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ALLAN MALAMUD

Notes on a Scorecard

September 09, 1993|ALLAN MALAMUD

The chances of St. Louis Cardinal outfielder Mark Whiten hitting four home runs and driving in 12 runs in the second game of a doubleheader Tuesday night at Cincinnati were about the same as those of Atlanta pitcher Tony Cloninger hitting grand slams in the first and fourth innings at San Francisco on July 3, 1966. . . .

Cloninger had hit exactly one homer in 298 major league at-bats before the '66 season. . . .

Until Tuesday, Whiten was best known for being the outfielder with perhaps the strongest throwing arm in baseball. . . .

His 22 home runs are more than twice his total of the last two seasons, nine apiece in 1991 and 1992. . . .

Whiten, 26, is a 6-foot-3, 215-pound switch-hitter--all his homers against Larry Luebbers, Mike Anderson and Rob Dibble were hit left-handed--who has been traded twice. In 1991, he was sent by Toronto to Cleveland with Glenallen Hill and Dennis Boucher for Tom Candiotti and Turner Ward. Before this season, the Indians traded him to St. Louis for Mark Clark and Juan Andujar. . . .

One reason Whiten was able to retain his strength during a doubleheader early in September in Cincinnati was that the temperatures were uncommonly cool, in the 60s. . . .

The biggest upset of the night was that Dibble didn't brush back Whiten before he hit his fourth home run in the ninth inning. . . .

Among my favorite power statistics: Hoyt Wilhelm hit a homer in his first major league at-bat and never hit another during his 21-year, 432 at-bat career. . . .

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Now that the Dodgers have exercised their option on Brett Butler, their No. 1 priority should be re-signing second baseman Jody Reed, who is eligible to become a free agent after the season. . . .

Losing Reed would be an even bigger mistake than losing Steve Sax after the 1988 season. . . .

Dave Staton became the first former Rancho Cucamonga Quake to reach the major leagues when he was called up from Las Vegas by the San Diego Padres. . . .

The physical and mental toll of the long tennis season is greatly responsible for the upsets at the U.S. Open. Bjorn Borg won 11 Grand Slam event titles, but usually was dragging by September and never won this tournament. . . .

Still successful at Flushing Meadow, though, is John McEnroe. His commentary on the USA Network telecasts has been exceptional. . . .

The crowd for the Julio Cesar Chavez-Pernell Whitaker fight Friday night at the San Antonio Alamodome may break the indoor record of 63,417 for the Muhammad Ali-Leon Spinks rematch in New Orleans in 1978. . . .

What did Chavez learn from his victory over Meldrick Taylor three years ago when Taylor was leading on points before referee Richard Steele stopped the fight with two seconds left in the 12th round? To start faster. Since then, Chavez has stepped up his attack in the early rounds. . . .

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Former heavyweight contender Mac Foster, 51, plans to apply for a boxer's license at the next California State Athletic Commission meeting. . . .

USC women's volleyball player Katie Haller and diver Robin Benedetti have been nominated for Rhodes scholarships. . . .

Wayne Kirby, the Cleveland Indians' rookie outfielder, and Terry Kirby, Miami Dolphin rookie running back, are brothers. . . .

Indiana basketball Coach Bob Knight wasn't delighted about the admittance of Penn State into the Big Ten because of the remoteness of State College, Pa. . . .

The USC football team, which plays the Nittany Lions Saturday, will take a charter flight Thursday to Harrisburg, Pa., and then bus the remaining 88 miles. . . .

The Pacific 10 Conference version of State College is Pullman, Wash. Washington State opponents fly into Spokane and then travel 75 miles by bus. . . .

Rick Brewer, North Carolina sports information director, calls the Tar Heels' 31-9 victory over USC in the Disneyland Pigskin Classic the second-most impressive opening-day performance in school history, behind only a 34-7 victory over Texas in 1948 at Chapel Hill. . . .

It wasn't the Emmitt Smith-less offense as much as the defense that disappointed Dallas Cowboy fans Monday night at Washington. The Cowboys allowed five touchdowns in a game for the first time since their 1-15 season of 1989. . . .

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