The Pittsburgh Press from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 30, 1987 · Page 78
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The Pittsburgh Press from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 78

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 30, 1987
Page 78
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The Pittsburgh Press Sunday, August 30, 1987 BASEBALL Pittsburgh and Seattle should prove they're big-league I D10 By Bob Hertzel The Pittsburgh Press If I were commissioner. rd lable all expansion talk and put the Pittsburgh and Seattle franchises on notice that if they did not, within five years, show th ability to draw 1.5 million fans on a : regular basis, the franchise might be taken from them and given to a baseball-hungry city. The Pirates' attendance is up 17.9 percent thus season but probably won't reach 1.2 rnfllion. It is still last in the majors, even though the Pirates are a respectable road draw. A crowd of less than 25,000 for a night honoring Bill Mazeroski and crowds of fewer than 7,000 to see Fernando Valenzuela and Nolan Ryan pitch this year were disgraces to thfccity and franchise and showed the apathy tht community has toward baseball. I would give a one-year suspension to anyone caught using a corked bat or scuffing a aseball with a foreign substance. No appeal. Just see ya later. I would get together with the players union and hammer out a workable drug prfiram that would help those who need help an banish anyone caught more than once or caught selling drugs. I would go back to day World Series games, at least on the weekends. The weather is better and there is still a certain mystique about getting away from the job or school to see the Series. I'd do away with the rule that says every team should be represented in the All-Star Game. Instead, every All-Star should be represented. , Fd do all I could to keep lights out of Wrigley Field and tradition in basebalL I'd do away with the designated hitter rule in the American League. Here's a note you have to love. Jack Clark of the Cardinals has a chance to become the first player to have 300 plate appearances in one season in which he did not hit a fair ball As of Friday, Clark had drawn 123 walks and struck out 126 times 249 appearances without hitting the ball fair. . , In 1969, Jimmy Wynne of the Houston Astros had 148 walks and 142 strikeouts for 290 appearances without a fair ball. By; comparison. Babe Ruth's highest totals were 170 walks and 93 strikeouts for a total of 263. . And, get this: Willie McGee, who hits NOTEBOOK behind Clark, has walked 105 fewer times than Clark. "I don't get paid to walk. They're scared of Jack." This week's quiz: Has any National League team won a pennant after firing its manager in midseason? Answer later. Milwaukee outfielder Rick Manning, never popular since being traded to the Brewers for fan favorite Gorman Thomas, did not endear himself to any of the Milwaukee faithful when his game-winning hit ended Paul Molitor's hitting streak at 39 games while Molitor was in the on-deck circle. "I'm going to have someone start my car every night," Manning said. "If it doesn't blow up, I'll drive it to the park." an Don Sutton of the California Angels on being accused of scuffing baseballs: "I get tired of all this. I've been investigated more than Richard Nixon." This from New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner July 12, when he traded for left-hander Steve Trout "Gabe Paul told me you can never have enough pitching and in this division you can never have enough left-handed pitching." So, last week he traded left-handed pitcher Dennis Rasmussen for right-hander Bill Gullickson. The deal is understandable from the Cincinnati side. It is the third time Reds' General Manager Bill Bergsch has traded for Rasmussen. Memo to Onix Conception from Whitey Herzog, the St Louis Cardinals' manager, on how to cure a pulled muscle: "Do what I do. Drink a beer with salt tablets. Have a big juicy hamburger with onions and tomato. Then you won't have that problem." Bo Jackson is not the only football player in the big leagues. The Cardinals' Vince Coleman broke his cousin Greg's punting-records at Florida A&M - Greg went on tot punt for Minnesota in the National Football League and Vince says he'd love to punt" for the St Louis football Cardinals. "If-(Gene) Stallings would offer me a contract Td kick for him. They'd have more fans at Cardinals games and they wouldn't have ol relocate, either." Willie Stargell, who wants a job