Baseball's All-Star voting; Royal submarine ace; a milestone for Rose; a hot streak in Philadelphia
Of course they haven't been asked, but maybe even the Russians could come up with a better method of selecting the starting lineups for baseball's All-Star Game than the system currently in use. The way it works now, fans are given punch-card ballots on which the names of potential All-Stars were printed before the season even opened. While there is a place on the ballot to write in the names of players not listed, they seldom get enough votes to qualify.Skip to next paragraph
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What this often means is that a fellow like shortstop Tim Foli, who has been having an outstanding year with the California Angels but whose name does not appear on the ballot, has almost no chance for a starting berth. It also means that Bucky Dent, a part-time player this year who is hitting under .200 for the New York Yankees, is probably going to be the American League's starting shortstop.
Anyway, despite this and many other similarly glaring inequities, the 1982 All-Star Game will be played in Montreal on July 13. And as usual in recent years the American League will be trying to reverse a trend which has seen the National League win the last 10 games in a row to hold a 33-18-1 advantage overall. Up periscope
Whether it's war or baseball, the submarine can often be a devastating weapon. The Kansas City Royals have a fleet of one in relief pitcher Dan Quisenberry, whose submarine delivery has put him on a par with such other bullpen aces as New York's Goose Gossage and Milwaukee's Rollie Fingers. In his first 30 appearances this year, Quisenberry had a major league high of 20 saves, plus a 2.16 earned-run average. He has also given up only 55 hits in his first 66 2/3 innings of pitching.
Said Royals' Manager Dick Howser: ''Dan is the kind of pitcher you use only in the late innings, either to protect a lead or keep things even until you can get one. The way his ball comes up out of the ground against the hitters makes him as tough on lefties as he is on right-handers.'' Rookie to the rescue
Even though little has gone right this year for Manager Don Zimmer and the Texas Rangers, they seem to have found themselves a super power hitter in rookie first baseman Dave Hostetler. Since being promoted from their Denver farm club on May 28, Hostetler has hit 11 home runs and recently had a four-for-four night against Oakland's vaunted pitching staff. Previously Dave had hit 12 home runs with Denver. Zimmer, who acted somewhat surprised recently when Texas fired General Manager Eddie Robinson and kept him, has been saying all season that what the Rangers need most is hitting. 'Boom Boom' Ben Oglivie
In Milwaukee, they're naming babies after outfielder Ben Oglivie, who just came off a week during which he hit seven home runs in seven days. Oglivie started his streak with three against his former team, the Detroit Tigers, and is currently hitting the way he did in 1980, when he ended the season with 41 home runs. Incidentally, for the 11th time this year Milwaukee has gotten back-to-back home runs. The major league record is 16, held by the 1977 Boston Red Sox. Phillies catch fire
Few clubs have played more aggressively in recent days than Philadelphia, which won eight games in a row to join St. Louis and Montreal in a three-way battle for the National League East lead. Included in the streak were back-to-back doubleheader wins over the New York Mets plus a 1-0 victory by Steve Carlton over St. Louis on national television Monday night which pushed the Phillies at least temporarily past the Cardinals into first place. Offensively, one of the big factors has been the surprising power hitting of catcher Bo Diaz, whose 49 RBIs already are 11 above his previous major league high, and whose 13 home runs are more than he hit in his four previous big league seasons combined. Hit masters
First baseman Rod Carew, during his 25-game hitting streak with the California Angels (the longest of his distinguished career) bunted several times in his effort to keep the string alive. When Joe DiMaggio hit in 56 consecutive games in 1941, the Yankee Clipper once told me, he never bunted once. During his streak, Carew hit .398 and struck out only six times in 103 at-bats.
Having passed Hank Aaron (3,711) on baseball's all-time hit parade, Pete Rose of the Philadelphia Phillies can now direct his full attention to catching Ty Cobb, who is No. 1 on the list with a total of 4,191. Barring injuries, Rose should have no trouble catching Cobb. But there is one department in which Pete will not even come close to Ty and that's stolen bases. The record reads 890 for Cobb to 171 for Rose, coming into the current season. Hat trick; Lynn watch
Three times as a big-league manager with other clubs Billy Martin ended losing streaks by having one of his players pick the next day's lineup out of a hat, but his string finally ran out at Oakland this season. When Martin tried his old ploy recently, with centerfielder Dwayne Murphy doing the picking, Oakland got shut out by Kansas City. . . shortstop Larry Bowa of the Chicago Cubs, who started the season as though his bat were made of wet spaghetti, recently had his fourth consecutive three-hit game . . . the New York Yankees have sent pitcher Dave Righetti, the American League's 1981 Rookie of the Year, to their Columbus farm club to try to smooth out a kink in his delivery.
Catcher Carlton Fisk of the Chicago White Sox has a theory on why ex-teammate Fred Lynn has not been the power hitter for the California Angels that he was for the Boston Red Sox. ''Basically Lynn is a line-drive hitter whose power is to left and left center field,'' Fisk said. ''At Fenway Park, with its short left field wall, Fred's 360-foot drives to left were either over that wall or against it. But in Anaheim, where the left field wall is 380 feet away, those hits are just routine flies to the outfield.'' Slow as molasses
George Foster of the New York Mets on his unusually long set-up time before batting: ''I don't like to rush things, I want to be relaxed at the plate. Besides, the guys in the concession stands appreciate it.''