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The Yankees could have had a team celebration after getting rid of
Ed Whitson and his whining about not being able to pitch in New York,
even for $4.4 million. With Ron Guidry and Joe Niekro still disabled,
New York had starters with 791 career victories on the DL and only 32
career wins among Bob Tewksbury, Dennis Rasmussen, Doug Drabek,
Alfonso Pulido and Scott Nielsen. ''The kids haven't been our
problem,'' says manager Lou Piniella. But the Guidry-Niekro situation
has forced the youngsters into roles they shouldn't be asked to fill,
just as the collapse of the middle relievers has forced Piniella to
use Dave Righetti more than he wants. The fact that the Yankees, with
all their pitching problems, have stayed within sight of the Red Sox
is testament to Piniella's managing. They continue to shop for a
starter, talking to the Cardinals about Bob Forsch and to the Brewers
about Danny Darwin. The Yankees are still conferring with Pittsburgh
about Rick Rhoden, but with no luck. . . . Detroit's Darrell Evans
takes along a VCR, a Jane Fonda aerobics tape and edited clips of
himself swinging a bat whenever he goes on the road. The Fonda tape
occupies approximately one half hour of his day. The clips of his
swing prepare him mentally for a game. . . . The dismal records of
the Tigers and Cardinals have upset Jack Morris and John Tudor. ''I
worry that there's not a whole lot of concern by anybody in this
whole organization,'' says Detroit's Morris. ''Generally, this team
has a bad attitude,'' claims St. Louis's Tudor. ''A lot of guys have
mentally written off this season. When you do that, you're not going
to win.'' Tudor says he has been surprised by the inordinate
patience St. Louis fans have shown. ''I think people should realize
how bad this team really is. It's time they jumped up and jumped on
some people.'' Whitey Herzog's honesty may have hurt him, for when he
announced in early June that the race was over, it gave his team
an excuse to stoke the fires and pull the blankets to their chins. .
. . Since injuring his hand in early June, Expos shortstop Hubie
Brooks hasn't been able to drive the ball for power. ''Some days I
can't even take ground balls in infield practice,'' Brooks says.
''Some days I can't even open a door with my left hand. There's a
throbbing pain even when I'm lying in bed.'' . . . There may soon
be another Stottlemyre in the majors. Todd, the son of Mets pitching
coach Mel, is 4-2 with seven innings of no-hit ball and a two-hitter
at Double A Knoxville of the Southern League after going 9-4 at
Ventura County. . . . With the sale of the Indians and Rangers, there
have been 20 ownership changes involving 17 teams in the 11 years
since the Messersmith free-agent decision sent salaries spiraling
upward. . . . Dick Williams has made a series of successful changes
in Seattle, starting with putting Matt Young in short relief. ''I'm
throwing as hard as I can, and not worrying,'' says Young, whose
fastball has been clocked at 93 mph. Williams improved the defense
by inserting John Moses in center and Harold Reynolds at second.
Danny Tartabull has taken off since moving from second base to the
outfield, although Williams feels he will end up a DH. The Mariners
have been marketing outfielder David Henderson and shortstop Spike
Owen, so the changes will continue. . . . The Mariners have also felt
Williams's wrath. When Mike Moore blew a 5-3 lead in the eighth in
Toronto, the pitcher claimed, ''I told (pitching coach) Phil Regan
that I was tired and he should have someone throwing in the bullpen.
In my opinion, a starting pitcher should not be left in to take a
loss after seven innings.'' Regan insisted Moore didn't tell him, and
Williams exploded. ''Tell Mr. Moore I know plenty of starting
pitchers who would be happy to slam the door with a two-run lead in
the eighth.'' . . . Reds rookie outfielder Tracy Jones is hitting
.349 despite having been sidelined at times with a pulled hamstring
and injured wrist. ''I just can't play this game without getting
hurt,'' said Jones. ''I've already had seven broken bones. I should
have taken up chess.'' . . . One young Reds outfielder who may
finally blossom into stardom is Eric Davis. In the 27 games prior to
the All-Star break, in which he played leftfield regularly, Davis
batted .368 with 8 homers, 19 RBIs, 30 runs and 25 stolen bases.
''Eric might steal 100 bases because he is going to play every day
after the All-Star break,'' claims Pete Rose. ''He had 42 steals
in the first half and batted only 193 times.''


ANTHONY NESTE Seattle isn't all laughs for Williams.

(R)TOPPS CHEWING GUM INC. A happy 51st to Moe Drabowsky, a native of Poland and a Trinity alum.