as a big league manager, is close to getting the job as manager of the San Juan team in the Puerto Rican winter league ... Fernando Valenzuela walked only 85 batters in 269 innings, last season. He has walked 95 batters in-193 innings this year, indicating bitters are laying off his screwball out of the strike zone ... Tony Armas last three major-league home runs have come off Phil Niekro. - z Quiz Answer Only once in NL history has a team fired its manager and won a pennant.'"' In 1983 the Philadelphia Phillies fired Pat', Corrales and replaced him with Paul Owens." It has happened three times in the American League, but then George Steinbrenner doesn't own any NL teams. X 'JL-- ill ; -Ftp " - .! ' ! - tr t plililia Pitcher Mike Bielecki throws six-hitter at Astros as Pirates win fifth in a row from page Dl Pirates Vajn"Slyke to hit his first career grand slam because the Ray trade hafl left him the Pirates' highest-paid player. "I'm well aware of that," he said. "This is the first time I've had the most money in my pockets since I brought two lunches to school." The changes have left Pirates players in a state of semi-shock . . . unsure what it all means. sThe story can't be told yet," Van Slyke said. "The next chapter will unfold in the next 34 days and then we'll see what the chapter after that hQlds next year." 'There was an eerie reminder of many yesterdays as the game started; The "Hoo-Ray For Johnny" banner, which has decorated the right-field wall in Three Rivers Stadium for five years, was hanging in the outfield, its owner unaware that iti subject Johnny Ray had been traded to the California Angels. With Ray gone, Lind was given his first start at second base and few rookies were asked to debut as was Lind. On the mound was Ryan, owner of five no-hitters and who, at 40, averaged 95 mph for the game, popping a couple of fastballs at 97. Lind said he was nervous before the game, striking out his first at-bat. "I am in the record book with Ryan." But after the game, he said he felt "fantastic." Ryan struck out the side in the first inning and when he got R.J. Reynolds for the inning's final out, it was another record strikeout for Ryan, owner of the career record of 4,481. Reynolds had become Ryan's 200th victim this season, giving him 11 seasons in which he struck out 200 or more. He had been tied with Tom Seaver with 10 200-strikeout seasons. With the trade of Ray, the day had held its share of surprises, but one of the biggest was yet to come when LaValliere put the Pirates in front with his first home run as a Pirate. He had been to the plate 324 times this season without a homer before he turned around a Ryan fastball and drove it into the right field seats. The Pirates' lead stretched to 2-0 in the third and Lind was in the middle of this. John Cangelosi had drawn a leadoff walk and stolen second. Lind's job with a runner at second and none out is to try and hit the ball to the right side to move the runner over. Just hitting the ball off Ryan is a chore but Lind, with two strikes, managed a ground ball to second. "He's the most unselfish ballplayer I've ever seen," said Bielecki, who played with Lind at Vancouver. "He does the little things." Pam BerryTh Pittsburgh Press "He threw me a curveball," Lind said. "Thank you, Mr. Ryan " - Moments later Bonilla blooped a two-out single and Cangelosi scored, making it 2-0. Bielecki, pitching before a house full of scouts, including those from Boston, Kansas City and the Yankees, was in control until the seventh. He had allowed only three hits, just one of them leaving the infield. Ryan (5-14) was lifted after six innings, having struck out seven and walked six. Larry Andersen came on to pitch and Lind victimized him for his first major-league hit, that coming after a single by Cangelosi. "I am sending this to my dad in Puerto Rico," he said, pointing to the ball in his locker. Van Slyke forced Lind but then Bonilla drove one to the fence in right-center that went as a two-run double, giving him three runs batted in for tne evening. from page Dl that runs through next season. The Pirates this year have traded thf ir top four salaries in Ray, Tony Pena ($1,150,000) Rick Reuschel ( 1750,000) aud Don Robinson ($620,000). By next season the only long-term obligation they'll have is oa Larry McWilliams' contract. i"Look around," said Ray, pointing tot a locker room filled with 13 players who were not there last year -11 the result of Thrift trades -"you can see what's happening." jThrift said he is not holding a fire sale. "Money