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Brewers look secure; Cubs anything but

Considering their edge in the loss column over chief pursuers Boston and Baltimore in the American League East, the Milwaukee Brewers are easily the most secure looking of baseball's four division leaders. The California Angels, who are also considered a super hitting team, have scored approximately 60 fewer runs than the Brewers.

Milwaukee's pitching isn't bad either, especially when Manager Harvey Kuenn starts Pete Vuckovich or waves Rollie Fingers (28 saves) in from the bullpen. The Brewers, so tight under former manager Buck Rodgers that they could have been cut up and sold for guitar strings, are as relaxed under Kuenn as they were when George Bamberger ran the show.

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Even though Milwaukee's trademark is power, and it does have seven players who have hit 13 or more home runs, including American League leader Gorman Thomas with 32, the Brewers almost never make any serious mistakes in the field. If there is a more reliable shortstop around than Robin Yount he has to be playing in some league in outer space.

Since Harry Dalton became Milwaukee general manager four years ago, only Baltimore and New York have won more games in the American League. Dalton's best trade is probably one he made with St. Louis in 1980. In exchange for Sixto Lezcano, Lary Sorensen, David Green, and Dave LaPoint, Harry got the Brewers Vuckovich (their current stopper); Fingers, maybe the best fireman in the game; and switch-hitting catcher Ted Simmons.

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