The intrusive camera scanned the dugout and despite a 4-2 lead with two outs and the bases empty in the New York eighth, Don Baylor, manager of the Colorado Rockies, looked ill at ease. A hit (?) dribbled under the first baseman's glove, followed by another sturdier brand. Baylor went to his bullpen. Eight of the next 10 pitches were balls. A third straight base on balls tied the score. Remember, this was all after two outs.
A wild pitch put the Mets ahead and another pass (for a dozen) was followed by a high fly to right field, which Dante Bichette jogged back on and turned into three more runs, a gift triple. "Baylor realized when he took the job," said commentator Tim McCarver, "his patience would be tried and tried and tried."
Expansion baseball, catch it!
* What a strange playoff schedule the Skipjacks have with Binghamton: Back-to-back games in the New York city tomorrow and Saturday, then six days off before playing Games 3-4-5 at the Baltimore Arena April 23-24-26. The local team will probably be done in by then as the parent Washington Capitals provide little or no help.
* Steve Spence, the Olympic marathoner from nearby Waynesboro, Pa., is the American given the best chance to do something in the 97th running of the $440,000 Boston Marathon Monday. Defending champ Ibrahim Hussein and Juma Ikangaa figure to push the pace with Heiroimi Taniguchi, Spence, Steve Friegang and Dave Tsebe coming on late.
The women's race may steal the show, though, with Olga Morkova back and Wanda Panfil, Valentina Igorova, Lisa
Weidenbach and Kim Jones to chase her. Joan Benoit is entered but not a whole lot is known about her condition.
* The feeling in Athens at the European Basketball Championships is that once the title game between Benetton and Limoges is out of the way tonight, 6-10 guard Toni Kukoc will bid farewell to old world ball and join the Chicago Bulls in the NBA. The silky-smooth Croat was a steal as a second-round pick a couple of years ago and, if he was a collegian, he'd be the top pick in the upcoming draft with no questions asked.
* The question they're asking on the streets of Toronto these days is, who didn't get a World Series ring, eh? Opening Day at SkyDome, they passed out 232 of them.
* Shaq O'Neal, who drags down about a zillion dollars per year endorsing things, says he likes to go incognito from time to time so he dons a wig. At 7-1 and 308 pounds, what are the chances of that working?
* He hasn't received a great deal of recognition for his work due to the Philadelphia Flyers once again missing the Stanley Cup playoffs, but right wing Mark Recchi has had a smashing season. The former Pittsburgh Penguin who ended up in Philly following a convoluted three-team deal involving Paul Coffey and Rick Tocchet, broke the Flyers' all-time points record of Bobby Clarke with 51 goals and 70 assists despite the club's being in last place all season.
* Not only are there nine Manon Rheaume cards in the 150-card Pro Hockey Prospects set put out by Classic Games, but the woman goalie of the Atlanta Knights put her signature on 6,500 cards that have been tossed randomly into sets.
* For some strange reason and after abandoning the city 35 years ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers wanted to maintain the copyright for the name Brooklyn Dodgers. The multimillion-dollar corporation as well as Major League Baseball Properties were thrashed soundly by a restaurateur, however, when a court ruled he could indeed use the name "The Brooklyn Dodger" on his establishment.
* It figures. Heavyweight Tony Tubbs gets tossed out of Lennox Lewis' camp for not providing good ring work for the WBC champ as he prepares for a fight against Tony Tucker in a couple of weeks and ends up latching onto a USA Network headline fight against Michael Moorer April 27.
* I thought the collective silence of the Orioles bats was deafening until the other night when it was pointed out that the Atlanta Braves didn't get a hit to start an inning until early in their eighth game of the season. Of course, when the earned run average of your starters has to be carried out to four places before a number shows up, you can get away with it.