In case you were wondering, it will be cool, but bearable, in Toronto at World Series time. The series starts on Oct. 19, and according to Environment Canada, which bases its figures on a 30-year period (1951-80), the city's temperature at that time of year should average 49° (9.8°C) during what would be the late innings of a night game. In the past five years, there has been only one below-freezing temperature recorded from Oct. 19 to 27, this year's scheduled Series dates. Believe it or not, Toronto is actually warmer than either Milwaukee or Minneapolis in late October.
Roger Craig, the Giants' new manager, says he's better prepared now than he was when he took the Padres' job in '78. Why? The five years he spent as Sparky Anderson's pitching coach in Detroit. "There's a lot of Sparky in me," he said, and he wasted little time proving it. His rules include no drinking on team flights, no jeans on the road, no music in the clubhouse, moderate hair length, full uniform for batting practice and mandatory attendance for infield practice. "I'm not a strict disciplinarian," Craig says, "but there are just some things that have to be done." Says pitcher Dave LaPoint, perhaps thinking of the loose ship run by Jim Davenport, Craig's predecessor, "He's got to be hard-nosed to get our respect. It's a good approach."
All the Giants are waiting to see how Craig deals with rookie third baseman Chris Brown, who has 16 homers and a team-high 60 RBIs but has earned the disrespect of many teammates for his refusal to play with the tiniest of hurts. That's a rap that goes back to Brown's teens, according to Darryl Strawberry, a teammate of Brown's at Crenshaw High in L.A. "He's got so much talent, but sometimes he gets into his own little world," Strawberry says. Brown, who has missed 26 games, blithely says, "When I'm not hurt, I play."
The Orioles are 26-16 since Aug. 9. On Sunday they became the 16th team to hit 200 home runs in a season. Earl Weaver, as we all know, loves winning and home runs. But he is coy when asked about 1986, saying that he and owner Edward Bennett Williams have agreed that no decision will be made until after the season. On the other hand, Weaver has dropped numerous hints that he wants to return, and oftens talks about the O's future.
"Now Mr. Williams says I have a lifetime deal with him," Weaver begins his monologue, "but it's not the same as him coming in here and saying, 'Here's the deal.' So I'm not saying anything because I don't want to be told, 'We don't want you.' I enjoyed those 2½ years I was retired. I was doing a lot of fun things. It rejuvenated me. Waiting for your bags to come down the carousel at 3:30 a.m. and then going to sleep alone at four in the morning, that's not a life." Then he begins talking about 1986 and says he's anxious to pick his own pitching staff next time around. He smiles and says, "If I come back."
Vince Coleman, who twice stole 100-plus bases in the minors, joined Maury Wills, Lou Brock and Rickey Henderson in the century club when he stole second against the Phillies last Thursday.... Two years ago, Hubie Brooks had 58 RBIs as the Mets' third baseman. He listened when people told him he was going to have to do better. Now he has 94 RBIs as the Expos' shortstop, and he has a chance to be the first NL shortstop since Ernie Banks (1960) with 100 RBIs. He will also probably drive in more runs than the man for whom he was traded, Gary Carter, who has 87.... Steve Carlton may be out at the age of 40. His first start back from the DL and rotator cuff problems was encouraging, but his next two were disasters, and the Phillies told him, much to his dismay, to go home for the rest of the season.... Remember that little subplot the night Pete Rose got The Hit, when Carmelo Martinez went after Eric Show and a lot of Padres took verbal shots at Show? In Show's next start, Martinez hit a three-run, game-winning homer.... Before the Cardinals lost two of three to the Mets recently and fell a game out of first in the NL East, Whitey Herzog said, "It's an important series, but it's not what you'd call crucial. Sometimes, when you have a series like this, it's how you play after the series." Did the White Rat ever call that one. His Cardinals won 10 of the next 11 while the Mets went 6-5 and fell three games out.
September was supposed to be a cakewalk, but suddenly the Dodgers are looking over their shoulders at those persistent Reds of Pete Rose. Cincinnati was 9½ games out on Sept. 11 but only 5½ back on Sunday. L.A.'s slide began shortly after Pedro Guerrero suffered a sprained wrist on Sept. 7. Guerrero took batting practice last Friday for the first time since he was hurt, but it's not known when he will return. To make matters worse, the Dodgers' once impeccable bullpen has come undone. Ace Tom Niedenfuer, unhittable for most of '85, has allowed 11 runs in his last 14‚Öî innings, while Ken Howell has allowed eight runs in his last four outings.
Wade Boggs, hitting .471 (49 for 104) since Aug. 29, has his average up to .374. If he plays every game, with four at bats per game, Boggs would have to hit .692 to reach .400 for the season. Last week Boggs broke Tris Speaker's 1912 Red Sox team record of 222 hits in a season. Lifetime, Boggs's average is .352.... Oil Can Boyd's 15 wins are the most by a Boston starter since Dennis Eckersley chalked up 17 in 1979.... Believe it or not, the Jays, with a 5-2 record at Yankee Stadium, won only one less game there than the entire AL West, which went 6-36.... The big news out of Oakland was the new, more generous lease the team signed with the Coliseum, which will also lend the A's $15 million.... Dave Kingman may retire. Kingman, 36, has hit .213 with seven homers and 29 RBIs since the All-Star break. According to batting coach Billy Williams, "He still has the ability, but it looks to me like he's lost interest."...After Reggie Jackson groused about being platooned against lefties in the stretch run, Angel manager Gene Mauch promised to play him every day. Jackson responded with four homers and 13 RBIs in his next eight games.... What a difference a manager makes. Baltimore's Don Aase, who had a 7.07 ERA and one save for Joe Altobelli, has 12 saves and a 1.79 ERA for Earl Weaver.... Minor league outfielder Mike Brewer was traded to the Indians by the Royals in April for a player to be named later. Last week Brewer was sent back to the Royals—as the player to be named later.
Shawon Dunston is finally acting as if he belongs in the big time. The Cubs' rookie shortstop has hit .329 in his last 24 games and has made only two errors in those games. After all the spring-training ballyhoo, Dunston was demoted in May to Triple A with a .194 average and nine errors in 23 games. He returned to the Cubs on Aug. 13. Coach Ruben Amaro, Dunston's personal tutor, gave Dunston a D for his first-semester work, but has raised that to a B—this term. "It was his overeagerness that kept him from doing well," says Amaro. "We have to work on getting him not to play out of control."
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
DWIGHT GOODEN: The Mets' ace went 5 for 8 to set a club record for hits in a season by a pitcher (20), homered and had six RBIs. He also won his 21st and 22nd games and lowered his ERA to 1.57.
DARRELL EVANS: The Tiger first baseman hit six homers, giving him the AL lead with 37. Evans, 38, could become the oldest player ever to win the title; Babe Ruth was 36 when he hit 46 in 1931.
"The only thing I'm worried about is if he gets a nosebleed," said Cardinal trainer Gene Gieselmann of Jack Clark, who was returning to the lineup after missing 26 games with a torn rib-cage muscle. "He's never been this high in the standings in September."