Yankee manager Billy Martin held his fourth off-day workout of the year last Thursday, to the vexation of Don Mattingly, the 1984 American League batting champ. "Guys need a day off sometimes," Mattingly said. "We don't get any. Having a break, getting a chance to get your head together, could be more helpful than a workout."
Sounds reasonable. George Steinbrenner, however, took offense. "If he's tired of working out, that's too damned bad," said the Boss. "He ought to get a real job, be a taxi driver or steelworker, and find out what life and hard work are all about. I'm getting fed up with his attitude."
Attitude? Mattingly was playing last week despite a pulled groin, and he not only shared the league lead with 44 RBIs through Sunday, but also had played 159 straight errorless games at first base.
The Orioles have let it be known that the massive body of umpire Ken Kaiser is preventing them from clocking pitches with their radar gun.
"Really? They never complained to me about it," said Kaiser, who is 6'3", 285, a powerlifter and former pro wrestler. "And what about guys like John McSherry and Eric Gregg, guys who outweigh me by 50 pounds? Hey, I've been in the bigs nine years, and I've never heard about this before. I'd check the batteries on that thing."
Taking a page from their early history, the Mets lost 26-7 in Philadelphia on June 11. In the comic history of the Mets, the most runs they had ever given up was 19. It was the most runs ever scored by the Phillies and the most scored by any National League team since 1944.
It was also the night that Jayson Stark, a sportswriter for The Philadelphia Inquirer, chose to begin working on a piece about why there has been so little hitting in the National League this year.
"It's like getting slapped by your girl friend in front of your mother," said Met rightfielder Clint Hurdle.
These were some of the highlights:
•Phillie manager John Felske made his first defensive substitutions after two innings with his team already ahead 16-0.
•The Phils batted around in four different innings.
•The Phillies raised their team batting average from .230 to .239.
•The Mets raised their team ERA from 3.07 to 3.46.
The Mets threw 228 pitches, and the deluge began on No. 2, a Tom Gorman fastball that Von Hayes hit over the rightfield fence. On his second at bat that inning, Hayes hit a grand slam, becoming the first player in major league history to homer twice in the first inning of a game.
But, in at least one way, it was business as usual in Philadelphia. When Hayes booted a ball in the fourth, some of the Phillie fans booed him.
The Mariners' ERA (4.81) is growing as fast as the wounded list in Seattle. The latest casualty is righthander Jim Beattie, who went on the 21-day disabled list with biceptal tendinitis. The Mariners have five pitchers on the DL and only three pitchers, Matt Young, Ed Vande Berg and Edwin Nunez, remain from the 10-man Opening Day staff.... One of the pitchers no longer with Seattle is Mike Stanton, who was released shortly after he reportedly paid $6,000 to insure his right arm for $2 million with Lloyd's of London. Explained Stanton, "You never know when Fate is going to say, 'To hell with you, Mike Stanton, your time is over.' " ...White Sox stopper Bob James earned four saves last week and led the AL with 16, four more than 1984 team leader Ron Reed had all season.
Ozzie Soto, a 20-year-old righthander for the Cedar Rapids Reds, pitched a seven inning no-hitter last week in the Class A Midwest League. But Ozzie, who hails from Puerto Rico, is not related to Mario, ace of the Reds' major league staff and a native of the Dominican Republic. The Mets also hope there's something in a name. Last week, they signed Maury Gooden, a 21-year-old outfielder from Huston-Tillotson College in Austin, Texas. Picked in the 33rd round of the draft, Gooden is not related to Dwight. Confessed Joe McIlvaine, the Mets' director of player personnel, "I just couldn't pass up the name."
An embarrassed Padre reliever Greg Booker gave up five runs, threw three wild pitches and hit home plate umpire Billy Williams in the leg with a fastball in an 11-0 Houston win. At one point, Williams walked halfway to the mound to give Booker a ball and advised him: "Get the ball anywhere near the plate, and I'll call it a strike." ...As the Phillies did with Mike Schmidt, the Braves have moved third baseman Bob Horner to first. The switch was an immediate success, with Horner hitting three homers and driving in 11 runs in his first seven games at first. In 52 previous games, the Braves had only one homer and 10 RBIs from first basemen Chris Chambliss and Gerald Perry.... Cincinnati catcher Alan Knicely drove in 22 runs in his first 21 games, but threw out only three of 31 runners.... Reds manager Pete Rose singled in his first at bat against the Dodgers last Wednesday to draw within 46 hits of Ty Cobb's major league record. But rain washed out the game in the third and Rose lost the hit, prompting John Strege of The Orange County Register to write, "Ty Cobb, wherever he is, had a good day Wednesday. He actually gained on Pete Rose."
Greg Ellena, the University of Miami's designated hitter, who wasn't even selected in the recent amateur draft, powered the Hurricanes to a 10-6 victory over Texas in the final game of the College World Series on June 11. Miami's second NCAA baseball title in four years made Texas the bridesmaid for the second straight year. Against the Longhorns, Ellena went four for five, scored two runs and drove in another. In Omaha he hit .480 with three homers and eight RBIs, and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Series.
Tanner couldn't recall Bruce's first words. "But I remember," Tanner said, "he told me that he was on a radio or TV show after the game and he said they gave him two pairs of blue jeans."
Bruce can thank dad for his old hand-me-down genes.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
GLENN WILSON: The Phillie outfielder drove in 15 runs, including two game-winners, and scored 10. He went 10 for 31, with four doubles, two triples and two homers as the Phils won five of seven.
"The signs are hard to see," said Cardinal catcher Tom Nieto, explaining some recent crossed signals with his pitchers. "It's been overcast. I've got stubby fingers. Maybe I need fingernail polish."