The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee on December 6, 1989 · Page 22
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The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee · Page 22

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Nashville, Tennessee
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Wednesday, December 6, 1989
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Page 22
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4C IHlIINNICANMinpCCCMIlCKJM; 2i Nice town for meetings, what about expansion? LARRY SCHMLTJOU 7 The view fromr ' 3ti the SoundsyT president y Hasenan i Winter Meetings, , A. It would seem logical that Nashville would rank high on the Major League baseball explaasion list. After all, look at how much the big league officials like the Music City and the sprawling Opryland Hotel in general. Well, Nashville baseball fans don't misinterpret all the nice things you hear about our city from the folks attending the winter meetings. I have heard several comments about how friendly the people of Nashville are. And they have found our very best restaurants several of which I have recommended and I hope they know it. The hotel itself. It's a great hotel for this convention and I've heard it repeated time and again that it's the going to pay. '. I was so excited about the show, ' and so busy setting it up, that I forgot I needed some material for this col- umn. I not only didn't get any material, I didn't get anything to eat for lunch, either. Sounding off: The Nashville Sounds added catcher Melvin Rosario to their roster during yesterday's ml- nor league draft at baseball's winter meetings. Rosario was taken by Nashville from the Albany roster In the New York Yankees' organization. With Fort Lauderdale in the Class A Florida State League, Rosario hit .228 with five home runs and 30 RBI , in 89 games. the holiday programs and decorations, yet there is good service which has not gone unnoticed Just watching the food service people prepare a dinner last night for 2,800 was a treat In itself for me. But. the approval you hear for Nashville is just because it's a great city for a convention. No question, this proves Nashville can put on a convention as good as anyone. However, It will have no Influence on this city getting one of those major league expansion franchises down the road. The owners, when that time comes, will look beyond the Opryland Hotel, and the friendliness of the people, and all the entertainment. But. the Nashville Sounds did have a hand in last night's big show at the are In our community. They are great ambassadors. I don't think we appreciate these people enough for all they do for Nashville. They all donated their time last night and there was at least $200,000 worth of talent performing for the dinner. Nowhere In the United States can you get this kind of talent and all they get is a free dinner. There were many other great stars who would have entertained except they were committed to other appearances. Larry Gatlin. for lastance, would have been there except he had a date in Las Vegas. And Conway Twitty wanted to come, but he was in the Cayman Islands. I called a long list and I never had a single one to ask how much were we dinner. That's because I was In charge of entertainment We certainly had a big league show. The list of entertainers included the Oak Ridge Boys, Charlie McCoy and the ffee flaw band, Ronnie McDowell, Becky Hobbs, Riders In the Sky, Shelley Mangrum, Eric and Crystal Morris, and a group called Kentucky Country. Shelley Mangrum, now a star on television, is a former Nashville Sounds Soundette, as was last night's mistress of ceremonies for the show, Lori Ann Crook of the Crook and Chase. I just can't say enough about the attitude of the great stars of the music industry In Nashville when it comes to entertaining Important guests who Opryland Hotel : best. Not only the facilities, but the service. These baseball people have mingled with huge crowds, at the hotel for - r cry . . s ::jv m, ... !; A 7 w- 7 t 't- . I i ; - V Pinella's enjoying new experience of 'running' Reds MIKE MORROW Sports Writer Lou Piniella was speechless for the moment He had just been asked how it was different thus far working for Marge Schott as opposed to George Steinbrenner. "Well. . .," he said with a pause. ". . . Let me think about it ..." And another long pause. Then he said, "How about a stroll in Central Park?" That's the transition for Piniella who leaves the broadcast booth of the New York Yankees, the team he used to manage, for the manager's job of the Cincinnati Reds, the team Pete Rose used to manage. Schott is the