TALK about your topsy-turvy news! We're not thinking here of the latest state-by-state contest involving the Mondale-Hart-Jackson campaigns. Or even the Soviet boycott of the Olympics, although that is certainly standing 1980 on its head. No, our concern goes to something even more dramatic.
We're referring to the fact that three of the red-hot teams in baseball of late have been - are you ready for this? - the Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs, and New York Mets. And look who else is hovering around the top of the scoreboard: the Minnesota Twins and San Diego Padres. Not your everyday front-runners.
Now, we concede that early-place winners in the baseball standings often find their way to the bottom of the sports page by the time the All-Star Game rolls around at midseason. Still, the solid performances by the upstart Tigers, Cubs, and Mets must be catching many a sports fan slightly off guard. The Tigers, of course, were expected to do well this year. But few fans anticipated they would be out front by more than seven games so early, while the defending champion Baltimore Orioles are forced to play catch-up ball and the New York Yankees - who don't take defeat lightly (or victory, for that matter) - find themselves in the cellar.
Finally, there's an element of deja vu in the current listings. It seems like only yesterday - well, it was 1968 and '69, actually. Detroit won the World Series in '68. And in '69, for those of us who happened to be living in Chicago that year, it was nip and tuck between the Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets in the National League East standings, until the Mets finally went on to take both league and World Series crowns. So, for this stage of the 1984 baseball derring-do, we can only say, go team, go . . . all you Tigers and Cubs and Mets and . . . .