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This Counterattack Succeeds With Relish

Angel Manager Doug Rader was playing third base for the Houston Astros the time in San Diego when Padre owner Ray Kroc grabbed the stadium microphone in mid-game and apologized to the fans for his team’s poor play.

“After the game,” writes Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe, “Rader tried to explain the plight of the Padre players and said that this wasn’t like McDonald’s, where Kroc could fire the short-order cook and start over.

“The comment enraged short-order cooks everywhere, and when the Astros came back to San Diego they had Chef Night. Everybody who came to the park wearing a chef’s hat got a break, and they hooted Rader.

“Rader got the clubhouse kid to find him a chef’s hat and utensils, and he came out with the lineup card flipping burgers.”

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Just asking: Everybody seems to assume that Shoeless Joe Jackson would be in the Hall of Fame were it not for the Black Sox Scandal, but does he have the credentials?

He was quite a hitter, attested by his .356 lifetime average, but only once did he drive in more than 100 runs. His only league-leading totals were in triples, three times, and in doubles and hits, once each.

Hal Trosky knocked in more than 100 runs six consecutive seasons, including a league-leading 162 in 1936, and he’s not in the Hall of Fame.

Trivia time: What two men hit 50 or more home runs in a season and didn’t win the league title?

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Plot thickens: According to the Sporting News, the Pete Rose investigation has uncovered some extramarital indiscretions by the Cincinnati manager, who is said to have “five or six girlfriends around the country.”

Furman Bisher of the Atlanta Journal quotes Rose’s first wife, Karolyn, as saying to a friend, “Between his gambling and his women, he’ll be broke by the time he’s out of baseball.”

Send roses: From Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch: “Injury of the week: Atlanta Braves coach Bobby Wine broke two fingers as well as a bone in his hand demonstrating a bunt in the batting cage against a pitching machine. There are no plans for an instructional movie to be made.”

Stay tuned: Yes, the Jerry Reinsdorf who uncoupled Doug Collins as coach of the Chicago Bulls is the same one who, in concert with Eddie Einhorn, cut adrift Roland Hemond and Tony La Russa as general manager and manager of the Chicago White Sox after the 1985 season. Ken Harrelson replaced Hemond, and the White Sox still haven’t recovered.

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Meanwhile, Hemond at Baltimore and La Russa at Oakland are both doing handsomely.

Squeeze play: Former major league outfielder Curt Flood, on old-timers’ games: “The funny thing about these uniforms is you hang them in the closet and they get smaller and smaller.”

Frightening: Chris Evert, on Steffi Graf: “The best is yet to come with her. She’s probably the best I’ve ever seen.”

Would-you-believe-it dept.: Nick Peters of the Sacramento Bee, on Mike Schmidt’s struggle at the plate before he retired: “It got so bad that Schmidt virtually begged for hits. Sadly, his last hit was a bunt single against the Dodgers on May 25. When an error was charged on a ball he hit in L.A., he later called the press box to request a reversal.”

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Trivia answer: Jimmie Foxx with 50 in 1938, second to Hank Greenberg’s 58, and Mickey Mantle with 54 in 1961, second to Roger Maris’ 61.

Quotebook: Baseball Commissioner Bart Giammati, asked if he’s feeling the pressure of the Pete Rose affair: “Yes, but it doesn’t compare to having a thousand students marching in your front yard and you’re worried about the safety of you and your family. That happened when I was president of Yale.”


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