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The White Sox-Yankee exchange was the only significant deal before
the Aug. 1 deadline. Most baseball people believe that Pirates
general manager Syd Thrift blew it by not trading pitcher Rick
Rhoden. Thrift said he couldn't get ''equivalent value,'' but he
asked the Yankees for third baseman Mike Pagliarulo and either Fisher
or Doug Drabek, an absurd request. Now all this last-place team will
get is a draft choice when Rhoden hits the free- agent market in
November, because he's not sneaking through waivers. ''We're all
weary of being run around by the Pirates,'' said one owner. ''Anyway,
waivers are going to be harder to get this time around. The Pirates
are stuck.'' . . . The Mariners still expect to get waivers on
centerfielder David Henderson, whom the Red Sox covet for the
stretch. . . . Yes, that was the Cliff Speck you saw in a Braves box
score last week. In his 13th professional season, the former
Portland, Ore., Little League rival of Dale Murphy made it to the
majors. Speck was the first pick of the Mets in the 1974 draft, along
with a two-time Most Valuable Player (Murphy), a Cy Young winner
(Rick Sutcliffe), a batting champion (Willie Wilson), a five-time
All-Star catcher (Lance Parrish), a two-time All-Star shortstop
(Garry Templeton) and an All-Star outfielder (Lonnie Smith). ''Maybe
I'm just a late bloomer,'' Speck said. He made it after being
released by the Mets and Philadelphia organizations and sustaining a
series of injuries that included a hyperextended elbow incurred when
a teammate jerked his arm during a victory celebration. . . . Before
they activated him on July 30, the Dodgers had to promise Pedro
Guerrero that he would only be asked to pinch-hit until he gave the
word that he could play in the field. ''I'm the one who has to go out
and play, and right now I know I can't,'' explained Guerrero. ''The
knee's not hurting, but it's not 100 percent. I won't go out there
without knowing it's 100 percent.'' . . . Tom Lasorda was extremely
concerned when Fernando Valenzuela complained of tenderness in his
shoulder, but he came back in his next start July 29 and beat the
Giants 2-1. ''Anytime that guy coughs, it worries me,'' Lasorda
said. Valenzuela (14-6) was the National League's first 14-game
winner in his drive to become the Dodgers' first 20-game winner
since Tommy John in 1977. . . . Oriole first baseman Jim Traber, who
hit .327 with 6 homers and 18 RBIs in his first 15 games as Eddie
Murray's replacement, is a multitalent. A gifted singer, Traber has
played such musical roles as Curly in Oklahoma, Nicely-Nicely in
Guys and Dolls and Don Quixote in The Man of La Mancha. He was also a
quarterback at Oklahoma State.


MICKEY PFLEGER Speck finally gets a fling in the majors.

JERRY WACHTER Traber can swing as well as he sings.