?No. 1 on Nixon's Enemies List
Until June 4, Braves outfielder Otis Nixon had played 661 major league games without getting hit by a pitch. But when the Phillies' Wally Ritchie hit him on the left knee, the speedy Nixon didn't take it well. He charged the mound, kicked Ritchie in the stomach and then got in three shots to Ritchie's head in the ensuing scuffle. "He hit me twice," said Nixon, claiming the pitch before the one that struck him on the knee had brushed the back of his right leg. "I've never been close to being hit, so when he hit me twice, I knew he was throwing at me." Nixon was suspended for four games and Ritchie for one. Both players are appealing the suspensions.
?Can Anybody Here Play This Game?
A new contender for the Worst Game of the Year award was played on June 5 in Atlanta, where the Phillies beat the Braves 12-11 in 12 innings. The game lasted four hours and 45 minutes. It featured 17 walks, seven errors, five wild pitches, 21 runners left on base and one ejection. Philadelphia pitcher Tommy Greene pinch-hit in the 10th. Phillie pitcher Pat Combs was supposed to pinch-run in the 12th, but he couldn't be found; he was in the bathroom. Instead, pitcher Terry Mulholland pinch-ran, even though he had a sprained left knee. Atlanta pitcher Jeff Parrett had to bat in the 12th because no healthy every-day players were left on the Braves bench. He walked on four pitches from Jose DeJesus. Somehow, the Phillies won.
?He Rises to the Occasion—and Kills ItTiger pitcher Frank Tanana, 37, is a real killjoy. He threw a shutout to beat the Mariners in the first game ever played at the Kingdome, in 1977. He did the same thing against the White Sox to spoil the opening of the new Comiskey Park this year. He retired Minnie Minoso in Minoso's two comebacks with the White Sox, in '76 and '80. Then, last Friday, Tanana pitched another shutout to spoil Fernando Valenzuela's debut with the Angels. "What it all means is he's old," said Detroit manager Sparky Anderson, smiling.
?But How Much Pepto-Bismol Was Sold?
The longest game of the season—six hours, 28 minutes long—was played last Thursday, when the hometown Royals beat the Rangers 4-3 in 18 innings. Kansas City set an American League record for runners left on base (25) in a game, and the two teams tied the major league mark for most runners left on base (45). But the 38,523 fans in attendance may have set a record too. Jim Cundiff, general manager of concessions at Royals Stadium, reported these sales figures: 8,970 regular hot dogs, 2,818 colossal hot dogs, 3,077 Polish sausages, 448 bratwursts, 982 hamburgers and cheeseburgers, 587 barbecue sandwiches, 1,496 slices of pepperoni pizza, 478 slices of deluxe pizza, 4,424 orders of nachos, 4,169 malts, 1,101 sundaes, 1,922 Snickers bars, 56 Italian sausages, 75 chicken sandwiches and 63,610 beverages. As always, beer was not sold after the eighth inning.
?By the Numbers
*On June 4, A's reliever Dennis Eckersley walked his first batter of the year—on a 3-2 pitch to Milwaukee's Greg Brock. Since September of last season, Eckersley had faced 123 batters without giving up a base on balls.