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MIKE DOWNEY

Speaking of Dubious Achievements . . .

October 20, 1986|MIKE DOWNEY

These are the Downey dubious achievement awards for the 1986 baseball season, may it nearly rest in peace.

And if you think this is funny, wait until you see Flannery's Wayne Newton impression: After seeing the movie about the kid who plays hooky from school and takes a friend to a baseball game at Wrigley Field instead, San Diego infielder Tim Flannery left two tickets at the pass gate before a Cubs-Padres game under the name of Ferris Bueller.

Some time this winter, he swings that big Ryne Sandberg for Rob Wilfong deal: Since taking over the Chicago Cubs, Dallas Green has gotten rid of Bill Buckner, Joe Carter, Billy Hatcher, Willie Hernandez, the manager and the ballgirl.

During perfect games, he stands on top of the plate to get hit by a pitch: During the last week of the season, with the Kansas City Royals leading 2-0 in the eighth inning and Danny Jackson working on a no-hitter, Devon White of the Angels attempted to bunt for a hit. After he fouled it, an angry Jackson knocked him down with the next pitch.

Later, Jackson admonished White for trying to break up a no-hitter with such a cheap tactic. Angel Manager Gene Mauch argued: "He wasn't trying to break up a no-hitter, he was trying to win a ballgame." Which might be a fine argument, except for the fact that the Angels already had clinched their division.

Furthermore, he's now only 253 victories away from the magic 300 mark: In 1985, pitcher Dave LaPoint's record was 7-17. For 1986, an arbitrator awarded him a salary of $550,000. In 1986, LaPoint's record was 1-4. For 1987, that ought to be worth at least $600,000.

All of whom won more games this season than Dave Stieb: The New York Mets, who still have Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, Bob Ojeda, Sid Fernandez, Rick Aguilera, Roger McDowell and Jesse Orosco on their pitching staff, have gotten rid of Mike Scott, Nolan Ryan, Floyd Youmans, Walt Terrell and Calvin Schiraldi.

The good news is, he caught ground balls in his pouch: The Dodgers introduced the first Australian-born major leaguer, shortstop Craig Shipley. He batted 27 times, got three hits and said good day.

But his manager still thinks he can play: Pete Rose had 237 at-bats. He had 10 extra-base hits.

All they'll need now is 14 new players and 10 new pitchers and they'll have themselves a contender: After finishing 44 games out of first place, the Pittsburgh Pirates took immediate steps to improve themselves for next season by firing their first-base coach.

And you ought to meet his daughter, ditto: Outfielder Jose Cruz of the Houston Astros has three sons named Jose.

The preseason bet that could have won you a million Canadian dollars: That Mark Eichhorn would win twice as many games as Dave Stieb.

Scoreboard sez: bark like a dog. Good! Now, scoreboard sez: Sit up and beg. Attaboy!: At three of the four playoff sites, Anaheim Stadium, Shea Stadium and the Astrodome, crowds responded to scoreboard demands for more noise.

He probably could have beaten the Angels all by himself in Game 5, too: Mariano Duncan of the Dodgers, who got 93 hits, stole more bases this season (48) than the Boston Red Sox (41), who got 1,488 hits.

This, despite the fact that Terry Pendleton did pound out one homer in 578 at-bats: Lenny Dykstra, Danny Heep, Tim Teufel, Kevin Mitchell, Howard Johnson, Lee Mazzilli, Ed Hearn and George Foster of the Mets hit more home runs this season than the entire St. Louis Cardinals' roster did.

Now you know how many holes it takes to fill Ted Turner's outfield: Outfielder Albert Hall of the Atlanta Braves wanted to be traded to Kansas City so he could become Royal Albert Hall.

And you could have won another million bucks betting . . .: With nearly 100 fewer at-bats, Fred Lynn hit six more home runs this season than Eddie Murray did.

Nearly matching the output of Ernie Riles: Robin Yount of the Milwaukee Brewers batted 522 times, hit .312 and drove in 46 runs.

Which should be enough to justify the upcoming Winfield-for-Stapleton swap: New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was ridiculed for trading Don Baylor to the Red Sox for Mike Easler. Easler hit .302 this season, Baylor .238.

Or just call him 647382: Jeff Leonard of the San Francisco Giants, whose nickname is "Penitentiary Face," asked teammates this season to address him from now on as Jeffrey Leonard. A teammate wondered if that meant they had to refer to him as Correctional Institution Face.

And as he already knows, a 17 year old who plays football for Bill Walsh is a minor 49er: A New York Times reader said he was looking forward to the Mets' pitching ace from Yale going up against the star of the Red Sox staff in the World Series, because then it'll be "my Darling-Clemens time."

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