April Madness


My colleague at Johns Hopkins had little to offer regarding patient Gip, who returned to the ward this morning with a head bandage, but while poring through his file on the plane I did come across a newspaper clipping from the Globe, dated 6/12/77. “Boy Discovered Living Beneath Ballpark.” The short article was water damaged and impossible to read, but I will be researching this further over the weekend.—S.H.G.

Nice to be back in my trailer again. I’ve had a bad feeling about that Mikey Spano since I moved here, and it was a good thing I hid my dice from him. Of course Sherman and Friendly Fred got ahold of them but doesn’t look like any harm was done, and at least they’re baseball fans. For today’s featured tilt let’s two-step down to old Arlington Stadium, deep in the heart…


ARLINGTON, TX—It’s only April but I gotta change my shirt three times in the restroom by the third inning due to the humidity. No wonder they play Sunday games at night down here. Problem is that it’s Thursday afternoon and my white boy fro’s grown about two inches on all sides.

Arlington Stadium always reminds me of a Roman coliseum with its high-sided pit look. Kind of always expected an iron gate in left center to slide up between innings and a pack of lions to run out and maul Tom Grieve or something. Anyway it’s Chris Knapp for the White Sox, recently knocked one game out by K.C., and veteran Doyle Alexander, who I assume is crafty, for the Rangers.

This game is like one of those slow, complicated murder mysteries where you’re waiting around for the plot to happen and suddenly your pants get pulled over your head in the last ten minutes. Soderholm does hit a solo shot for Chicago in the 4th, but most of the scoring has to do with walks, and I mean freakin bushels of ’em. Knapp hands out four and Doyle tops that with seven, including three in a row to begin the 6th which boots him into the showers.

Moret comes on, gets Essian on a force at the plate, but Orta singles in two and it’s 5-2 Sox with no signs of life in Rangerland. Claudell Washington misses a 1-16 homer roll while Alan Bannister, the worst fielding regular shortstop in either league, turns another in a series of ridiculous double plays to bail Knapp out of the 7th.

Half the crowd is already sitting in exit traffic when Hargrove doubles with two outs in the last of the 9th. Sundberg walks, and here’s Harrah, leading the world in RBIs with 16.

Make that 19. Knapp grooves one and Toby don’t miss, driving it into the left field bleachers to tie the game! Mike Marshall is still out there for Texas in the 10th, but when Campaneris boots a grounder to start the inning, Adrian Devine is hailed. He walks Zisk, but then starts a 1-6-3 DP on an Essian dribbler. With a guy on third should he walk Orta on purpose? Naw. Jorge says gracias and blisters one into the gap for a triple. Bannister singles and it’s 7-5 Chicago.

So here’s Larrin LaGrow to finish off the pesky Rangers. And there’s Claudell’s line drive going into the bleachers. 7-6. May singles, Campaneris walks. Wills lays down a perfect bunt and up steps yesterday’s stud against the Twins, Ken Henderson. Three dingers in that game and two singles in four trips today, and the only reason he’s in there at all, gosh darned it, is because Beniquez is out with a minor injury. Hargrove’s up next, but you can’t put Ken Henderson on to face the Human On-Base Factory, or whatever he was called.

So Henderson hits, drives it into right for a 2-run single, any guns in the stands are fired into the air, and the Sox are Texas toast.

CHX 020 102 000 2 – 7 7 0
TEX 001 100 002 3 – 8 11 2

W-Devine L-LaGrow HRS: Soderholm, Harrah, Washington GWRBI-Henderson

at ORIOLES 4-5-0, INDIANS 0-4-1
Starting pitching is the Birds’ strength, and Rudy May has the honors today, rendering nearly all Tribe bats useless. Maddox with the 2-run double, Singleton with the 2-run triple give May all he needs.

W-May L-Hood GWRBI-Maddox

at RED SOX 7-10-0, YANKEES 3-10-1
Figure this one out. Boston can’t hit squat against the Orioles and Indians, then pummel the Yanks for two straight games. One reason may be the free pass problem. The Red Sox out-walked them 11-0 in the series, and suddenly are tied for second in the league with 13 team taters.

W-Paxton L-Torrez SV-Stanley HRS: Nettles, Carbo, Yaz

at PIRATES 5-8-2, PHILLIES 4-9-1
Let’s see, what’s today’s outrage? The Bucs hit into four double plays, two by Bill Robinson. Bruce Kison has nothing, chokes up a 3-0 lead. Larry Bowa actually hits two doubles. And the Phillies lose anyway, on a leadoff bottom of the 9th 1-6 roll blast by…Duffy Dyer?

W-Gossage L-Garber HRS: Hebner, Dyer GWRBI-Dyer

at EXPOS 3-11-1, REDS 0-5-0
It should be known that Joe Morgan has been out for two games and has one more to sit out. Which could explain the Reds being shut out in cold blood by Jackie Brown.

W-Brown L-Moskau HR-Valentine

at CUBS 9-11-1, CARDS 6-9-2
Pete Falcone doesn’t endear himself to St. Louis fans by giving up eight runs on eight hits before being eighty-sixed in the 2nd. Simmons and Reitz homer later and the Cards try and make a game out of it but Sutter isn’t even needed this time.

W-Renko L-Falcone SV-Hernandez HRS: Simmons, Reitz, Swisher, Buckner GWRBI-Swisher

DODGERS 7-10-0, ASTROS 2-9-0
The Pesky Domeballers leave eleven on base, while L.A. gets a two-out triple from Garvey in the 1st and a 3-run homer from Lopes in the 6th to chase Bannister, seconds after he walks the pitcher to keep the inning going. A little discrepancy there.

Here’s a few stat tidbits going into the weekend…

.292 St. Louis
.291 Los Angeles
.286 Chicago
.281 Pittsburgh
.270 Montreal
.270 Houston
.258 Cincinnati
.206 Philadelphia

.306 Chicago
.304 Minnesota
.294 Texas
.277 Kansas City
.267 Cleveland
.266 Boston
.254 New York
.231 Baltimore

3.23 Montreal
3.31 Los Angeles
4.71 St. Louis
4.75 Pittsburgh
4.85 Cincinnati
5.02 Houston
5.33 Philadelphia
5.93 Chicago

2.89 Kansas City
3.20 Baltimore
4.13 Cleveland
4.33 Chicago
4.34 Boston
4.40 New York
5.20 Texas
7.08 Minnesota

American League through Thursday, April 24

Kansas City 7 2 .778
Chicago 6 4 .600 1.5
Cleveland 6 5 .545 2
New York 5 5 .500 2.5
Baltimore 5 5 .500 2.5
Texas 5 5 .500 2.5
Boston 5 6 .455 3
Minnesota 1 8 .111 6

National League through Thursday, April 24

Montreal 6 2 .750
Pittsburgh 6 4 .600 1
Los Angeles 6 4 .600 1
Chicago 5 5 .500 2
Houston 5 6 .455 2.5
St. Louis 5 6 .455 2.5
Cincinnati 4 5 .444 2.5
Philadelphia 2 7 .222 4.5


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2 responses to “April Madness

  1. If the Cubs had any pitching, I’d be running away with this thing…

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