This season Milwaukee is simply going to be a bad team, thereby putting Trebelhorn atop the first-manager-to-be-fired list. The Brewers will hit and they will steal bases, but their pitching makes the Tiger staff look like Hall of Fame material. And things could get worse if the top two starters, Ron Robinson (elbow problems) and Chris Bosio (various knee ailments) break down early. "I wish we had guys fighting for spots, instead of just handing guys spots," says pitching coach Larry Haney.
The only hope for these pitchers is defense, which former big league infielder Fred Stanley was hired to improve. During spring training he devised a daily game in which infielders had to cleanly field 25 straight ground balls or else pay Stanley one golf ball. An errorless 25 cost Stanley a golf ball. When the Brewers broke camp, Stanley said, "I'm up 64 balls."
"We had the two extremes last year," says Trebelhorn. "We had our pitchers saying, 'I've got to make the perfect pitch because these guys can't catch the ball.' And our infielders were saying, 'The pitchers are going 3 and 1, 3 and 2 on every hitter, and they're not locating the ball where they should.' Somewhere in the middle is the truth. Poor defense can be so deflating to a team." It's going to be a flat year for the Brew crew.
7. CLEVELAND INDIANS
During spring training, manager John McNamara carried a tape recorder in his back pocket to record his observations. Let's pretend he does the same during the regular season. Now let's fast forward to the end of the year and replay the tape:
April 19: We've played 10 games and haven't hit a home run yet. But what do you expect? We've had to start a lineup that hit the same number of home runs last year as Cecil Fielder—51. But Albert Belle, who hit 11 homers this spring, is due to hit one any day now.
April 30: Why did we move those outfield fences back at Cleveland Stadium in the off-season? The power alleys are now in the middle of Lake Erie. Oh, yes, we did it for our new speedster, Alex Cole, who had played all of 63 major league games before this season. Wasn't he traded twice in 1990, once for Omar Olivares and later for Tom Lampkin?
May 15: Maybe we should have given Candy Maldonado that three-year contract in December. We sure could use his bat.
June 8: This spring Cole called us the American League Cardinals because of our speed. So why is he the only one who steals any bases?
July 15: Pitcher John Farrell might come off the DL in another week. The Big Three—Greg Swindell, Tom Candiotti and Eric King—are tired of losing 2-1 games.