OAKLAND, AUG. 22 -- Every day, it gets a little worse for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Just as they had a chance to talk the Seattle Mariners into taking Mike Marshall off their hands, he leaves the team again, saying a bruised shin isn't healing fast enough. Then he went on the disabled list.

He has missed 79 of the Dodgers' 122 games, and not only is he making it hard for Tommy Lasorda to put together a credible lineup he's making it almost impossible to trade him.

The Baltimore Orioles apparently are still at least mildly interested in a deal that would involve unhappy first baseman Eddie Murray. But the Dodgers' best chance recently has been the Mariners.

Their original asking price was outfielder Phil Bradley and pitcher Mike Moore, but the Mariners laughed. Now, the Dodgers have sent Ken Howell to the minors to show Mariners scouts he can be an everyday starting pitcher. If he convinces them of that, then he might be added to the deal, and the Mariners, desperate for power, reportedly will reconsider.

Regardless, the Dodgers are a mess. They started a lineup Thursday night that averaged three homers and 18 RBI per man, and had only one regular, second baseman Steve Sax, from spring training. They beat the Montreal Expos, 7-2, but Montreal pitcher Neal Heaton said, "That team doesn't belong on the same field with us." Cardinals Draw Well

The Dodgers could fail to lead the major leagues in attendance for the first time in more than a decade. The St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets could pass them, and the Cardinals in particular are having a phenomenal season, averaging 38,679. If they can average 37,999 for their last 25 home dates, they'll be the second team in history to draw 3 million. They appear to have a chance, especially with six home dates left with the Mets and Montreal Expos . . .

The Cardinals might need all of those home games to hold off the Mets, who won 21 of their first 34 games after the all-star break (while the Cardinals were losing 16 of 30). Ron Darling has won six of seven starts, and with Sid Fernandez off the disabled list today, they still have a chance to get their planned starting rotation back together this season. Rick Aguilera has thrown 11 shutout innings on rehab at Tidewater, and Bobby Ojeda might be relieving soon . . .

The Toronto Blue Jays have enough problems, especially with Jesse Barfield having only 14 extra base hits in his last 55 games (through Thursday). His average had fallen 54 points in 55 games, and he has been dropped to sixth in the batting order several times recently . . . The Blue Jays are worried about shortstop Tony Fernandez and pitcher Jimmy Key, both scheduled to have Dr. Frank Jobe check their sore arms this weekend . . .

The Cincinnati Reds apparently were stunned at not being able to deal for Pittsburgh's Rick Reuschel, who went to the San Francisco Giants Friday. The Reds and Pirates had been talking almost continuously for five days, and it's unclear what the hangup was.

One thing is certain: When his name showed up on the waiver wire this week, the Reds could have blocked him from clearing and killed the deal. However, they apparently thought he was clearing waivers so a trade with them could be made. One problem Reds General Manager Bill Bergesch apparently has is with owner Marge Schott, who must okay every move . . .

While the Reds don't deal, the Giants do. Since opening day, they've dumped Mark Grant, Mark Davis, Keith Comstock, Jim Gott, Jeff Robinson and Greg Minton off their pitching staff . . . This was a bad week for Neil Allen of the Chicago White Sox. Not only is he 0-7 with a 6.50 ERA, but he also had his trade request laughed at by General Manager Larry Himes. He also found out his wife had retained Marvin Mitchelson for their divorce case . . .

San Diego's Storm Davis (2-7, 6.34) threw a fit and asked to be traded this week when he was sent to the bullpen after coming off the disabled list. When he did, Manager Larry Bowa told reporters, "He thinks the 'SD' on his head means 'Storm Davis.' " Davis allowed four earned runs in an inning Thursday, and Bowa ripped him again, saying, "I'm sure he'll have an excuse why he couldn't get anyone out." . . . Houston's Glenn Davis, Storm's best friend, says Storm wants to return to Jacksonville, Fla., and enter politics . . .

The Philadelphia Phillies are concerned over the final diagnosis on reliever Steve Bedrosian might be. He apparently has some kind of impingement in his right shoulder and may need surgery, the kind that ended the careers of Mike Norris and Bruce Sutter . . . Kansas City's Bo Jackson sat on the bench a week, then came back Monday and struck out four times. He has struck out 148 times in 355 at-bats, and the Royals apparently would be stunned to see him back in baseball next season . . .

Houston catcher Alan Ashby wants his teammates to pool $50 apiece for pitcher Nolan Ryan each time the Astros don't score four runs for him. That's the latest suggestion to help a pitcher who is having one of the most incredible seasons ever. He is 5-13 despite striking out 11.42 per nine innings -- the best ratio of his career. He's averaging 6.55 hits per nine innings, the best ratio in the major leagues. And his 2.95 ERA is the sixth-best in the major leagues. When he lost eight straight games, he allowed more than three runs only once . . . The Astros just finished a 7-0 home stand, and the top three hitters in their order -- Gerald Young, Billy Hatcher and Bill Doran -- batted .474 . . .

Giants General Manager Al Rosen now says that it's not cork, but an improper hardening substance that is helping Mets third baseman Howard Johnson.

And Steve Peters, a former clubhouse guy in Evansville, said Johnson doctored his bats when he played there.Quote of the Week

"Well, that's the end of the dry Martinez." -- Atlanta announcer Skip Caray when Cubs center fielder Dave Martinez batted during a rainstorm recently.