The first documented hint that all is not well with Manager Jim Fanning and his Montreal Expos came just prior to the All-Star break when shortstop Chris Speier criticized Fanning during a radio interview. Speier reportedly said that if the Expos, with all their good pitching, don't put it together soon, then Fanning should be fired. . . . Pitcher Bill Castro may have set a record recently when he signed with the Kansas City Royals. Castro is now being paid simultaneously by four big-league teams, the other three being the Angels, Yankees and Oakland A's.
The visiting player the Los Angeles Dodgers probably like to see the least is slugger Dave Kingman of the New York Mets, who has now hit 20 career home runs in Chavez Ravine, a total exceeded only by Hank Aaron and Willie Stargell. . . . While nobody writes about him because he is just average at the plate, the Mets nevertheless have a super rookie defensive shortstop in Ron Gardenhire, who was born in Butzbach, Germany. Gardenhire has great range, terrific hands and a cat that is partial to airplane rides. . . . Manny Trillo of the Philadelphia Phillies has set a record for second basemen by handling 426 consecutive chances without an error. The previous mark of 425 belongs to Rich Dauer of the Baltimore Orioles.
Oakland's Jeff Burroughs, with his fourth pinch-hit home run of the season, is just one short of the American League record set by Joe Cronin of the Boston Red Sox in 1943. . . . California Manager Gene Mauch said it when reserve infielder Mickey Kelleher got his first hit in 30 at-bats and made his first error: ''Kelleher found his bat in the same inning that he lost his glove.''