Gene Michael, former manager of the New York Yankees, was hired as manager of the Chicago Cubs yesterday after the club's split of a Wrigley Field doubleheader with the St. Louis Cardinals in coach John Vukovich's one-day stand as Jim Frey's interim successor.
The Cardinals won the first game in 10 innings, 1-0, extending the Cubs' losing streak to four games. Then Chicago won in 11 innings, 3-2, on a pinch-hit single by Thad Bosley.
Michael, a former general manager, manager and third base coach with New York, left Baltimore in the midst of a four-game Yankees-Orioles series for Chicago and his introduction as manager. He had agreed to terms with Cubs President Dallas Green, who dismissed Frey and third base coach Don Zimmer Thursday.
"He's been through pennant races and he's managed a club that was always under the media spotlight," Green said of Michael, a participant in owner George Steinbrenner's revolving-door manager policy with the Yankees. "He's certainly shown he can handle all the pressure of managing and has always produced."
Vukovich said he wanted the job on a permanent basis, but Green opted to go with the more experienced Michael, a former shortstop who had two tours of duty as manager of the Yankees, in 1981 and 1982.
General manager in 1980, Michael guided the Yankees to a 34-22 record in the first half of the strike-torn 1981 campaign but was replaced in the second half on Sept. 6 by Bob Lemon. Michael, 48, returned the next year on April 26, replacing Lemon, only to be removed in favor of Clyde King on Aug. 3.
Green was reportedly unhappy with a lack of aggressiveness on the part of Frey, who had 1 1/2 years remaining on a three-year contract. Frey was fired with the Cubs in fifth place in the National League East, 16 1/2 games behind the front-running New York Mets.
The Cardinals won the doubleheader opener as rookie Greg Mathews (2-1) held the Cubs to five hits in nine innings. A leadoff triple by Mike LaValliere and a run-scoring infield out by Terry Pendleton beat Rick Sutcliffe (4-8), who pitched a 10-inning seven-hitter.
In the second game, Ryne Sandberg opened the home 11th against Todd Worrell (3-5) with a walk and went to third on a single by Keith Moreland. Left-hander Ken Dayley relieved Worrell, and Bosley singled through a pulled-in infield.
*Mets 6, Pirates 5: In New York, Darryl Strawberry singled home Mookie Wilson from second base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Mets the win over Pittsburgh.
Jesse Orosco (3-2), who blew a ninth-inning lead for Dwight Gooden, was the winner. Pat Clements fell to 0-2.
*Phillies 2, Expos 1: In Philadelphia, Steve Jeltz singled home Glenn Wilson with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the ninth as the Phillies ended a four-game Montreal winning streak.
Shane Rawley (9-4) won his fifth straight decision.
*Braves 3, Reds 2: In Atlanta, Gerald Perry and Ozzie Virgil homered and Rick Mahler and Gene Garber held Cincinnati to six hits.
Bob Horner singled home Omar Moreno to break a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning as the Reds lost their fourth straight one-run game.
*Giants 3, Astros 1: In Houston, Chili Davis hit a three-run homer off Astros reliever Dave Smith with one out in the ninth inning to give San Francisco the victory.
Astros starter Mike Scott (6-5) began the ninth with a three-hit shutout. But, with one out, Chris Brown walked and Jeff Leonard singled him to second. Smith relieved, trying for his league-leading 17th save, but Davis hit a 1-1 pitch deep into the right field seats.
*Dodgers 6, Padres 2: In San Diego, Fernando Valenzuela pitched a six-hitter, his ninth complete game of the season, and Bill Madlock hit a three-run homer for Los Angeles.
Valenzuela (9-4) struck out seven batters, walked one and retired the last 10. He leads the National League in complete games.