Cleveland's newest Indian was 29 feet tall and lugged a 22-foot bat. He stood, in neon and plastic splendor, on the roof of Municipal Stadium, and perhaps he helped inspire the Indians to hit nine homers. The pitchers, however, gave up 48 runs and the Indians lost four of six. It was the Kansas City players who really seemed to be swinging 22-foot bats. Four of the AL's top nine batters—Gino Cimoli .333, Jerry Lumpe .337, Norm Siebern .340 and Manny Jimenez .400—were Athletics. The A's wore new flaming scarlet sweatshirts, acquired a registered purebred Montedale sheep for a mascot and split eight games. And Diego Segui, scored on only once in nine appearances so far, gave the team its best relief work since 1956. "One general manager," Owner Charles Finley said, "told me that the deal he was proposing would win the pennant for Kansas City. Imagine the Athletics winning the pennant." It's easier to imagine some other team, like, say, New York. With a two-run homer by Elston Howard here and another by Joe Pepitone there and with a six-run inning elsewhere, the Yankees were nestled in first place. Right behind them at the week's start, but way down in ninth at the end, was Detroit. Typical of the Tigers' misadventures was a foul ball caught by Leftfielder Rocky Colavito. After the catch Colavito tripped over a warmup mound and dropped the ball. The runner on third took advantage of the situation and scored the winning run. Another opportunist was Minnesota's Don Mincher, who got into the lineup when Vic Power pulled a muscle. Mincher had three homers and nine RBIs. Earl Battey hit .385 and Bill Tuttle .458. In addition the Twins made eight double plays, got 13 doubles, two triples, 14 home runs, had a .314 BA for the week and won six of seven. Conversely, Baltimore made just two double plays, allowed six unearned runs, batted .229 and tumbled to eighth. It was enough to drive a manager to drink, but Billy Hitchcock has a personal rule: just one beer after a game. Washington fans were not abiding by the maxim that says it takes a winner to draw crowds. Despite loss after loss, the Senators' home attendance was double that of a year ago. Harry Bright, a Pirate castoff, hit three homers. Another former National Leaguer, Los Angeles' Leon Wagner ("I don't think Maris is better than me; he just makes more money") also hit three. Wagner, an ex-Giant who bats with a spread grip and fairly leaps at the ball, led the AL with nine home runs. Ken Hunt, just over one injury, stretched his arms and bat overhead after hitting a foul and in the process dislocated his shoulder. Bo Belinsky visited Wooster, Ohio, where teammate Dean Chance's father has a farm. "I really broke up Dean's father," Belinsky said. "I walked into the barn in my brown suedes and cashmere coat." Later in the week Belinsky stunned even more people, pitching a no-hitter against the Orioles. Ryne Duren also befuddled batters, striking out 11 of 21 in three relief jobs. Dick Radatz of Boston continued his effective relief work, and after 11‚Öî innings had 17 strikeouts and had given up only two hits. Chet Nichols and Bill Monbouquette attributed their recent success to a five-pound iron ball they used to loosen their arm muscles. Chicago batters seemed to be hitting nothing but iron balls. They had a hard time getting extra base hits and finished with a .193 BA.
Billy Pierce of San Francisco had a 16.54 ERA in spring training but after last week he had a 1.74 ERA and a 4-0 record. Juan Marichal, after giving up two runs in the first inning, simply shifted from one side of the pitching rubber to the other and shut out the Pirates the rest of the way. Orlando Cepeda hit .355, Chuck Hiller .361, Mickey Mota .381, Felipe Alou .382, Jim Davenport .391, Willie Mays .417, the team as a unit .337. None of the 25 pitchers to start against the Giants this season had been able to finish. Thus it was understandable that they won 10 straight and were in first place. Milwaukee's Frank Boiling was batting .236, Joe Adcock .246, Eddie Mathews .250 and Hank Aaron .270. Warren Spahn lost to the Phillies for the first time in nearly three years. Thus it was understandable that the Braves were seventh. Los Angeles had difficulties, too. The Dodgers did not have an extra base hit in four games against the Pirates and batted .237. Probably the most distraught man in the league, though, was Pittsburgh's Don Hoak. After playing several games in spite of badly swollen glands, the peppery third baseman finally had to rest. Why? He tripped over first base and severely sprained his wrist. When Houston Manager Harry Craft said, "Oh, my aching back," he was complaining as much about his team's four losses in six games as he was about his sacroiliac. "Ken Johnson and Jim Umbricht," said Houston writer Mickey Herskowitz, "are big enough to serve as book ends for the Library of Congress." Both have pitched well, but because of the team's weak hitting (.249 last week) they have yet to win. Cincinnati's Jim Brosnan, who has two books in the Library of Congress, saved one game as the Reds got good pitching and won four in a row. Vada Pinson also helped by hitting five homers. Manager Freddie Hutchinson decided to copy the Cardinals' batting practice technique of letting each player hit for five minutes. The Reds promptly beat the Cardinals twice. A more drastic shakeup seemed to help Minnie Minoso of St. Louis. Minoso was hitting .231 when he banged his head against the wall trying to make a catch. For the rest of the week he hit .273. Philadelphia Manager Gene Mauch probably felt like banging his head against the wall after watching some of his players' boners. After losing to the Mets 8-0, the Phillies did well, though. Don Demeter, a converted outfielder, made several spectacular plays at third base, Ted Savage hit one of the longest home runs in the history of Connie Mack Stadium and the Phillies won five in a row, their longest streak since June 1960. Lou Klein took over as head coach for Chicago and said, "I'm not interested in home runs." His boys took him at his word. They did not hit one for 25 innings. Still at the bottom of the standings was New York. This despite the fact that the Mets had five regulars batting over .300. The Yankees had just two.
Boxed statistics through Saturday, May 5