The Reds' half of the inning began with Cesar Cedeno asleep on the trainer's table and ended with him scoring the winning run on the 4,170th hit of Pete Rose's career—a two-out, 13th-inning bunt single Thursday night in L.A. "I was really out of it," said Cedeno, who wasn't feeling well. "Man, it was three o'clock in the morning in Cincinnati." But after pitcher Mario Soto woke him up, Cedeno pinch-singled, stole second and later scored on Rose's bunt down the third-base line against Carlos Diaz. "That old man," said Cincinnati relief ace Ted Power, "knows more ways to win a game than any man in baseball. He understands the game more than anybody. Our team is a mirror reflection of him."
That old man, whose team is a surprising 57-51, couldn't understand all the fuss. "I was thinking about bunting when Cesar stole second. I got a curve down and in, and I just dropped it down. The third baseman was playing back. Diaz is a lefty, so it's difficult for him to make a play at first. And the grass was wet."
When Twins fans showed up at the Metrodome for the first poststrike game, a couple of their relief pitchers in uniform stood by the ticket windows. Ron Davis, the player rep, and rookie Frank Eufemia shook fans' hands and offered them lemonade. "It was just a way to say thanks," Eufemia said. "And what we did is nothing compared to what I think we really owe them. They're the ones who support us." A couple of months ago, Davis, his ERA as high as the Dome's ceiling, might not have chanced a public appearance. But new manager Ray Miller got him to slow down his windup, and Davis is 10 for 10 in save opportunities since then.
The Boo of the Week in the American League goes to Rickey Henderson, the Yankees' centerfielder, while in the NL, Atlanta's Pascual Perez gets the nod once again. Of the seven truants for Thursday's poststrike games, Perez and Henderson are the two who ought to be forced to stay late and clap erasers.
Henderson left New York for his Oakland home—he pleaded unspecified personal problems—even after Dave Winfield called to tell him a settlement was imminent. He missed the Yankees' doubleheader sweep of Cleveland, was fined 1½ days' pay (about $12,000) and then had the gall to say, "They got no right to dock me, and if they fine me they better come up with a good reason or they'll tick me off, and I don't think they want to tick me off because I'm playing hard baseball." Henderson thereby forfeits all right to the MVP award.
Perez, just back from the restricted list after jumping the team in his latest escapade, brought his bags to the Braves' clubhouse for a late flight to San Francisco, picked up more than $500 in meal money and went back home, saying he'd meet the team at the airport. He showed up in the fourth inning Thursday night and explained that he discovered he had no money when he got home the night before, and how could he travel without money? He was fined $1,000 and docked a day's pay. After throwing on the sideline Friday night, Perez said he had a sore arm and could not start Sunday.
The strike may have lasted only two games, but it produced some notes of interest:
George Brett, who plays a little saxophone, joined Huey Lewis and the News for a few bars of Barefootin' last Wednesday before 16,000 at an outdoor concert in Bonner Springs, Kans., a few miles west of Kansas City. Brett has known Lewis, a big baseball fan, for a couple of years.... Tommy Lasorda announced on a flight home from Atlanta that he was going on a hunger strike until the end of the baseball strike. He figured if the strike lasted as long as the last one, "I'm like Gandhi." But 30 minutes into the flight the pilot announced that a settlement had been reached. "Immediately," he said, "I called the stewardess over and ordered dinner." ...For Mets p.r. man Jay Horwitz, the quick settlement literally saved his shirt. Horwitz was at the Montreal airport waiting for a flight home when he found out the strike was over. He went back to the team hotel to check back in, and was given the same room he had checked out of a couple of hours before. While unpacking, he opened a drawer and found a shirt he had left behind.... Mets third baseman Ray Knight was all set to watch his wife, Nancy Lopez, in the Henredon Classic in High Point, N.C. but had to leave after two holes of the opening round. "I usually cry when Ray leaves," Lopez said, "but I had nothing to cry about. I'd just birdied the first two holes." She went on to win the tournament.