has nothing to do with anything we have done. It has just worked out that way. The players we t$ded have been veterans. You are paid for two things . . . your perfor-ntence and your length of service." jThe highest-paid Pirates player ntwr is Andy Van Slyke, who earns $50,000. Terry Harper is the only other Pirates player who earns more tjaa the major-league average of $400,000 at $425,000. ,"Not having some players with efght to 10 years experience is a deficiency," Thrift said. "But I be-lve they're available out there if I have to go get them." Jose Lind, 23, inherited the second-base job without starting a major-league game. "We believe Jose Lind can play in the major leagues," Thrift said. "There's no question he can play defense. He's better defensively right now than 95 percent of the second basemen in the league." But will he hit, having batted just .268 at Vancouver this season? "Only the good Lord in heaven knows who can hit" Thrift said. "What we are doing is counting on the young, quality athlete to prevail' Ray said, "I am not over the hill." As Ray packed the remnants of six seasons with the Pirates there were no tears nor smiles. It had been about 15 minutes since Leyland and Syd Thrift had told him be had been traded. He didn't know for whom. "I've been traded before," Ray said when asked about the emotion of the moment. "It was fun here. They gave me a chance to play in the big leagues here. "But things have definitely changed since I came here." When Ray came the Pirates were a veteran, rowdy bunch that perennially contended for a championship. Ever quiet, ever to himself, Ray had enjoyed Pittsburgh. This spring he and his agent, Tom Selackovich, and the Pirates agreed to negotiate an extension on his contract at the end of the year. "What happened? I had a bad year." Ray is batting .286 lifetime. It could work out for him, just as it could for a number of former Pirates traded by Thrift. Thrift does not send his castoffs to Siberia. He could end up with a former player on each playoff team: California Angels: Ray. New York Yankees: Rick Rho-den, Pat Clements, Cecilio Guante, Detroit Tigers: Jim Morrison. St. Louis Cardinals: Tony Pena. San Francisco Giants: Rick Reuschel, Don Robinson. The Angels were thrilled to get Ray, especially for anything less than one of their regular players. "This could be the coup of the year," said Angels catcher Bob Boone. "My first thought was that I hope I'm not the player to be named. You have to believe that for a player of Ray's caliber it will be a significant player." The Angels think so much of Ray that to make room for him on their roster they sent out their rookie second baseman Mark McLemore. It...; Pittsburgh Coelic Athletic Association prMiit tha 1S87 NORTH AMERICAN 6AELIC CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES In FOOTBALL HURLING CAMOGII LABOR DAY WEEKEND Stent Field, North Park Saturday, Sapt. S Saml-Flnals tiOO a.m. 9tO0 p.m. Sunday, Spt. Finals 1 1 tOO a.m. - 6sOO p.m. - Alsa featuring a "MINI-FESTIVAL IN THE PARK" Saturday and Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Plrata Parrat Pittsburgh Staalara Irish Stap Cancan Food Baatha Canal Dunn Tha Irish Exprasa Rafrashajonta BLARNEY STONE RESTAURANT, Etna fri- Sspt. 4 "Crt aciMlalsd Prl" vita Cabal Sims Sal Scat. 5 "CaaaslwiMa CaaMs Dsacs" vita Csaasrt 4 Tbs Irish IiarsM Saa, Sft. aaaros aoa.asl Alio on Sunday, e lh telecart via lotellH of tho A II-Ireland Hurling Final Galwoy vt Kilkenny at Confey'i. Cibtonia beginning ot J 0:00 a rm. Cp3 COOL SPRINGS PRO SHOP & GOLF COMPANY Q- PRESENT THE Of DO GOLF CLUB CHALLENGE SEPT. 5, 6 & 7 AT COOL SPRINGS DRIVING RANGE BRING YOUR CLUBS OR TRY ANY OTHER MANUFACTURERS CLUBS AND COMPARE. FLY PAST HIE COMPETITION vjim omo COIF UUDS BE PROPERLY FITTED BY ONE OF THE BIRD REPRESENTATIVES AND REGISTER FOR OUR FREE DRAWING FOR A COMPLETE SET OF BIRD CLUBS COOL SPRINGS PRO SHOP 1530 HAMILTON ROAD, PGH., PA. 15234 881-7768 n SOUTH HILLS OPEN 10-10 EVERY DAY PIRATES PROSPECTS (Through Thursday's games) Vancouver Pacific Coast League (AAA) Catcher Mackay Saaaar leads the Canadians with a .303 batting ' average (23 for 76) ... First baseman Banay Dlstefaaa, batting ..274, leads the club with 76 RBI and IS home runs . . . Outfielder Butch Davis (.270) has 21 stolen bases . . . Second baseman Jom Lind, who was called up by the Pirates Wednesday, had a .268 average with 30 RBI in 533 at-bats. He also had 21 stolen bases . . . Vicaata Palaeioa (125), who leads the, league in strikeouts (141) and ERA (2.71) , gave