Boston was still on top, and sounding a bit smug. After benefiting from a clutch of White Sox errors, the Red Sox pointed out mildly that Doug Griffin, their rookie second baseman, had made one error so far in 1971. Mike Andrews, the second baseman they sent to Chicago, had made seven. Meanwhile BALTIMORE Manager Earl Weaver, who has started wearing eyeglasses, reinstalled his team's kangaroo court. The Orioles were dragging early last year until Weaver declared the court in session. He has decided more legal measures are in order. At the first of this year DETROIT Manager Billy Martin was bemoaning "Oriole luck" and the Tigers' lack of it. Last week the Tigers won one game when limping Al Kaline scored from first on a single that scooted under the glove of Oakland's Reggie Jackson. They won another when Mickey Lolich's bunt was mishandled so drastically by the Royals that the portly Lolich was able to circle the bases and score. NEW YORK became the first American League team to win 6,000 games. With better planning the Yankees would have saved more of them for this year. "Sam is all right," said CLEVELAND Manager Al Dark of his ace, Sam McDowell, who predicted before the season that he would win 30 games and who is so far one and four.
BOST 18-9 BALT 16-11 DET 13-14 NY 13-14 WASH 13-16 CLEV 9-19
May 16, 1971
Chicago was fast in the division but had the most diverting statistics—for instance, 511 fans and six errors. The occasion was a home game against the Red Sox, and although the attendance wasn't typical (so far this year the average White Sox gate is around 11,000, up some 4,000 from 1970), the fielding was. In their first 13 home games the Chicagoans made 27 errors. Then there were the unofficial outfield errors—Jay Johnstone backpedaling on a pop-fly that landed 40 feet behind second, Rick Reichardt charging in hard for a line drive that sailed over his head and Walt Williams rushing off in the wrong direction after a fly ball that, fortunately for him, cleared the fence. For these reasons Shortstop BeeBee Richard, after making 14 errors in 12 games, was shifted to center field. Third Baseman Bill Melton thought Richard's trouble in the infield was that "he used one of Bobby Knoop's old gloves with the small pocket. He has to catch every ground ball right in the middle or he's in trouble." Whereupon said Melton took the field and committed two errors of his own. OAKLAND'S Vida Blue "is as good today," said A's Manager Dick Williams, "as Koufax was starting his sixth year." "I was always confident I would win in the majors, but 7-1?" said Blue. Now it is 8-1. Jim Fregosi of CALIFORNIA was hampered by a nerve injury between two toes, but Sydney Lloyd O'Brien, sometimes referred to as S.L.O.B., had a hot bat filling in for him. KANSAS CITY starter Bruce Dal Canton, who is doing a research project on major league arm ailments for a master's degree, proved that his arm was of no scientific interest by holding the Indians scoreless for 8‚Öî innings to gain his second victory of the week. Bill Rigney of MINNESOTA, the manager once known for pulling pitchers, left starter Bert Blyleven in long enough to lose 6-5 to the Senators. "That is what you call falling in love with a pitcher," said Rigney. "It was the worst job of managing I've ever done." MILWAUKEE'S Bill Parsons ran his scoreless inning streak to 24‚Öî and revealed that he was not 23 years old, as listed, but 22.
OAK 21-11 KC 15-14 CAL 16-15 MINN 15-15 MIL 12-15 CHI 10-18
Springtime in NEW YORK, and a young man's fancy turns to That Wonderful Year...1969. At least, the Mets seem to think so. Six of their first 14 victories have been in extra innings, twice each over Cincinnati, Houston and Chicago. The 1969 world champions have been successful in nine of their first 12 one-run games. Tom Seaver, a 25-game winner in '69, is also in step. He pitched a six-hitter and struck out nine in a 3-1 victory over the Cardinals, the second time he has outdueled Bob Gibson and his fifth win in six decisions. PITTSBURGH'S Gene Alley has finally found a way to loosen the right shoulder that has plagued him since 1968. The shortstop broke his left hand this spring. "At the time it looked like a setback," Alley said, "but it has been good for me. It gave me a chance to throw loose and easy all spring." Maybe Alley should tell Pitcher Dock Ellis, who has been having right-elbow trouble, to put a cast on his left hand. Credit Fern Lapierre, the organist at Montreal's Jarry Park, for the home runs CHICAGO'S Joe Pepitone hit on Friday and Saturday. "Tell him to stop playing Arriverderci Roma when I come to the plate," Pepitone said. "It must do something to me." Carl Morton of the EXPOS finally won one from the Cubs, the only team he had not been able to beat in two years as a National Leaguer. The score was 3-1 and would have been a shutout were it not for the erring Lapierre. College Night at PHILADELPHIA'S new Veterans Stadium had all the aspects of a beer blast. A youngster wearing a green fraternity shirt dashed onto the field, slid into second and somehow made a getaway back to his third-level seat. Two other husky fans wrestled in a box seat behind first base and a middle-aged man blithely climbed over the deluxe-box railing and wandered into the Houston dugout. Amazed but unperturbed, the Astros won 8-1 as Pitcher Don Wilson bunted a double through short.
NY 17-9 PITT 18-11 MONT 12-9 ST. L. 16-14 CHI 12-17 PHIL 9-17
"Right on, Reds" is this year's CINCINNATI slogan. "Wrong on, Reds" might have been more appropriate. Bobby Tolan, who ruptured his Achilles' tendon playing basketball during the off season, was jogging in the outfield in Los Angeles last week, getting in shape for his return. "I felt a thump like I'd been hit with a baseball," Tolan said. "That's all there was to it." No, there was more—another operation to correct the tendon that was reinjured. The Reds, shut out just once last year, have already failed to score in four games. Manager Sparky Anderson tried a lineup change against the Dodgers, moving Johnny Bench to third in the order and Tony Perez, who was hitting .191, to cleanup. "I saw I was hitting cleanup and thought, "You've got to be kidding,' " Perez said. Nobody was, and that night Perez had a homer, double and four RBIs in an 8-4 victory. LOS ANGELES pitchers have hurled 10 complete games, but one would hardly guess that to look at the records of Don Sutton (0-4) and Bill Singer (2-6). Only the lefthanders have been consistent. Claude Osteen has won four of six and completed four games; Al Downing, the former American Leaguer, has posted a 3-2 record with three complete games. With HOUSTON it has been the righthanders, Larry Dierker (5-0 with a 1.37 ERA) and Don Wilson (2-2). After his eight-hit, 8-1 win over Philadelphia, Wilson said, "I haven't pitched a game since June 1969 in which I felt no twinge, no tingle, no pain, no nothing." Nate Colbert of SAN DIEGO slept just 20 minutes after the arrival of six-pound, three-ounce Dana Michelle. He celebrated with a game-winning home run, and the Padres broke a seven-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Braves. Henry Aaron of ATLANTA seems intent on catching Babe Ruth this season, even though he is more than a hundred homers away. Aaron's 12th in 28 games drove in two runs in a 5-2 victory over the Giants.
SF 22-9 ATL 15-15 HOUS 14-15 LA 15-17 CIN 11-17 SD 9-20