As for the major league Orioles, according to one report they were being chewed out by Manager Earl Weaver for "casual or lackadaisical baseball." Asked about this, Weaver said "That's semitrue." When BALTIMORE trailed in the opener of a scheduled doubleheader with BOSTON, word spread on the Oriole bench that Weaver was about to ban the between-games snack. Whether or not this was semitrue, the startled Birds came from behind to tie the score in the ninth and win in the 10th on the fourth straight hit by Rettenmund, a big eater. The well-fed Orioles then dropped three of four to the Yankees. One of the losses broke Pat Dobson's 12-game winning streak. DETROIT was beaten by former Tiger Denny McLain in his first start since leaving the disabled list. McLain had the help of fielding lapses by Ed Brinkman and Aurelio Rodriguez—the left side of the infield that WASHINGTON Owner Bob Short traded to the Tigers to get McLain. But Joe Coleman, who also came to Detroit in the McLain trade, shut out Boston for his fifth straight win. NEW YORK'S leading hitter, at .346, was Ron Blomberg, who came up from the minors in June. Blomberg, another fast man with a fork, claimed that he once ate a 72-ounce steak offered by a Kernersville, N.C. restaurant free to anyone who could eat it in an hour; that he once responded to a hamburger chain's offer of a free hamburger for every 1956 penny by bringing in 28 1956 pennies and eating 28 hamburgers; and that he once ate two hamburgers, two steak sandwiches, a hot dog, two orders of potato salad and a pitcher of iced tea at six in the evening—before going out to a big dinner. CLEVELAND got Pitcher Sam McDowell back when he decided not to contest his contract, but the Indians lost quick young Shortstop Jack Heidemann for the year when Heidemann couldn't get out of the way of Yankee Bobby Murcer sliding into second. Heidemann's knee required surgery.
BALT 67-42 BOST 63-49 DET 61-51 NY 58-57 WASH 46-65 CLEV 45-69
August 15, 1971
Nobody can say that OAKLAND'S Vida Blue has been coasting. To win his 20th game, after two unsuccessful tries, Blue had to pitch his eighth shutout, outdueling CHICAGO'S Joe Horlen 1-0. The White Sox won six of eight games, making it 14 of their last 20, to climb into third place. Dick Drago won his 13th to stop an eight-game KANSAS CITY losing streak. Andy Messersmith of CALIFORNIA has had his ups (11 wins) and his downs (11 losses) this season, but never so close together as last week. On Wednesday he was knocked out by the White Sox on six runs in 1‚Öî innings. On Friday, he revived to pitch a three-hit shutout over the Twins. Messersmith also reported that things were looking up—they could hardly have looked any further down—for the Angels in the morale department. "The spirit's great," he said. "There aren't any big gaps between players." That's "gaps," not "gats." Harmon Killebrew has hit only one home run for MINNESOTA since June 22. With no reliable No. 5 hitter to back up Killebrew and Tony Oliva, the Twins' two big threats are being pitched around. "It's frustrating," said Killebrew. "You're so tempted to go after some of those bad pitches. But you've got to discipline yourself to wait and wait. Another problem is, when you get a good pitch, you're so surprised you miss it." MILWAUKEE'S Bill Parsons lost to the A's for the fourth time this season, 2-1. It was the first time in those four games the Brewers had scored for him at all.
OAK 71-42 KC 56-54 CHI 55-59 CAL 54-62 MINN 51-61 MIL 48-64
"If I were a drinking man, I'd have one," said teetotaling PITTSBURGH Manager Danny Murtaugh. The Pirates' lead was slipping—from 11½ games on July 24 to six games on Aug. 8. But pitching ace Dock Ellis refused to panic after failing for the fourth time to win his 16th game. "We're a club that plays better when somebody's close to us," he said. Ellis was asked where he was when Bill Mazeroski hit his 1960 Series-winning home run. "Probably dukin' some guy on a street corner in Watts," he replied. Enos Slaughter, who scored from first on a single to win the 1946 World Series, was watching from the stands when Matty Alou of ST. LOUIS scored a winning run all the way from first against the Dodgers, without even the benefit of a single. Alou stole second when the Dodgers neglected to call time out while conferring with each other about his bunt single, and scored as the surprised Dodger infield began throwing the ball all over the place. CHICAGO, getting brilliant pitching from Bill Hands and Juan Pizarro, and sound pitching from Milt Pappas and Ferguson Jenkins, had an anniversary in mind. It was 20 years ago—on Aug. 12—that Leo Durocher's Giants began to make their miracle move against the Dodgers. Of course, Durocher is 20 years older, too. Light-hitting NEW YORK scored the most runs in the team's 10-year history in a 20-6 win over Atlanta. PHILADELPHIA'S Zamboni—which may sound like a good-hit-no-field third baseman but is in fact a machine designed to sweep rain puddles off AstroTurf—wouldn't function because it was all jammed up with ice-cream-cup lids. So a soggy game with the Cardinals was called in the 12th. But the Cards protested and League President Chub Feeney ordered that the game be resumed, with St. Louis ahead. Bring back brooms. Otherwise, the Phils had a sunny week as they whacked the Pirates three times in five games. After MONTREAL'S Mike Marshall earned his 14th save, Manager Gene Mauch said, "Mike's pitched since the All-Star Game like Mike Marshall can pitch, and he's doing it with a back condition that might stop a lesser man." The week before, Mauch fined Marshall for leaving a game because of the sore back.
PITT 70-45 ST. L 63-51 CHI 62-51 NY 57-55 PHIL 51-63 MONT 45-69
The ATLANTA Braves came up with perhaps the least gala affair of the season—Welcome Back Rico Carty Night. Carty, out all year with a knee injured in a winter-league collision, was returned to the Braves' active roster with fanfare. In pregame ceremonies, "the Beeg Boy" took a microphone and said sadly, "The main thing for me to do, I think, is to get out of this uniform. If I try to play now, I could hurt myself worse." Then Rico told the crowd of his distress over being informed that when he was in the hospital one of his teammates had said, "Who cares about Rico?" Later, without specifically naming the player, Rico left the impression that it was Henry Aaron, with whom Carty once fought in an airplane. Aaron denied it, of course. Carty has a blood clot that will probably keep him out of the lineup, not to mention pregame ceremonies, for the rest of the season. Carty isn't the only Brave who will wait till next year. A knee operation knocked Orlando Cepeda out of the lineup, SAN FRANCISCO pitching—notably that of Juan Marichal and Gaylord Perry—was bad, and the Giants lost six straight. If LOS ANGELES has a real shot at overtaking the Giants, it may be because Bill Singer, illness-and-injury plagued for the last two years, pitched his first shutout in 13 months against HOUSTON. The Astros lead the league in fielding, and their team ERA is second only to the Mets', but they aren't hitting well enough to rise much above .500. "From now on I'm going to display my emotions more," said CINCINNATI'S Johnny Bench, who has 21 home runs and 46 RBIs this season compared to 38 and 111 at the same time a year ago. "I'm going to let myself get mad." Bench conceded that the Reds were out of pennant contention this year anyway. "We'd have to win 45 in a row, and we're not going to do that." However many the Reds would actually have to win, last-place SAN DIEGO would have to win a lot more. The Padres, despite three victories last week, have the worst winning percentage in baseball, .359.
SF 68-50 LA 61-53 ATL 60-58 HOUS 57-57 CIN 54-63 SD 42-75