Critics of the Baltimore Orioles are saying that the club moved too fast last winter when it sent veteran third baseman Doug DeCinces to the California Angeles for outfielder Dan Ford, whose power seems to have short-circuited. At the time, the Orioles were creating a postion for Cal Ripken Jr., who came in as a leading Rookie of the Year candidate. Ripken has played very well, but when problems developed at shortstop Manager Earl Weaver decided to move his prize rookie there - which of course left a hole at third. But now instead of being able to go back to DeCinces, who has been having a tremendous offensive year with the Angels, Weaver has been trying to solve his problem by platooning, but without his usual success.
Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox, whose thoughts about managing may have changed after watching how Ralph Houk runs the store, has hit under .200 since the All-Star break. This is merely speculation, but the Red Sox might want to bring Yaz back as their first base coach next year. This would give him a chance to learn from Houk first hand until Ralph decides he wants to quit, possibly at the end of the 1985 season. Boston, and everybody says this, has one of the game's best young lefthanded hitters in Wade Boggs, who can play either third base, first base or the outfield. By next year the Red Sox will want his bat in the lineup on an every day basis . . . Hall of Famer Luke Appling, who sometimes traveled as a hitting instructor with the Atanta Braves last season and thus saw a lot of pitcher Gaylord Perry told me that Perry still throws a spitball. ''It's an easy thing for a pitcher to rub Vaseline on different parts of his body before he goes out to work and when it's hot and he begins to sweat, he's got more moisture than he'll ever need anyway,'' Appling said. Gaylord, who got his 300th career victory earlier this season with the Seattle Mariners, is currently appealing a 10-day suspension for allegedly doctoring the baseball.