The New York Mets are sorting out their starting rotation as they prepare to face the Dodgers in the National League playoffs, opening Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. The first three Met starters are locked in: Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling and David Cone. And the fourth?
It figures to be Sid Fernandez, who almost ate himself out of his chance, only to win it by default when Bob Ojeda nearly severed a finger in an accident at home.
But the way Fernandez, an ex-Dodger, understands it, he was never really out of the postseason rotation. Nor was he ever exactly in it. Who would be the Game 4 starter in the championship series had not been determined before Ojeda had his accident with the electric hedge clippers.
It's difficult to argue with Fernandez's late-season record of 5-0 with 3 no-decisions in his last 8 games, although Manager Davey Johnson has found fault with the pitcher's waistline. When Fernandez's right knee buckled during a game Aug. 31, Johnson said that Fernandez was too heavy. Pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre claims that the pitcher has dropped 10 to 12 pounds.
Trick or Treat? Two of the three National Football League teams involved in the blockbuster Eric Dickerson trade last Halloween are 4-0 this season.
But the third team--the one that got the star running back--has lost 3 of 4 games.
The Indianapolis Colts sent first- and second-round draft picks to the Rams, who also got running back Greg Bell from the Bills, and the rights to linebacker Cornelius Bennett to Buffalo as part of the complicated Dickerson deal.
Both the Rams and the Bills are 4-0 and leading the NFC West and AFC East, respectively. The Colts are 1-3.
Add Dickerson: His 125 yards against Miami lifted him into eighth place in NFL career rushing with 8,702 yards. It also was his 47th 100-yard game, tying him with Franco Harris for third place behind Walter Payton's 77 and Jim Brown's 58.
Since joining the Colts, Dickerson has topped 100 yards in 9 of 13 regular-season games. If he continues at that pace, he will finish the 1988 season with slightly more than 10,000 yards in his 6 NFL campaigns. No other runner has ever reached 10,000 yards that quickly.
Last add Dickerson: With 100 carries already this season, Dickerson could also break the NFL record of 407 set by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' James Wilder in 1984.
On this date in 1941, Ted Williams went into a season-ending doubleheader batting .401. Red Sox Manager Joe Cronin asked Williams if he wanted to sit out the games to protect his .400 average.
Williams said no. He played both games against the Philadelphia Athletics and went 6 for 8, finishing at .406.
No one has batted .400 since.
President Tex Schramm of the Dallas Cowboys offered this explanation for the reason only 39,702 attended Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons at Texas Stadium in Irving, Tex.: "We haven't been that interesting."