Skip, I Need More Work To Be Effective
Last week, in a 17-1 loss to the Braves, Cardinals infielder Jose Oquendo made his third major league pitching appearance. Oquendo, who was pitching for the first time in three years, worked the eighth inning. He struck out Deion Sanders looking, but also walked two batters, gave up two hits and allowed three runs. "Three years is too long for me to wait to throw," said Oquendo.
A Thing for Leather
When Jeff Manto of the Indians says, "I got all the bases covered," he's not kidding. Manto, a utility player, has 13 gloves, including two catcher's mitts, two first baseman's mitts and a miniature infielder's glove he uses to help him concentrate on watching the ball all the way into his hands. "The guys call me the Store," says Manto, who takes all 13 gloves with him on road trips. "But the equipment man hates me."
Is He or Isn't He?
Astro rookie first baseman Jeff Bagwell insists he's no power hitter, despite the 456-foot blast he sent into the upper deck at Three Rivers Stadium on May 5. Then again, how can he know for sure? Last year Bagwell played for the Double A New Britain ( Conn.) Red Sox, whose Beehive Field has 16-foot-high fences around the outfield that are more than 400 feet from home plate. Only 21 homers were hit at Beehive in some 4,000 at bats in 1990. This season Bagwell is playing in the massive Astrodome, where Houston had hit only two homers through Sunday. His three homers were hit on the road. Of his shot in Pittsburgh he said with a smile, "That would have been a double off the wall at the Dome."
Nice Work If You Can Get It
The last player from the Opening Day active rosters to appear in a game this season is Indians pitcher Rod Nichols, whose first appearance came on May 5. "We call it the Golden Splinter Award, and everyone has given me a hard time about it," says Nichols. To stay sharp, Nichols has twice flown to Florida on off-days to pitch in extended-spring-training games. "I thought I'd at least get some frequent flier points," he says, "but they sent me on different airlines."
Using His Head
A nonpitcher who bats righthanded and throws lefthanded has always been a baseball oddity. The Athletics' Rickey Henderson and the Mets' Mark Carreon are the only two active players in the club, which includes President Bush and Eddie Gaedel. "My father [former major leaguer Camilo Carreon] saw my lefthanded swing at an early age and changed me," says Carreon. As for being in such a select group, he says, "Well, I'm using both sides of my brain, which is good, I think."
By the Numbers
? Dave Parker of the Angels is the only active player to have homered against all 26 teams. The Mariners' Ken Griffey Sr. needs one against the Indians to equal Parker. The Twins' Chili Davis, who is missing the Giants, and California's Dave Winfield, who's missing the Padres, also are one homer shy.