Strikeouts galore in All-Star game; Village for all Olympians
Baseball is well armed. If there were ever any doubts, they disappeared in San Francisco the other night, when pitchers left the game's best hitters in a fog. The annual All-Star contest produced a record 21 strikeouts, a total as notable as the game's outcome, a 3-1 victory for the National League, which has now won 12 of the last 13 years.
Carl Hubbell's presence at Candlestick Park may have inspired the strikeout onslaught. In perhaps the greatest feat in All-Star history, he struck out five feared hitters in a row during the 1934 game, fanning Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin. The former New York Giant great threw out the ceremonial first pitch Monday night.
Though no one pitcher surpassed Hubbell's mark this time, a pair of National Leaguers combined to strike out six straight hitters, an All-Star record. In the fourth inning, Fernando Valenzuela of the Los Angeles Dodgers baffled Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield, and George Brett with his screwball. Then in the fifth, Dwight Gooden of the New York Mets threw an assortment of missles past Lance Parrish, Chet Lemon, and Alvin Davis. Gooden, the youngest player at 19 to grace an All-Star roster, leads the majors with 133 strikeouts.
To some degree, at least, Valenzuela and Gooden received an assist from the San Francisco twilight, which cast long shadows on the field and made pitches coming out of the sunlight harder to track.
Of course not every hitter struggled, particularly not in the early innings, when Montreal catcher Gary Carter drew a bead on one of starter Dave Stieb's deliveries to hit the game-winning, solo home run. Carter, who also did a nice job blocking the plate on a double play in the third inning, was named the game's MVP. Maybe his neatest play of the night, though, came when he slipped into a three-piece suit in time for a TV interview before the game's conclusion. Lewis wants out of Olympic Village
Track star Carl Lewis figures the Olympic Village is a nice place to visit, but he wouldn't want to live there - even short-term. But what Carl wants he won't get according to Mike Moran, director of communications for the United States Olympic Committee.
''I don't care what Carl Lewis and Mary Decker say. We intend for all athletes to live in the villages,'' Moran said of housing arrangements in Los Angeles later this summer. ''It's a sorry day when athletes feel they want to live separately and approach the Olympics on their own terms.''
Over the years, ever since the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, in fact, athletes have been housed in special villages, partly to promote international fellowship.
At the US Track and Field Trials, however, Lewis said performance, not camaraderie, would be his main consideration during the Games. ''Everyone will be here to compete. Being friends is secondary, because there's not an Olympics of shaking hands. People will make friends along the way, and so will I.''
Of the hubbub at the athletes' village, Lewis added, ''That atmosphere, with people staying up late and making a lot of noise, isn't conducive to what I'd like to do.'' Which is win four track and field gold medals.
Lobbying strongly in Carl's behalf is Joe Douglas, Lewis's manager and president of the Santa Monica Track Club. Douglas criticized conditions found at the University of Southern California dormitories that were used during the trials and will house Olympic athletes.
The dorms are quite convenient to the L.A. Coliseum, however, and will be heavily guarded, factors in their favor. And, of course, Olympic officials are determined not to let a Lewis or a Decker open the door to widespread village defections. The housing of Olympic athletes could turn into chaos if each enjoyed the freedom to make individual arrangements. Touching other bases
* Some observers are concerned about smog at this summer's Olympics. Los Angeles, of course, has been clouded by air pollution for years and countless athletes have performed with no noticeable effect. But pollution has been particularly bad of late, with serious smog alerts a regular occurrence. For the most part, events have been scheduled to avoid the times and places of heaviest smog accumulation. Given the current problems, though, a temporary plan for limiting pollution has been urged by one county official.
* Pro football's Colts have a new home in Indianapolis, but they still need a locker room. The space allotted for the team's Hoosier Dome dressing quarters is basically a hole in the ground at this point, with the exhibition season not far away. By agreement with city officials, the Colts must build and furnish their own locker room.
* Charlie Finley, a millionaire Chicago businessman, sold the Oakland A's four years ago, but he's as outspoken as ever in discussing baseball. He sounded off in a recent issue of The Sporting News, once again advocating the adoption of orange baseballs, a time clock, and three balls per walk instead of four. In each case, the idea is to infuse the game with more excitement. Orange baseballs, he feels, would make easier targets for hitters, who sometimes lose the ball against the pitcher's white jersey. The time clock would speed up play by supporting an existing, but generally ignored time limit on the pitcher's delivery. And changing a full count from 3-2 to 2-2 would make for a faster game with potentially more action, caused by a higher percentage of pitches in the strike zone.
* A group of golfers in Mississippi may have the right idea in declaring that no golf ball is ever lost, only missing in action. When eventually found by someone else, it becomes a stolen ball. Thus, logically, the ball's owner should not ''compound the felony'' by charging himself a penalty.