The good, the bad and the downright ridiculous


The good

*Former Baltimore Orioles outfielder Stan Jefferson played himself back to the minor leagues after he was claimed on waivers by the Cleveland Indians this season, but he is hitting .440 (11-for-25) in nine games since he was recalled Sept. 1.

*The Oakland Athletics were 8-2 through the first 10 games in which newly acquired outfielder Willie McGee and designated hitter Harold Baines appeared in the same starting lineup. Can this club do no wrong?

*Newly acquired Cincinnati Reds infielder Bill Doran has had no trouble acquiring the club's winning attitude. He is batting .640 (16-for-25) since the Houston Astros sent him back to his native Cincinnati.

The bad

*For the first time since 1945, the Philadelphia Phillies have an excellent chance to finish the season without a 10-game winner. The club has had three eight-game winners, but Ken Howell (8-7) is on the disabled list and Dennis Cook (8-3) just was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The best hope of avoiding the dubious distinction is starter Terry Mulholland, who is 8-8 with four starts remaining.

*If the Seattle Mariners finish below .500 again this year, they would be only the fifth team in baseball history to have as many as 14 straight losing seasons. The record is held by the Phillies, who had 16 consecutive sub-.500 seasons from 1933-48. The Mariners have a chance to get back to .500, but will have to win 11 of their last 17 games.

*Dodgers outfielder Kirk Gibson has kicked his free-agent salary drive into high gear. He entered yesterday's game with one hit in his past 30 at-bats.

The downright ridiculous

*The Chicago White Sox appear to have been stricken with a touch of sanity. The club has postponed the activation of Minnie Minoso, 67, until after the Sox are mathematically eliminated from the American League West race. Minoso is seeking to become the first major-league player to make game appearances in six decades. Why anyone would agree to go along with this silly stunt is a mystery.

*California Angels outfielder Dave Winfield has been swinging a hot bat, and the turnaround can be traced to the date (July 31) that commissioner Fay Vincent announced sanctions against New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. "Maybe that was the emotional boost I needed at that point," Winfield said.

*Jerry Reuss recently became the 22nd player in major-league history to appear in four decades. He needs to stay in the majors just 30 more years to pass Minoso on the all-hangers-on list. That's assuming Minoso gets into a game at the end of this season.

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