Mike Brown, one-time outfielder for the Angels, is looking for big things in Pittsburgh this year after having been the most productive hitter for the Pirates in the last six weeks of 1985.
Brown, 26, batted .332 in 57 games with 5 home runs and 33 runs batted in after going to Pittsburgh from the Angels in August. With the Angels, he batted .268 with 4 homers and 20 RBIs in 60 games.
"I always felt I was walking on eggshells as far as Gene Mauch was concerned," Brown said. "I didn't know whether I would be starting or playing in the fifth inning or the ninth inning. Once, he put me in to run when Reggie Jackson got hurt in the second inning and he had me stealing on the first pitch. I had just come off the bench. And he wanted to know why I was thrown out by 10 feet, why I didn't get a bigger jump."
Brown said he's happy to be in Pittsburgh. In fact, he said he's happy to be anywhere, as long as he's playing baseball.
"I live in Orange County and when I see those thousands of people on the freeways at 7 a.m., I just say, 'Thank you, Lord, for giving me such a great job.' "
Ron Guidry has been a 20-game winner three times in his career, including last season, and each time his manager has been Billy Martin.
Now, Lou Piniella is the manager, but Guidry said he doesn't think it will make any difference.
Guidry once said of Martin: "If you approach Billy Martin right, he's OK. I avoid him altogether."
Trivia Time: What do Yogi Berra, Larry Brown and Mr. T have in common? (Answer below.)
John McGrath of the Denver Post culled these items from The Sporting News:
--"Carmen Fanzone, former third baseman for the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox, is now playing trumpet in the 'Tonight Show' orchestra."
--"Bobby Valentine, the Texas Rangers' manager, recently dislocated his shoulder while dancing--and attempting to do the splits--at the restaurant he owns in Connecticut."
Said Frank Layden, portly coach of the Utah Jazz, in a speech to the Utah Bar Assn.: "I won't keep you long. They feed me again in three hours."
How rough was last week's basketball game between SMU and Texas?
Said Texas Coach Bob Weltlich: "If you showed the films to Hulk Hogan, he wouldn't want to come here."
From Stan Isle of The Sporting News: "The Philadelphia Eagles will add $100,000 a year to their payroll on March 1 when they start making deferred payments to former coach Dick Vermeil, who resigned after the 1982 season. Over the next 10 years, Vermeil is to receive $1 million in deferred pay."
Said Chuck Tanner, new manager of the Atlanta Braves, after watching Dale Murphy and Bob Horner take batting practice: "What a 1-2 punch. They are as good or better than Willie Stargell and Dave Parker were for me at Pittsburgh when we won in 1979. They could hit 75 home runs for us this season."
Trivia Answer: The same first name, Lawrence. Mr. T's real name is Lawrence Tero.
Frank Tanana, veteran pitcher for the Detroit Tigers: "I'm getting by on three pitches now--a curve, a changeup and whatever you want to call that thing that used to be a fastball."