Batty Balls: Unkindest Cuts of all

Unkindest cuts of all

Though Denny McLain has won a new drug trial and will shortly be out of stir, other notorious pitchers are unleashing a crime wave in baseball. A week apart, only the fourth and fifth major leaguers ever suspended for malfeasance on the mound have received ten-day sentences. At the same time, bats are routinely being confiscated and X-rayed for illegal implants. The heavy summer air over the nation's famous diamonds has grown thick with larceny.

First, Phil Niekro's younger brother Joe was nabbed in a Minnesota game with an emery board in his hip pocket. He was captured on film, during...