On the Market: With two months remaining in the regular season, teams involved in pennant races figure to be shopping for veteran pitchers who can give them late-season boosts. So far, only Mike Boddicker has been traded from a losing team, Baltimore, to a contender, Boston.
The four most often mentioned are the Cubs' Rick Sutcliffe, Philadelphia's Shane Rawley and Toronto's Jim Clancy and Mike Flanagan.
Sutcliffe would be the best acquisition by far. He is 9-9 with a 2.38 earned-run average, a shutout and 7 complete games. But what might keep Sutcliffe off the market is his lucrative contract. He will earn $1.9 million next season.
Rawley is a left-hander, so he, too, would be a valuable commodity. But Rawley has a 5-13 record and a 4.34 ERA. Teams might be willing to gamble on him, though, considering he was 17-11 last season and was a Cy Young Award contender before a late-season slide that has continued this season.
The Dodgers and Giants are said to be interested in either Clancy, a right-hander, or Flanagan, a left-hander. The Cardinal Dive: After winning the National League pennant last season, the St. Louis Cardinals are threatening to become the first National League team to go from first place to last place in one season. When the Cardinals fell into sole possession of last place last Wednesday, it was the first time they had been in last place since Aug. 16, 1978. The Cardinals haven't finished last since 1918.
Balk Mania: The emphasis on calling balks has rankled almost everyone in baseball, but the Detroit Tigers have benefited from balks this season. The Tigers have scored 13 runs on balks, and their pitching staff has given up only one run that involved a balk.
Frank Tanana: In 15 major league seasons, Tanana has compiled an 0-12 record at Royals Stadium. He has lost there with four teams--the Angels, Texas, Boston and the Tigers. In those 12 losses, Tanana's teams have totaled just 18 runs.