At 43 years young, Fisk enjoys the game more than ever 0...

All-Star notes

July 10, 1991|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Sun Staff Correspondent

TORONTO — At 43 years young, Fisk enjoys the game more than ever 0) before

TORONTO -- Chicago White Sox catcher Carlton Fisk is finding that some things do get better with age.

Fisk, 43, singled in the sixth inning to become the oldest player ever to hit safely in All-Star competition. That distinction previously was owned by Ted Williams, who got his final All-Star hit at the age of 41 years, 10 months in 1960.

"I don't know what that means because I don't know how many other old players played in the All-Star Game," Fisk said. "But it was sure nice to get a hit. It wasn't pretty, but it fell in where no one was playing."

Time marches on, but Fisk said that the older he gets, the more he appreciates the game. Now that Bob Boone is out of the game, he is the oldest catcher ever to play regularly.

"Over the years, I've become more aware of the game and the players that play the game," he said. "I find myself cheering inside when guys make good plays against us and outwardly when our guys do well. That appreciation has helped me to enjoy the game more than I ever did."

Texas Rangers second baseman Julio Franco said yesterday that his words were "twisted" when he was quoted as saying that he -- not Roberto Alomar -- should be the starting second baseman on the American League squad.

"Somebody asked me a question and I gave an answer," he said. "Somebody twisted my words. I said, 'If you can prove that I [shouldn't] start the game, I'll kiss my ---.' I never said the name Alomar.

"I'm not talking to reporters anymore. We Latins have to stick together."

Franco and Alomar shook hands in front of reporters before the game. Both said there are no hard feelings.

Vincent on Orioles sale

Commissioner Fay Vincent said he had heard nothing new on the potential sale of the Baltimore Orioles franchise.

"The last I've heard, he's got some people who have expressed interest," Vincent said, "but right now everything is in a very early stage."

Vincent said he had no information on who the prospective buyers might be, but restated Major League Baseball's commitment to local ownership.

"We have guidelines in those directions," he said. "There will be local participation in any group that buys any team."

Vincent and Orioles owner Eli Jacobs attended a White House ceremony honoring baseball greats Williams and Joe DiMaggio, then traveled to Toronto for the All-Star festivities.

Politicians everywhere

President Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney attended the game together after Bush presided over the Rose Garden ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Williams' .406 season and DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak.

Williams, DiMaggio and Vincent were part of a group that included Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft and White House Chief of Staff John Sununu that flew with Bush on Air Force One.

Bush apparently loves the All-Star Game. He threw out the ceremonial first pitch three times as vice president -- 1981 in Cleveland, 1986 in Houston and 1988 in Cincinnati.

Bat news

Kansas City Royals outfielder Danny Tartabull showed up at home plate last night with a non-approved Zett bat, the same model that sparked controversy during a June 20 game with the Orioles.

The Orioles asked the umpiring crew whether the bat was legal, but never got a chance to challenge it because Tartabull did not reach base during the game. He later blasted the Orioles coaching staff for making an issue of it.

Major-league rules require the opposing manager to challenge non-approved equipment before a ruling is made.

Boggs on Boston

AL third baseman Wade Boggs got a little emotional when reporters pressed him on what has gone wrong with the struggling Boston Red Sox.

"It's not the high-priced talent, and it's not our injuries," Boggs said. "We've got a lot of holes to fill in our rotation, and if people get hurt we can't keep winning.

"We can't expect to knock out 10 runs every game and have our pitchers throw shutouts, but that's not the problem. There's got to be a coping atmosphere. I can't say what the whole problem is because then people would think I'm an [expletive]. It's sort of a who's-on-first situation."

Look at me

Rickey Henderson was seen in the American League clubhouse in a T-shirt commemorating his career stolen-base record.

Only Rickey.

Guillen rates new parks

Chicago White Sox shortstop Ozzie Guillen, who moved into a new stadium this year, gives SkyDome mixed reviews.

"I think it's better here because you know you'll always play in good weather," he said. "But it's better in Chicago because that's a real baseball field."

Carew on .400

Newly elected Hall of Famer Rod Carew made a few runs at a .400 season, and doesn't think that it's an unattainable goal.

"It's going to take a guy like Wade Boggs," said Carew, who is the honorary captain of the AL squad. "Wade is so disciplined. He gets a lot of walks and a lot of hits. He's a good hitter who makes adjustments. He even knows how to make adjustments during a swing."

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