"Call in the dogs," says Detroit manager Sparky Anderson, the man on the right. "There's no more hunt." The AL East was the last hope for September excitement, but with the Red Sox nine games up as of Sunday, nobody can catch them. Not long ago, when the outcome was in doubt, these photos captured the division's anguish and emotion. As Sparky says, "A pennant race is hell—20 Gelusils a game. And the greatest thrill you'll ever have."
Pat Corrales, manager of the Indians, tipped his cap to the Bosox after a recent game, and so does Anderson. "When you run off 11 in a row under the gun like they have, that shows me something," says the skipper of the Tigers. "It had to be rough on them with their history." After Boston clinches, six different teams will have won the last six AL East titles. That means Cleveland will win the division next season.
Red Sox hitting coach Walt Hriniak and pitcher Calvin Schiraldi can look forward to playing the Angels and then maybe the Astros or the Mets. But the also-rans are, like Phil Niekro, walking away and, like Dwight Lowry, meditating on what happened. "I'm starting to feel lonely because, really, the season's gone and passed on me," says Anderson. "The boys ain't gonna be around anymore."