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It took Bobby Bonds 14 notable seasons before the ''Traded for
Bonds'' all- $ star team reached chic status. Now we have Ron
Hassey. It was only 26 months ago that Hassey was traded for the
first time, but since then he has racked up some serious frequent
flyer mileage by being dealt from Cleveland to Chicago to New York to
Chicago to New York to Chicago for:
C Joel Skinner
1B Brian Dayett
2B Wayne Tolleson
3B Scott Bradley
SS Mike Soper
LF Ron Kittle
CF Joe Carter
RF Mel Hall
P Neil Allen, Don Schulze,
Ray Fontenot and Britt
As you may recall, Hassey was traded by the Yankees to the White
Sox last December, along with Joe Cowley, for Burns, Soper and minor
league outfielder Glen Braxton. Then in February, after Carlton Fisk
refused to go to the South Bronx, Hassey was sent back to the Yanks
for Allen, Braxton and Bradley. Hassey was bouncing back and forth so
fast he failed to make either the White Sox' or Yankees' media
Last week Hassey, minor league infielder Carlos Martinez and a
player to be named later -- either pitcher Brian Fisher or pitcher
Bob Tewksbury -- went to Chicago for DH Kittle, utility infielder
Tolleson and catcher Skinner. The wheeling and dealing between George
Steinbrenner and the Reinhorn twins has become tiresome, not only to
Hassey and Braxton, who up and quit, but to other major league owners
as well.
The Yankee owner is attempting to patch up some holes. At the time
of the deal the Yanks were 11-18 in games started by opposing
lefties. The five shortstops they had tried had a combined 17 RBIs
and 21 errors. And manager Lou Piniella had wearied of catcher Butch
Wynegar, who last week pronounced himself weary of baseball and left
the team. But the trade -- which was engineered by Steinbrenner
without the knowledge of titular G.M. Clyde King -- didn't address
starting pitching, the Yankees' most pressing weakness. While the Red
Sox were losing 10 of 13 on their post-All-Star Game road trip, New
York stayed 6 games back in the loss column by dropping 6 of 7. In
the 6 defeats they were outscored 26-3 in the first three innings.
The new acquisitions pose questions. Will Kittle fizzle in the
heat of the owner's irrationality? Can Tolleson, who has never been
an everyday player, solve the shortstop problem? Is Skinner, whose
release, quickness and bat speed have already been doubted, a
legitimate starting catcher? The Yankees have now used 40 players
so far this season.
And what did the White Sox get? Well, Hassey has bad knees, and
Martinez has an attitude problem.


BRIAN JACKSON Hassey must wonder, Where am I?