Others fear that pitchers will get hurt running the bases. "I don't think about that," says Robinson. "When I was a manager in the National League, I told my pitchers to run hard. They should be in as good a shape as everyone else. When you take it easy, that's when you get hurt."
Pitchers tend to be babied too much. Last month, Pirate starter Bob Walk caught the first pop-up of his seven-year career. Why? Largely because of baseball's silly tradition of not letting pitchers go after pop-ups, even if an infielder has to dive across the mound to make the play.
Most pitchers are told to forget about hitting when they turn pro, even though they may be better batters than some nonpitchers. Honeycutt believes that if he had continued to practice batting after he moved from the National League to the Mariners in 1977, he might have become a two-way player in the majors. Sanderson is skeptical. "I don't think it can be done," he said recently. "There's a tremendous difference between being a good athlete and being a good pitcher."
As Sanderson spoke, Canseco was standing nearby. Could he be a two-way player? "Yes," Canseco replied. "In the future, I can see it: 40 homers, 40 steals, 20 wins."
Funny. Now, seriously.
"I'm serious," said Canseco. "I could."
Padres catcher Benito Santiago is off to a hot start. As of Sunday, he was second in the National League in batting, with a .380 average, and his defense has never been better. Santiago underwent a rigorous conditioning program in the off-season, but more important, he has a new attitude.
In his first four seasons, Santiago was perceived as moody, uncommunicative and selfish. He was also an undisciplined hitter, and in 1989, he became the first catcher to lead the majors in errors three years in a row. All that's history now. For the first time in his five-year career, Santiago spent the winter in San Diego instead of his native Puerto Rico, and that helped him become more acclimated to his adopted city. He started seeing a psychologist as well. "I've improved myself in every way," says Santiago. "I had put too much pressure on myself. I've learned how to relax my mind. My mind is finally clean."
Santiago credits teammate Jack Clark, whom he calls "a great man," for helping him achieve inner peace. Clark says that all he told Santiago was to be less critical of himself and to realize that even on a bad day, he's better than most players. "Most guys," Clark adds, "can't do what he can do."