One man's opinion, and that's a fact

JOHN EISENBERG

September 29, 1992|By JOHN EISENBERG

Fact: The Orioles have drawn more fans this season than in 1969 to '71 combined, when they won three AL pennants and one World Series.

Opinion: Division winners in the NFL: Bills, Oilers, Broncos, 49ers, Lions, Eagles.

Fact: Orioles lefty bullpen prospect Brad Pennington allowed only 12 hits in 39 innings at Rochester. He walked 33 but had a 2.08 ERA.

Opinion: Gary Sheffield has slightly better numbers, but Barry Bonds is the hands-down National League MVP for doing it in a division-winning season.

Fact: Mike Devereaux has 38 RBI with the bases loaded this season.

Opinion: Fifteen players for the Orioles to protect in the expansion draft: Mussina, Rhodes, McDonald, Olson, Frohwirth, Mills, Devereaux, Anderson, Cal Ripken, Glenn Davis, Hoiles, Gomez, Milligan, Pennington, Alexander.

Fact: Sixteen teams have played in the postseason since the Orioles last made an appearance in 1983.

Opinion: The gap between the Bills and the rest of the AFC is ludicrously large.

Fact: The Blue Jays have more than 300 RBI from the third and fourth hitters in their batting order. The Orioles have approximately half as many.

Opinion: No one in the American League has had a classic MVP season. Dennis Eckersley was almost perfect, but he gets the Cy Young Award, not MVP.

Fact: The tightest race in the majors is the Dodgers and Mariners duking it out for the worst record in baseball.

Opinion: As long as they don't have to play in France, the U.S. Davis Cuppers look unbeatable.

Fact: The first year at Camden Yards provided 15 percent fewer homers than the average of the last 10 years at Memorial Stadium.

Opinion: What a thrill it will be when the Sun Cities Solar Sox play the Tucson Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League, which begins Oct. 6.

Fact: The AL Least is 22 games better than the West in 1992, through Sunday.

Opinion: Navy's football team will score sometime this season.

Fact (From "Whither Cal" Desk): Mickey Tettleton has hit 62 homers in the two seasons since his contract year here, when, saying he was distracted by free agency, he hit 15.

Opinion: More people would have paid to watch the Connors-Martina match if the players had dressed in full scuba ++ gear.

Fact: Seventy-three years ago yesterday, the Giants beat the Phillies, 6-1, in the shortest nine-inning game in major-league history -- 51 minutes.

Opinion: The Orioles' 1993 bullpen: Olson, Pennington, Frohwirth, Mills, Poole.

Fact: The ex-Oriole National League rotation (Curt Schilling, Dennis Martinez, Pete Harnisch, Mike Morgan) is having another big year, with a 53-39 record and a 3.07 ERA.

Opinion: The Orioles don't really have a fifth starter for 1993, but if the choice is spending money on a hitter or Craig Lefferts, they need the hitter more.

Fact: The four major-league teams in New York and Los Angeles, a combined 78 games under .500 through Sunday, have dropped a combined 1.5 million fans from last season.

Opinion: Most likely Orioles to become a Marlin or Rockie: Segui, Mercedes.

Fact: Juan Bell hit .208 with five errors in his month as the Phillies' shortstop.

Opinion: Just when the hockey season was ending, it's starting up again.

Fact: Said Bucs coach Sam Wyche after cutting several outspoken players: "You know how I feel about outspoken people. I don't like them getting in the way of my being outspoken."

Opinion: The most misleading record of any pitcher in baseball is the 7-15 belonging to Jim Abbott, who has not gotten a single run of support in seven of his starts.

Fact: Forty-eight hours before striking out 18 times in eight innings against Seattle's Randy Johnson, the Rangers also struck out 18 times in a game against the Mariners -- but it took 11 pitchers 16 innings to do it.

Opinion: The NFC is wide-open, lacking a killer team for the first time in years.

Fact: The top-ranked Washington Huskies have three tough games left (USC, Cal, Stanford) and all are at home.

Opinion: The Brewers are spending the last week of the season on the West Coast, playing games ending well after midnight back home. What drama.

Fact: The Blue Jays have swept 12 series; they've been swept not once.

Opinion: Next Pay-Per-View Battle of the Sexes "attraction": Arnold Palmer vs. Betsy Wright over 18 holes of dynamite. Arnold has to play without his hearing aid. Start saving your pennies.

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