The most expensive lineup in baseball this season costs $19,494,874 and does not even include Jose Canseco, Kirby Puckett or Wade Boggs.
The Associated Press’ all-money team does, however, list two Dodgers--Orel Hershiser and Eddie Murray. Hershiser’s 1989 salary, including a prorated share of his signing bonus, is $2,766,667, the highest in baseball.
In the AP lineup, Hershiser would throw to Gary Carter of the New York Mets, who earns $2,160,714. The infield would have Murray at first base, $2,244,462; Juan Samuel of the Philadelphia Phillies at second, $1.45 million; Cal Ripken of the Baltimore Orioles at shortstop, $2,466,667, and George Brett of the Kansas City Royals at third, $1,803,979.
Samuel played second base last season, but Philadelphia is planning on moving him to the outfield this year. If he weren’t counted, Steve Sax of the New York Yankees would take over at second at $1,266,667. The most expensive outfield in baseball would have Jim Rice of the Boston Red Sox, $2,325,385; Andy Van Slyke of the Pittsburgh Pirates, $2.15 million, and Andre Dawson of the Chicago Cubs, $2.1 million.
The lineup has average batting statistics of .275 with 20 home runs and 79 runs batted in, not including the pitcher.
The payroll of the all-money team increased 5.6% from last year’s $18,469,222, and the players earn an average of $2.17 million.
Trivia: Which school holds the longest active streak in the nation for most consecutive postseason basketball tournament appearances?
Greener greens: There is an increasingly acceptable living to be made by hitting a little white ball around a field. No fewer than 172 golfers earned $100,000 or more last year by playing the game.
The figure includes 112 players on the PGA Tour, 32 on the PGA Seniors Tour and 28 on the LPGA Tour.
The way he walks that walk: Willie Wilson of the Kansas City Royals walked only 22 times last season and has never walked more than 39 times in a season.
It comes as something of a surprise this spring, therefore, to hear Wilson say, “I know I need to walk a little more and to improve my on-base percentage (.289 last year, lowest among all leadoff hitters in the American League). Last year, I was swinging at a lot of balls in the dirt, balls over my head, everything. That’s going to stop. We want to win, and if takes my willingness to walk, I’ll do that.”
All this from a man who once was quoted as saying, “If I wanted to walk, I would have become a mailman.”
That’s Cincinnati, Bavaria: Not long ago, Marge Schott, owner of the Cincinnati Reds, was asked a question:
After four consecutive second-place finishes, how long will she wait for the Reds to win the National League West?
“Well, I’m German,” she replied, “so I’m not too patient.”
Not too accurate, either. The Reds’ media guide says that Schott is “a native and sixth-generation resident of Cincinnati.”
Shuffling along in Buffalo: It’s distinctly possible that the Pittsburgh Pirates’ lineup on opening day will be an average of three years younger than their triple-A Buffalo club.
The Bisons could have three starting pitchers over 30, and their lineup will include such veterans as Rennie Stennett, 38; Steve Henderson, 36; Tito Landrum, 34, and Reggie Williams, 28.
Trivia answer: St. John’s, whose appearance in the National Invitation Tournament is its 25th straight in postseason play.
Quotebook: Butler University basketball Coach Joe Sexson, after reading that he was going to be replaced: “I just saw this in the paper. It appears that I am going to resign this weekend.”