Tulsa Drillers general manager Joe Preseren was facing
a no-win situation when he had to schedule makeup dates
for an April 13 rainout against Shreveport and a May 2 rainout
"I thought about the effect it could have on the first-half
race if I scheduled them for the second half," said Preseren.
"But rainouts are made up as part of doubleheaders and
conditions for playing doubleheaders during April and early
May often aren't good for fans because of the cold weather,
which led to the decision to play them in the second half.
"It's a tough decision when to make up games that are rained
out early in the season. It would help if the Texas League
schedule had teams in your division visit your city more
than once during each half. Then, you wouldn't be faced
with that choice."
Both Texas League first-half races this year were influenced
because of rainouts that weren't made up and left contending
teams with an unequal number of games played.
In the Western Division, El Paso and Wichita were even in
the loss column but El Paso won the title because it won
the two extra games it played.
In the Eastern Division, Shreveport and Jackson finished
in a virtual tie for first but Shreveport was declared the
winner because it played two fewer games and finished ahead
by one percentage point. Tulsa finished third, one-half
game behind. The Drillers played one more game than Shreveport
and one fewer than Jackson.
The Drillers would have won the first-half title had they
made up and won the two rained-out games in the first half
that will be made up instead during the current home stand.
And because some first-half games will be made up in the
second half, close second-half races also could be affected
by an unequal number of games played by contending teams.
In 1988, TL owners adopted a rule stating that any rainouts
in the final three first-half series must be made up during
the first half, unless it was the final game of a series.
The change was inspired after some teams had not made up
rainouts during the first half of a season for the sole
purpose of protecting their lead in the standings.
That rule should be extended for the entire first half of
the season. General managers shouldn't be forced into a
situation such as Preseren faced this year.
Every effort should be made to ensure that teams play an
equal number of games during a half. The pennant races,
as much as possible, should be decided by the players' actions
on the field and not by bad weather.
Sawatski decision on target
Texas League president Carl Sawatski should be commended
for not handing out any suspensions as penalties for the
fight between Jackson and Tulsa on June 7 which resulted
in eight ejections and injuries to three players.
Sawatski was able to get his message across that fighting
will not be tolerated by handing out stiffer-than-normal
fines, while not affecting the pennant race.
A pennant race shouldn't be decided by a league president.
And the fight didn't warrant any suspensions. The fight
wasn't caused by only one or two players. It was just an
unfortunate incident that can happen when two teams battling
for a pennant play 16 games against each other in a 41-day
The Minnesota Twins' unconditional release Friday
of Jim Dwyer leaves Keith Hernandez of Cleveland and Garry
Templeton of San Diego as the only former Tulsa Oilers still
playing in the major leagues. The Oilers' last year of existence
was 1976. . .
During the week of June 13-19, former Tulsa Drillers outfielder
Juan Gonzalez hit seven homers for Class AAA Oklahoma City
and was named the American Association's hitter of the week.
Gonzalez is batting .272 and leads the league with 16 homers
and 51 runs batted in. . .
Former Drillers outfielders Dave Stockstill and Rusty Tillman have been
selected to the Mexican League All-Star Game. . .
Former Drillers pitcher Barry Manuel is tied for the Florida
State League lead with 19 saves for Charlotte, a Class A
affiliate of the Texas Rangers. . .
Arkansas first baseman Mike Fitzgerald, who played for the parent St.
Louis Cardinals in 1988, has been given his unconditional release.
Fitzgerald was batting .240 with four homers and 16 RBIs in 41 games. He led
the TL with 108 RBIs in 1987. . .
Outfielder David Green, a member of two St. Louis Cardinals'
pennant winners in the 1980s, is batting .360 with 11 homers
and 45 RBIs for Tabasco of the Mexican League. . .
San Antonio's Henry Rodriguez leads the Texas League with
12 homers and 62 RBIs. Jackson's Chuck Carr has the stolen-base
lead with 31. Anthony Young of Jackson leads the TL with
eight victories and a 1.81 earned-run average. Terry Bross
of Jackson is the saves leader with 17. . .
Gastonia, a Texas Rangers' Class A team, is off to a 6-0
start in the South Atlantic League second-half North Division
race. . .
Oklahoma City 89ers assistant general manager Roger Wexelberg
resigned Friday to become general manager of the independent
Miami Miracle of the Florida State League. Wexelberg had
been with the 89ers since 1984. The 89ers haven't named
a replacement for Wexelberg.