The New York Mets, practically out of cures for Mackey Sasser's problems throwing the ball back to the pitcher, are considering hypnosis as a last alternative.
To rid himself of the tic (tapping his mitt repeatedly before returning the ball), Sasser has tried throwing from one knee, two knees and standing up and even firing the ball back to the mound.
"What really troubles me is that very few people recover from this type of problem," general manager Frank Cashen said, citing Dale Murphy as the most famous example of a catcher who couldn't return the ball to the pitcher.
Enter hypnosis, which, Cashen said, "may be our last option. We had success with it in Paul Blair's case [with the Baltimore Orioles in the early 1970s] after he'd been hit in the head with a pitch and was afraid to get close to the plate."
* DODGERS: Darryl Strawberry suffered a mild shoulder separation when he banged into the fence catching a drive in the seventh inning Wednesday night.
Strawberry will be re-examined today, leaving open the question of whether he will miss any games.
* RED SOX: Pitcher Roger Clemens and his brother entered pleas of innocent to misdemeanor charges stemming from a January bar brawl in Houston with an off-duty police officer. A motions hearing was set for July 22, and the trial date is expected to be set then.
* ROSE: Pete Rose, who had a daily radio show while managing the Cincinnati Reds and later did a weekly show as a call-in host and commentator, is going to try television.
Baseball's all-time hits leader, banned from baseball in 1989 for gambling, will be a substitute sports anchor on WLWT-TV in Cincinnati, starting tonight.