ONE FOR THE TEAM
When the Reds opened the 1990 season with a string of victories, all the players vowed to shave their heads if they won 10 straight. They were saved when the streak ended at nine. After losing their seventh straight on July 29, the players pledged that they would shave their heads if they lost 10 in a row. After loss No. 8, 4-1 to the Dodgers on July 30, Reds infielder Ron Oester made the supreme sacrifice: He had his head shaved by centerfielder Eric Davis in an effort to halt the streak before it reached 10. "It's funny," says Oester. "A lot of the guys say I look better now than I did before." The next night, the Reds ended the losing streak with a 5-2 win over the Dodgers.
ROCK AND A HARD PLACE
There are at least two geophysics majors in the big leagues: pitchers Jeff Ballard of the Orioles and Stanford University and Ken Patterson of the White Sox and Baylor University. Patterson says he would love to speak to Ballard about their common interest because the talk in the White Sox bullpen is usually about rock music, but never about rocks. "I can pick up a rock in the pen and tell everyone what kind it is, and no one could care less," Patterson says. "I can tell everyone how the earth looked before the continental drift, and these guys say, 'Man, what are you talking about?' " Sox reliever Scott Radinsky, who in the off-season plays bass in a group called Scared Straight—a rock band—says, "Geophysics? Never heard of it."
Twins outfielder John Moses made his second pitching appearance of the season—and his third in the majors—on July 31. In Moses' latest outing he gave up three hits and two runs in the ninth inning of a 13-2 loss to the Angels. On May 19 he allowed two hits and one run in one inning. Last year, he pitched one scoreless inning. "My pitching seems to be getting worse; my ERA is blossoming," says Moses. He was saved from further damage against the Angels when outfielder Shane Mack reached over the centerfield fence to rob Lance Parrish of a grand slam. "If he hadn't caught that," says Moses, "my ERA would have been higher than my batting average."
DOUBLE DUTY II
What a hitting week for pitchers. Jose Rijo went 2 for 3 and stole a base in a 5-2 win over the Dodgers on July 31. The same night, the Giants' Don Robinson hit a pinch single to beat the Astros, 3-2. That gave Robinson more pinch-hit RBIs (two) this year than the California Angels (one). On Aug. 1 the New York Mets' David Cone pinch-hit a single, Greg Maddux of the Chicago Cubs went 3 for 4, and the Cardinals bullpen went 3 for 3—two hits by Scott Terry and one by Frank DiPino. On Aug. 2 Phillie pitcher Jose DeJesus, a self-described "horrible" hitter, got his first big league double, went to third on a wild pickoff throw and was thrown out trying to score on a grounder to the second baseman. "I never ran the bases," DeJesus said. "I have a fear."
THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA
Free-agent pitcher Mike Flanagan, who is undergoing rehabilitation of his weakened left shoulder, has said he will consider hooking on with a team after the World Series. Former teammate Mike Boddicker said, "He's doing great—he can fly-fish now without pain." Flanagan, 38, smiled and said, "Yeah, but after a while, my arm starts dropping down and I fly-fish sidearmed. After a long while, I become a submarine fly-fisherman."
BY THE NUMBERS
?With 129 strikeouts in his first 110 games, Tiger first baseman Cecil Fielder was on a pace to strike out 190 times, one more than Bobby Bonds's major league record, set in 1970.