National League : Not a LeMaster of His Own Fate
Send flowers, or better yet, a funeral wreath: They don’t keep records on such things, but shortstop Johnnie (Dee-Saster) LeMaster holds the distinction of playing for three last-place teams before Memorial Day.
LeMaster started the season with the Giants, was traded to Cleveland, then was sent by the Indians to the Pirates.
Border patrol: For the first time in their 16-year history, according to Montreal Expos’ publicist Richard Griffin, an Expos’ player was detained by U.S. customs agents in Montreal.
The intercepted traveler was Miguel Dilone, who didn’t have a passport or visa with him last Monday night when the Expos were leaving town to go to San Diego. After a 1 1/2-hour wait at Montreal’s Dorval Airport, the Expos left without Dilone, who didn’t rejoin the team until the next afternoon.
“I knew we were in trouble when they served us hors d’oeuvres and we were still sitting on the ground,” Griffin said.
Shortly thereafter, the Giants passed through customs and the same agent held up Jose Uribe and his wife. With teammate Manny Trillo acting as interpreter, Uribe finally was waved through after a two-hour delay.
Hope for Haas?: Braves’ owner Ted Turner, recently returned from Moscow, held a meeting with his own Politburo and gave a vote of confidence to embattled manager Eddie Haas on Friday.
But sources in Atlanta say that Haas has been told that the team must turn things around on its current trip or he’s a goner. That may be a tough order, considering the Braves had lost eight straight on the road at the start of the weekend.
More than an ultimatum, Haas could use another pitcher. The team ERA is over 4.00, and Braves’ starters other than Rick Mahler are a combined 3-18. In their last nine games, the Braves have fallen behind by the third inning eight times.
Add Braves: The only good news out of Atlanta these days is the advance sale for next weekend’s series against the Dodgers, Los Angeles’ first visit of 1985. The Braves report that more than 30,000 seats have been sold for all three games.
Night and day: When the Reds beat the Cubs, 13-11, last Monday night, then turned around the next day and shut them out, 1-0, it was the biggest turnaround in a single day in 46 years, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Age is relative: The Cubs’ Davey Lopes, 39, is batting .314, with 4 home runs, 19 RBIs and 13 steals in 14 attempts. Lopes is replacing Gary Matthews in left field. Mathews underwent knee surgery last Wednesday and is not expected back until July 1.
Cincinnati’s Tony Perez, meanwhile, has a slugging percentage of 1.043. In his last 12 games, Perez has 11 hits, 4 home runs, 13 RBIs and a .478 batting average.
Perez became the oldest player to hit a grand slam when he connected off the Phillies’ Dave Rucker.
Close but no cigar: The Giants are 5-16 in one-run games this season. At that pace, they will play 81 one-run games and lose 57 of them.
The major league record for one-run games is 75, set by the Houston Astros in 1971. The major league record for one-run losses is held by the 1968 White Sox, who lost 44 one-run games.
Comparative statistics: In the home-run race, the Pirates (16) hold a narrow lead over Atlanta’s Dale Murphy (13).
In pitching complete games, Fernando Valenzuela (6) has a wide edge over the Braves (0).
Hole in the middle: The Cubs’ Lee Smith is among the league leaders in saves, but when Manager Jim Frey has to summon help before Smith, he’s in trouble. George Frazier has a 8.76 ERA, Lary Sorensen a 6.57 ERA and Warren Brusstar a 4.73 ERA. Frazier has walked 10 batters in his last 12 innings, Brusstar 10 in his last 13.
Overmatched: Giants’ outfielder Jeff Leonard has nine at-bats against the Mets’ Dwight Gooden and has struck out eight times, including three times last Thursday when Gooden fanned 14 Giants.
A bouquet to The Chief: Cubs announcer Harry Caray, after Ron Cey and Davey Lopes figured prominently in Chicago’s win over Houston last Sunday, “To Al Campanis, wherever you are, thank you for your ex-Dodgers.”