Sport: Baseball's Sputtering Restart

Facing a short season and a screwy format, fans stay home

Chicago Cubs Pitcher Mike Krukow looked in for the sign, planted his foot on the rubber, gripped the ball and got set to throw. But there was a slight hitch as he began his stretch. The third-base umpire immediately waved home the New York Met base runner standing on third. Thus was scored the first run in the second half of the strike-broken 1981 baseball season. The national pastime returned, not with a bang but a balk.

In the two weeks since Krukow's lead-off...

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