Throughout his checkered managerial career, Dick Williams has done well with a new team. He won a pennant as a rookie with the Boston Red Sox; he won in his second season with the Oakland A’s, and he improved the San Diego Padres right away.
Now, at the helm of the Seattle Mariners, Williams is up to his old tricks.
Jim Presley hit a pair of two-run singles Friday night at New York to back the sharp pitching of Mark Langston and give the Mariners a 7-3 victory over the Yankees. The Mariners, who were 9-20 before Williams replaced Chuck Cottier, are 5-2 under their new manager.
Langston (2-3) is battling back from arm trouble. In his eighth start of the season, he held the Yankees scoreless for seven innings. He began to tire and gave up three runs before Pete Ladd came in to get the last out.
The Mariners are the sixth team Williams has managed in the majors. In the past, he has had his share of run-ins with players. He admits that he is demanding but points out that he’s not paid to be a nice guy.
“I’m older and grayer, but I haven’t changed,” the 57-year-old Williams told the Associated Press. “I learned my baseball from Branch Rickey. That’s the proper way to play, and I’ll never change my approach to it.”
Williams takes great pride in his accomplishments, both as a player and as a manager. He played in two World Series and managed in four, guiding the A’s to victory in 1972 and 1973. He lost in 1967 with the Red Sox and in 1984 with the Padres.
“I came back because the money’s so good,” Williams said. “Of course, the players are getting most of it, and I think it has taken away much of the motivation from the players.”
To manage the Mariners, a team that has never had a winning season, he has signed a contract for $200,000.
“I don’t know if anyone is ever financially set,” he said. “But I was retired in San Diego and I wouldn’t be in this job if I didn’t want to win.”
Oakland 8, Baltimore 4--Tony Phillips performed an unusual feat at Baltimore to enable the A’s to end the Orioles’ six-game winning streak and give Moose Haas his seventh victory.
Phillips hit for the cycle (home run, triple, double and single), becoming the first Oakland player ever to do it. Phillips was 5 for 5 and, although batting in the leadoff spot, drove in four runs. His other hit was a single. The five hits and four RBIs were both career highs.
Haas, who won only eight games last season for the Milwaukee Brewers, has lost only one game this season for Oakland. He needed relief help in the seventh.
Texas 4, Boston 1--Jose Guzman, who ended a five-game losing streak in his previous outing, picked a hitter’s park, Fenway, to get his first complete game in the majors. The young pitcher held the Red Sox to seven hits and improved his record to 3-5.
Except for throwing home run balls to Oddibe McDowell, rookie Pete Incaviglia and Steve Buechele, Bruce Hurst was impressive. He struck out 14 and took over the league lead in strikeouts with 71--to 69 for teammate Roger Clemens.
Chicago 4, Kansas City 2--Reid Nichols hit a three-run double with two out in the fifth inning at Chicago, and Harold Baines had four hits as the White Sox ended the Royals’ four-game winning streak.
It was the third win in a row for the White Sox and gave them a 6-2 record since the team decided to retain Manager Tony LaRussa last week.
Richard Dotson was the winner, with help from Gene Nelson, who pitched 3 scoreless innings of relief.
Toronto 7, Cleveland 6--Jesse Barfield drove in four runs with a double and a single at Toronto as the Blue Jays fought back from a 3-0 deficit to win.
The Blue Jays, trailing, 4-2, sent 10 men to the plate and rocked Tom Candiotti for five runs. Barfield’s bases-clearing double climaxed the rally.
Milwaukee 7, Minnesota 6--Bill Schroeder’s long single to the warning track in right field scored Juan Castillo from third base with the winning run in the ninth inning at Milwaukee.