Last Thursday in St. Louis, the Cardinals took 27 seconds to run themselves into a 3-6-4-6-5-8 triple play. Blame the Cubs. It should have been a routine 3-6-3 triple play. The confusion began in the eighth inning of an 8-0 Cardinal win as Terry Pendleton hit a line drive at Cub first baseman Leon Durham with Jack Clark on second and Andy Van Slyke on first. Durham hesitated, then threw to second, but his indecision upset shortstop Chris Speier's timing, and he caught the ball after he came across the bag. Then Speier's throw hit Van Slyke when he tried to double him at first.
The ball rolled to the stands, but Clark thought he was out and stood aimlessly on the rightfield side of second base as Van Slyke trotted to the bag. When Van Slyke got there, he was ruled out for passing Clark. Clark finally figured out he was safe, but he didn't know that Van Slyke was out. So he headed for third and was finally tagged out by Bob Dernier, who had wandered in from center. Afterward Clark said, "We're going to have to erase that one from our playbook."
Suddenly, the Mets were back in first, and Keith Hernandez was an MVP candidate. He has hit .387 with 37 RBIs since July 1, which happens to be the day the Mets, who have won 28 of 35, began their move to the top of the NL East. Before his hot streak, Hernandez, who's at .298 with 66 RBIs for the season, was fighting one of the worst slumps of his career: His average had fallen to .251.
But his father, John, a former minor league first baseman, compared tapes of Keith when he was hitting well last year and when struggling this year, and noticed a difference. It seems that he could see the entire 17 on Keith's back from the centerfield camera shot last year, but he could barely see the 7 this year. Unaware that he had opened up his stance so much, Keith closed it, and the hits have just kept on coming.
Pat Gillick, the architect of the first-place Blue Jays, has scored again. The man who acquired 20% of the roster—Willie Upshaw, George Bell, Jim Acker, Lou Thornton and Manny Lee—via the $25,000 December draft, has come up with two more bargain-basement players. Tom Filer, a pitcher signed last fall to a Triple A contract, is 4-0 with a 2.57 ERA in five starts. Tom Henke, a righthanded reliever, was the compensation pick for the loss of free-agent Cliff Johnson. Henke, who is 6'5" and throws hard, had an 0.87 ERA in Triple A this year and is 3-0 with two saves in 10‚Öî shutout innings as a Jay. "If Jeff Reardon is the Expos' Terminator," says Gillick, "then Henke is Terminator South."
The Brewers' Pete Vuckovich has won three of four starts since the All-Star break, and it appears that his comeback after serious shoulder surgery is for real.... Tiger catcher Lance Parrish was signing autographs before a game in Kansas City when a "fan" handed him a summons, informing Parrish he was being sued in a dispute involving a truck-leasing corporation.... There have been 35 homers onto the roof in Comiskey Park, and Boston's Bob Ojeda has allowed three of them, the latest to Chicago's Ron Kittle.... Former Dodger reliever Steve Howe, who said he couldn't handle the pressures of L.A., signed with the Twins Sunday. The Twins have given out a ground rule for interviews, at Howe's request: "Please ask no questions relating to his past. He will not discuss the drug issue in any way, shape or form." ...At the Giants' present pace, they will lose 100 games for the first time in the franchise's history. For the moment, the Giants are the only team without a 100-loss season.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
JOHN TUDOR: The Cardinals' lefthander pitched a one-hitter to beat the Cubs 8-0 for his fourth shutout in his last eight starts and his 13th win in his last 14. He also tripled in the win over Chicago.
"I told Roland to go out and get me a big-name pitcher," said White Sox owner Eddie Einhorn after his G.M., Roland Hemond, promoted journeyman righthander Dave Wehrmeister. "He said, 'Wehrmeister's got 11 letters. Is that a big enough name for you?' "