up three hits and struck out nine in a 4-0 victory against Edmonton. It was Palacios' sixth complete game ... Dora Taylor (0-2, 2.05) pitched his first complete game, but was a 1-0 loser against Edmonton . . . Tlsa DruauMat (2-6, 3.00 ERA) has 10 saves . . . Dava Johaaoa, who is 8-10 with a 3.51 ERA, has nine complete games in 22 starts . . . Hlpollto Paaa is 5-5 with a 3.58 ERA and four saves. Harrisburgj Eastern League (AA) Hitting .300 or better are outfielder Tommy Graff (.373), outfielder Tony Walkar (.328), second baseman J la Beboulet (.327) , third baseman Dlmaa Gatlarros (.307) and catcher Tom Princa (.305) . Reboulet is third in the league with 47 stolen bases . . . First baseman Lanca Balan (.288) leads the Senators with 89 RBI and 11 game-winning RBI . . . After 20 games, first baseman Jeff King has a .179 average (14 for 78) ... Outfielder Gaao GontUo is batting .231, but has 15 home runs . . . Bob Baaaall got his eighth victory and Kovia Gordon his ninth save in a 3-1 victory against New Britain. Russell has an 8-2 record with a 4.15 ERA and Gordon m 3-3 with a 2.57 ERA . . . Bich Saurour is 12-6 with a 2.85 ERA and leads the league with 153 strikeouts . . . Jim NeidUafor (11-8, 4.10) has seven complete games . . . Larry Maltoa is 6-3 with a 4.14 ERA. Salem Carolina League (A) Outfielder Tony Cbanco, hitting .319, leads the team with 95 RBI and 23 home runs . . . Outfielder Jeff Cook has a .346 average and 38 stolen bases . . . Third baseman Scott Llttlo is batting .299 . . . Other consistent hitters are infielder Boggle Barriafer (.312), second baseman Stevo Moser (.301) , catcher Gllberto Boca (.298) and outfielder Joha Blgoo (.287) . . . BiU Sampea (9-8, 3.81) has 129 strikeouts . . . Jom Melaades is has a 9-6 record, but has a 4.57 ERA and has given up 17 home runs ... In 21 relief appearances, Paal Wilmat (1-0) has 14 saves and a 0.56 ERA . . . Clyda Baicaard is 4-0 with a 1.06 ERA in 34 innings of relief. Macon South Atlantic League (A) Third baseman Joha Lore leads the Pirates in hitting (.311), home runs (13) .and RBI (88) . . . Second baseman Jalio Pons, batting .303, has 29 stolen bases . . . Shortstop Carlos Garcia has a .255 average . . . Outfielder Toay Loagmiro is batting .265 and has 62 RBI . . . Outfielder Ed Taeoplao is hitting .240 . . . Outfielder Julio Pegnaro has a .288 average . . . Stan BoUada (6-4, 2.30) has 16 saves . . . Mike York is 17-6 with a 3.19 ERA and 165 strikeouts . . . Joel Forrest (4-6, 5.09) has given up 12 home runs . . . Bick Beed is 8-4 with a 2.45 ERA and seven saves . . . Tonny Cohen (5-7, 3.83) has 92 strikeouts in 11244 innings. Watertown New York-Penn League (A) Shortstop Kevin Bnrdlck, batting .269, leads Watertown with 38 RBI . . . Leading hitters are first baseman Junior Vltcaino (.316) and outfielder Steve Carter (.312) . . . Outfielder Bobert Harris has a .273 average and 28 stolen bases . . . Pete Murphy has an 8-3 record with a 3.67 ERA . . . Boa Webb (2-5, 2.09) has recorded seven saves . . . Joe Acoata (2-3) has a 1.43 ERA and four saves . . . Joe Pachotec has a 7-3 record with a 3.75 ERA . . . Doug Torborg (5-3, 2.36) has 83 strikeouts. Bradenton Gulf Coast League (Rookie) Outfielder Mark Merchant, the Pirates No. 1 draft pick in the June draft, is batting .266 (46 for 173). Merchant has three home runs, 16 RBI and 31 stolen bases . . . Other consistent hitters are third baseman Mike Wall (.303), outfielder Miguel Valverde (.290), outfielder Jay Bluthart (.284), infielder Flavio Williams (.284) and second baseman Felix Fella (.284) . . . Tim Holmes hasd a 4-1 record with a 2.86 ERA after eight starts . . . Reliever Bamoa Martlaes (1-1, 2.19) has four saves. 7 irfaii mtmm Fillml iMfjaba GUESS PIRATES' ( ATTENDANCE WIN A '50 CIANT EAGLE CUT CERTIFICATE Closest guess to actual paid attendance at any home game this week received a $50 Grocery Certificate from Giant Eagle plus four box seats to a future game of choice from The Pittsburgh Press and the Pirates. Duplicate prizes in the event of a tie. One winner, per family, per month. Limit two (2) entries per family per game. Deposit this entry coupon in any designated drop box located at Three Rivers Stadium gate entrance. Make your paid attendance guess ONLY FOR THE GAME YOU ATTEND. Sunday. AugutlM 135 pm Pirates vs. Houston 735 PM Pirates vs. Atlanta Monday, August 31 Name-Address City Zip .State. .Phone. SEAT LOCATION: Section Row. . Seat. ESThe Pittsburgh Press FOIdHOIE INFORMATION CALL (412) 1-IM4

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