Gwynn and Morris are the latest losses. Also among those down for the season or extended periods are Kirby Puckett, Ken Griffey Jr., David Cone, Randy Johnson, Brett Butler, Larry Walker, Lenny Dykstra, Darren Daulton and Justice. Bill Swift has made only one start for the Rockies, Bret Saberhagen none.
"When you lose players of the Gwynn, Griffey, Puckett caliber, you've lost a significant part of the game," acting Commissioner Bud Selig said.
"It's sad and serious, but there's nothing you can really do about injuries."
Amid those injuries and what Selig called "disastrous early-season weather" in the East and Midwest, attendance is up about 6% from last year and should continue to climb, spurred by summer heat and hot races in almost every division.
"Average attendance is over 26,000 now," Selig said. "We need to get it back over 30,000, but I'm confident we're going to look back on a very good year. We've progressed much more quickly than we could have predicted."
Management's favorite expression is "growing the game." Too bad the enthusiastic groundswell isn't universal. Bay Area reporters got typical Barry Bonds arrogance when they asked his reaction to a sixth All-Star selection.
"I don't want to talk about it," he said. "You guys ask me the same questions and I give you the same answers every year.
"Just get your 1995 newspapers and write the same . . . for 1996.
"When I get to be 40 and I'm still in the game and I get [selected], then you can come ask me."
Don't hold your breath, Barry.
MVP: Mike Piazza over Jeff Bagwell in the NL; Frank Thomas over Roberto Alomar in the AL.
CY YOUNG: John Smoltz in the NL; Andy Pettitte in the AL (the second year left-hander has stabilized a rotation devoid of Cone and, for a long period, Jimmy Key).
ROOKIE: Rey Ordonez in the NL; Derek Jeter in the AL.
MANAGER: Felipe Alou in the NL; Johnny Oates in the AL.
COMEBACK: Eric Davis in the NL; Kevin Elster over Dwight Gooden in the AL.
Chicago Cub right fielder Sammy Sosa, on not being selected: "To be the National League leader in home runs I guess means nothing. I guess I need to hit 40 home runs and get 100 RBI by the break next year. I'm supposed to be on that team and everybody knows that."
Montreal Expo second baseman Mike Lansing, a worthy candidate, on the selection of only two teammates, Mark Grudzielanek and Pedro Martinez, before Henry Rodriguez was selected as a replacement for Gwynn: "The problem with the Expos is they don't know how to promote their own players. They promote the manager more than the players. Don't get me wrong. I'm not criticizing Felipe Alou, but that's a fact."
NAMES AND NUMBERS
--One has to be impressed by the relaxed and confident manner in which Bill Russell has responded to his interim opportunity with the Dodgers and the positive way the players have reacted. A healthy Tom Lasorda deserves the opportunity to return, but Russell is removing any doubt as to who the heir should be.
--Now last in the AL West, the uninspiring Angels are about where they should be given that Jackie Autry's budget precluded the re-signing of catalytic Tony Phillips, the two DL stints by Jim Edmonds, the lack of 1995 productivity by J.T. Snow, Gary DiSarcina and Garret Anderson, the 1-11 Jim Abbott disaster, and the absence of pitching leadership and consistency from the $10-million-a-year tandem of Mark Langston and Chuck Finley.
--Trade Anderson for any of the nondescript pitching available in the current market? Forget it. Put the blame on Marcel Lachemann, as the Angel manager often does to himself? Don't expect much patience from Disney as they attempt to rebuild the fan base.
--Darryl Strawberry will ultimately move into a designated hitter platoon with Ruben Sierra--and won't Sierra be pleased?--but the principal reason Yankee owner George Steinbrenner overrode General Manager Bob Watson's lack of interest and moved on Strawberry when he did was that he heard division rival Baltimore (along with Seattle, Boston and Cincinnati) was hot on the Strawberry trail.
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)
Hitting the Road
LONGEST TRIP THIS CENTURY
Team (Year) Length of Trip Reason Record Chi. Cubs (1925) 34 games in 39 days Scheduled 13-21
OTHER NOTABLE TRIPS
Team (Year) Length of Trip Reason Houston (1992) 26 games, 28 days Republican National Convention Montreal (1991) 26 games, 28 days Roof damage, Olympic Stadium Seattle (1994) 20 games, 21 days Roof damage, Kingdome
Team (Year) Record Houston (1992) 12-14 Montreal (1991) 13-13 Seattle (1994) 11-9
Source: Elias Sports Bureau