? "You can look at that two ways," says Leyland. "A guy who [loses his temper] sends a message that he's extremely competitive. That can be a very good thing. But it's not for me."
Cincinnati first baseman Todd Benzinger contends that Piniella's fire and ire are just what the Reds need. "'Teams tend to take on I he characteristics of the manager," he says. "His ranting and raving might be a negative for his life span, but it's good for this team."
If nothing else, the city of Cincinnati got a kick out of Piniella's base tossing. Two days after his outburst,
The Cincinnati Enquirer
held a base-throwing exhibition downtown. Seventy-five people, including the mayor and a TV anchorwoman wearing high heels, threw a base farther than Piniella did.
This year 25 sons of former major leaguers have played in the majors. It's believed to be the largest number ever to play in one season. Moreover, another eight sons of current and former big leaguers were selected in the June draft. Why so many?
"I don't know, but here's a theory," says Royals general manager John Schuerholz, who has five sons of former major leaguers on his roster. "[For some time now], players have been making so much money, they don't have to go from their [baseball] job to the factory after the season the way they did in the old days. They have the luxury to take four months off and be an instructor for their sons. They can build them a batting cage, buy equipment—in addition to the genetic benefits [they give them]."
Last season Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. became the first father-son combination to play in the majors at the same time. Now a movement may be afoot in Seattle to unite Ken Sr., who last week was waived by the Reds, and Ken. Jr. to play for the Mariners in September.
Some managers too often play "by the book." Doing so eliminates second-guessing, but it isn't always the best strategy. Take the Aug. 20 game between the Rangers and Mariners at Arlington Stadium. With Texas trailing 5-2 in the seventh inning, righthanded-hitting Pete Incaviglia of the Rangers came to bat with runners at first and second and nobody out. Incaviglia was mired in an 0-for-24 slump, and was facing Mike Jackson, a hard-throwing righthander. According to one Ranger, Incaviglia "has not pulled a ground ball over third base in the last five years."
The "book" says to guard the line in late innings to prevent an extra-base hit. So, as he usually does, Seattle manager Jim Lefebvre went by it. With Mariner third baseman Mike Brumley standing on the third base line, Incaviglia rolled a puny grounder between third and shortstop for a single, igniting a three-run rally. If Brumley had been positioned normally, Incaviglia's grounder might have been a double-play ball. Then, with two out in the seventh, Brumley, still hugging the line, was late getting to a grounder to his left. Brumley booted it, allowing the tying run to score, and the Rangers went on to win 6-5.