Jim Frey got it this week, Jackie Moore is on the ropes and Tony LaRussa isn't far behind.
Meanwhile, among the managers who won't get fired in the next six or seven days, Chuck Tanner threw a beauty of a tantrum this week, Dick Williams wants to throw out half his team and Sparky Anderson may have gone from having baseball's best team to its worst in two years.
So as baseball reached the days of longer days and shorter tempers, nothing was as predictable as blaming the guys who, occasionally, are the most blameless.
Why did the Chicago Cubs fire Frey? Yes, this is the same man who managed a team into the playoffs two years ago, but this isn't the same team. That wondrous pitching staff of 1984 has the same faces, but different numbers -- worst ERA in the National League.
That third baseman, Ron Cey, has grown old and creaky, and the former dominating reliever, Lee Smith, no longer dominates.
The last straw for Frey was a 3-7 trip to Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and St. Louis from which the club came home 16 1/2 games out of first.
Moore, at Oakland, may be next. The A's recently finished an 0-7 trip, had lost nine straight before yesterday's victory and, during three games in Cleveland, blew leads of 4-0, 6-0 and 3-0.
Moore's catchers are hitting .166. His pitching has been so decimated by injuries that only starter Chris Codiroli and reliever Steve Ontiveros are left from the staff that opened the season, and in one 15-game stretch recently, he used nine different starting pitchers. White Sox Shuffle
And what would the week be without something from the wacky world of the Chicago White Sox? This week, they added Tom Haller to the front office with the title of general manager.
Except maybe he's not. Co-owner Jerry Reinsdorf phoned reporters Thursday to tell them they had mis-reported the story, that Haller's assignment to be general manager wasn't permanent. Now, sources near the team say Haller might replace LaRussa as field manager.
Tanner doesn't like everything he sees these days. After San Diego's Mark Thurmond beat his Braves with four RBI and a three-hitter, an Atlanta reporter gingerly mentioned that opposing pitchers had driven in 11 runs in the Braves' previous 17 games -- nine of them after Tanner had walked the No. 8 hitter to get to the pitcher.
Tanner didn't smile. He didn't comment, either. He did throw a can of beer against the wall and smash another in his hand.
As for Detroit's Anderson, it's almost impossible to believe how far the Tigers have fallen since they won the World Series in 1984.
After 58 games this season, they are 12 games out of first, the farthest a Detroit team had been out after 58 games since 1954.
That's not all. They already have lost 10 games by margins of five or more runs, something they did only 12 times in all of 1984.
Their home attendance should be down about 300,000 by the all-star break, but if you plan a trip to Tiger Stadium, get there early. The Tigers have been outscored, 92-39, in the first two innings.
Seattle's Williams has been so happy with his new team that he already has dropped Al Cowens and Milt Wilcox, and wants to get rid of Gorman Thomas and Barry Bonnell. The last three have guaranteed contracts worth about $1 million. Tight Shoelaces
Some guys have all the bad luck. Oakland catcher Mickey Tettleton can't play because he has a blood circulation problem in his foot. Doctors said he got it by tying his shoelaces too tightly . . . When Amos Otis was inducted into the Kansas City Royals' Hall of Fame last week, he did more than say thanks. He said when he hit a homer in the first game of the 1980 World Series he was using a corked bat. "They can't do anything about it now," he said, "but my bat was loaded. I used loaded bats as far back as 1970."
When Milwaukee's Billy Wegman was scheduled to start against the Boston Red Sox last week, he was 0-5. That night a 10-year-old girl walked up to him outside County Stadium and explained she had been 0-5 on her softball team before her mother gave her purple bubble gum to chew during the game.
She gave Wegman a package of the gum and, since then, he has beaten the Red Sox and Orioles.
An indication of how outstanding Red Sox pitching has been is that they have won 10 games when they scored three or fewer runs. Last season, they won only six games all season when they didn't score four or more . . . If you don't think Wade Boggs can hit .400, he already has. From June 23, 1985, through June 8, 1986, the Red Sox played 162 games, and Boggs hit .400. And if you think he'll fade when the weather warms up, consider: Over the last four seasons, he hit .335 before the all-star break, .364 after. And if you don't think he's one of the most incredible hitters yet, consider: In 1986, through Thursday, pitchers had thrown him 1,177 pitches. He had swung and missed at only 20 of them -- three on opening day. A Wild Hoyt
San Diego's LaMarr Hoyt walked 20 batters in 210 innings last season. This season, he has walked 19 in 48 2/3 and has asked Manager Steve Boros to move him to the bullpen to get his delivery straightened out. Overall, he's 2-3 with a 5.55 ERA.
The New York Mets are worried about pitcher Ron Darling, who has lost 19 pounds in nine days (through Thursday). He still made a start Wednesday, but doctors weren't certain what's wrong . . . Mets rookie Kevin Mitchell played first base Wednesday night -- the sixth position he has played this season. The only spots he hasn't played are pitcher, catcher and second base.
How bad are the Minnesota Twins? Reliever Frank Pastore got their first save in a month last Sunday, only their fourth of the season. Ron Davis, who was supposed to be the bullpen ace, had two saves in the first four games -- none since . . . Texas pitcher Charlie Hough got his first no-decision in 38 starts Wednesday night in Minneapolis. All he did to get it was go 13 innings and throw two sliders and 168 knuckleballs -- on three days' rest . . . One of the most amazing comeback stories this season has been pitcher Rick Honeycutt of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who has given up one earned run in his last three starts (22 innings). Honeycutt has begun throwing a knuckleball in addition to his slow sinker.