"I didn't want anyone to know because I was afraid people would think I was using it as an excuse when I had a bad day," said CHICAGO'S Ron Santo last Friday when he revealed that he has suffered from diabetes throughout his career. Santo, who takes an insulin shot each day and keeps candy bars in the dugout in case he feels threatened by a diabetic coma during a game, made his disclosure at the urging of the Diabetes Association of Greater Chicago. If the hope is to prove that diabetics can lead normal lives, Santo provides extraordinary proof. Since coming to the majors in 1960 he has batted .280 and averaged 25 homers and nearly 100 RBIs per season. While PITTS-burgh (page 12) continued its runaway, NEW YORK was looking desperately for ways to stop its month-long slump. Returning from a 3-9 road trip, the Mets finally scored an easy victory, 9-3 over the Astros. One reason for it may have been that it was Nuns' Day at Shea Stadium, but a more likely explanation was the return of Red Garrett, who had been in the Army. He whacked three hits, scored three runs and drove in two others in his homecoming. PHILADELPHIA also enjoyed a rare laugher, but Manager Frank Lucchesi missed out on the fun. He was in bed with a 101° temperature when the Phils took the field for their 5-1 win over the Cards. MONTREAL, which had not played at home since July 4, had a dark return to Jarry Park. A 28-minute power failure interrupted the series opener, and the Expos promptly dropped three to ST. LOUIS with a power failure of their own.
PITT 65-36 CHI 53-46 ST. L 54-47
NY 51-46 PHIL 44-57 MONT 40-61
August 1, 1971
After Giant Dick Dietz beat him with a 12th-inning home run, ATLANTA Reliever Bob Priddy came up with a blast of his own, this one directed at seven-year-old Atlanta Stadium. "The place stinks," Priddy said. "The grass stinks, the bullpen stinks, the mound stinks, the fences stink. Pop flies go out of here; I got beat by a lousy fly ball. The stadium is falling apart. The outfield fence is falling down and there are pieces of metal jutting from it where a guy could cut his arm or hand. And the grass is something else. Big clumps of it everywhere." Priddy received support from unexpected sources. The usually quiet Henry Aaron agreed: "It's the worst baseball field I've ever seen." And Dietz added, "I wish we had this park at home. There the ball I hit would probably have been a pop-up to the shortstop." SAN FRANCISCO hit enough pops to regain an eight-game lead over LOS ANGELES, which continued its pre-All-Star-Game slump by losing six of nine games on the road. With ace Larry Dierker out with a sore elbow, rookie Bill Greif took his spot in the HOUSTON rotation. After his second start, in which he faced only four Mets and failed to retire any of them, Greif must have been ready to change his name to Grief since the loss dropped the Astros to fourth place. Don Gullett, CINCINNATI'S top starter at the age of 20, won his 11th game, 5-2 over the Giants. SAN DIEGO fans who had been calling for Manager Preston Gomez' dismissal may now have second thoughts. Since July 16, when Gomez left the team for surgery, the Padres have lost nine of 12 games under interim Manager Bob Skinner.
SF 62-41 LA 53-49 ATL 53-52
HOUS 49-50 CIN 48-56 SD 36-67
Fans who have bulging bellies from sitting in front of the TV set chomping on pistachio nuts and hero sandwiches can take solace from DETROIT'S Mickey Lolich. Lolich, who won his 15th game 5-2 over the Royals last week, claims a carefully uncontrolled diet of pastries has done it for him. "I started to get this potbelly around 1962," he says. "It really came on strong this season. I'm up to 212, the most I've ever weighed, and I'm having my best year. I got it eating pizzas and doughnuts." BALTIMORE'S three 20-win aces of last season were not getting nearly as fat on the opposition. With Dave McNally on the injured list and both Mike Cuellar and Jim Palmer routed by the Royals, the Orioles looked elsewhere for wins. Two came from Pat Dobson, who ran his victory string to 10 with a pair of seven-hitters. Another came from Dave Leonhard, who was recently recalled from Rochester. NEW YORK and WASHINGTON continued to surge. The Yanks, winners in 13 of their last 17 games, took a rare come-from-behind victory with a five-run ninth inning against the Twins, while Frank Howard steered the Senators briefly out of the cellar. His team won four in a row and Howard batted .433 with four doubles and two home runs. It was CLEVELAND that battled the Senators for the cellar, but the worst news for the Indians was that Catcher Ray Fosse's hand injury may be more serious than expected and Fosse may have to go on the disabled list. George Scott's eighth-inning double keyed a game-tying, three-run rally, and his ninth-inning single drove in the winning score against the Twins as BOSTON closed to within 2½ games of the division lead.
BALT 60-38 BOST 57-40 DET 51-48
NY 51-51 CLEV 41-59 WASH 40-58
Kansas City faced four All-Star pitchers, Tiger Mickey Lolich, Orioles Mike Cuellar and Jim Palmer and Indian Sam McDowell and still won five of eight games. A big reason for those victories was the small-barreled bat of intellectual First Baseman Gail Hopkins. Hopkins, who holds two college degrees and is working on his Ph.D. in bio-chemistry, raised his average from .250 to .323 during July using, not surprisingly, a scientific approach. "If you get a bat with a long barrel, say about 32 ounces and 35 inches long, you get soft wood," he claims. "The ball won't jump off it because the wood lacks density. I use one with a small barrel." OAKLAND'S Sal Bando broke a slump with five home runs in five games. The first of them, a two-run, game-tying shot in the ninth inning, saved Vida Blue from his fourth loss of the season. CALIFORNIA no longer has any dependable power, so the Angels have switched to a three-hit batting practice format designed to polish their bat control. "On the first pitch we try to execute the hit-and-run, on the second we try to push a grounder through the hole on the opposite side, and on the third we try to squeeze-bunt an imaginary runner home from third," explained Ken McMullen. MINNESOTA dropped to fifth place, twice blowing leads in the ninth inning. The Twins' once tough bullpen could obviously use a gritty new star like MILWAUKEE'S Ken Sanders. Sanders, who saved Skip Lockwood's 2-0 win over the Senators by putting down nine of the 10 men he faced, moved into a tie with Tiger Fred Scherman for the Fireman of the Year Award. For the past month CHICAGO'S Wilbur Wood has been getting less rest and more wins. Since he began pitching every other turn with only a two-day break, the easy-throwing knuckleballer has improved his record to 11-7, including a 5-1 win over the Senators.
OAK 63-35 KC 52-45 CAL 49-54
CHI 45-54 MINN 44-54 MIL 40-57