Reds' owner, Steinbrenner the Yankees'. "No, I learned a lot with the Yankees," Piniella said yesterday during the winter meetings at Opryland. "George is a hands-on type of owner. He likes to get involved. "Marge will let me run the ball club. I don't think that was any type of special condition for me to take the job. "I don't anticipate any problems." Piniella will manage a club that finished fifth in the National League West last season, a club that sustained numerous injuries and the painful saga of Rose and his banishment from baseball. "I respect Pete a lot," said Piniella who said he had not seen Rose since Pete's ouster from the game. "I like Pete. I read where he plans to be in Plant City (where the Reds have spring training) and I look forward to sitting down with him. "I had nothing to do with the situatioa and I come in very aware that Pete is a popular figure in Cincinnati." If New Cincinnati manager Lou Piniella hopes to keep owner Marge Schott, right, smiling next season. "Our ballclub Is pretty well set," he said. He noted that Injured pitchers Danny Jackson and Jose Rijo appear on schedule for recovery, as well as infielder Chris Sabo, the former Nashville standout He also seemed pleased about the prospects of shortstop Barry Larkin. With a healthy club, Piniella seems optimistic "I can't say the Reds have been undera-chievers," he said. "A lot of teams with a lot of talent don't win for a number of reasons." Piniella moves over to the NL after a lengthy American League stay. It Is a move that has prompted speculation on how well Piniella will handle games without the designated hitter. That ;vas one question he was ready for yesterday. "People talk like I'm going to Russia to teach ice hockey," he said. "It's a legitimate question. But I'll tell you this. It's easier to make a double switch In the lineup than it is to send a rocket to the mooa" Piniella links injuries more than anything else to the Reds' problems last season. And It is not likely the Reds will be very active in off season deals, although they have expressed a need for another hitter and have talked to free agent Pete O'Brien. Piniella said, however, that he hasn't seen enough of the young talent on the club to give an appraisal of what kind of team Nashville Sounds fans can expect to see at the Class AAA franchise. But he likes what he sees at the major league level. Bent has pat answer to Steinbrenner question A's needing signatures to repeat TFRRY MCCORMICK Sports Hnir Trying to find a way to improve the world champion Oakland Athletics is sort of like Christmas shopping for ' Donald Trump. After all, what do you get for someone who already has everything? The A's swept through 1 989 regular season, playoffs and World Series with such an awesome display of power, speed, pitching and defense that they seemingly did not have a notice able weakness. So, it would seem the toughest task ' for A's general manager Sandy Alder-son would be to occasionally reach out and touch slugger Jose Canseco's 900 hotline jast to make sure the ' ' star right fielder hasn't been thrown another brushback pitch by law enforcement officials. But staying a champion may be j even more difficult a task than be- " coming one. Tony Phillips signed a three-year pact with the Detroit Tigers last night worth an estimated $3.25 million. "We're not happy to see him go," Alderson told Associated Press late last night. "Frankly, I thought we'd be able to keep him. "But to me, this is another example " of outright hysteria in the free-agent ' market. He got something like a 300 to 400 percent raise and I think the " only person more surprised than me is Tony Phillips." Phillips made $375,000 last season, including $75,000 In bonuses. "We are still hoping to sign (pitch- ; er) Storm Davis," Alderson said. Despite back-to-back American League championships and a World Series title this season, both Alderson and A's manager Tony La Russa dismiss any talk o the Athletics' becoming a dynasty as very premature. "Each season Is different and you have to approach it that way," Aider-son said. "We won't have the same ballclub In 1990 that we had In 1989. "We still have the same nucleus and we're confident that we'll have a good team, though," he added. "In order to be a dynasty, you have to win and win and win," said LaRus-sa whose three-and-a-half years on the job Is the longest ever by an Oakland skipper. "We've only won one " world championship. You have to dis-" count a lot of that type talk. The me- ' dia often tends to be too complimentary when you're going well and sometimes too harsh when you're not." While the A's have lost Parker to ' the Brewers and Phillips to the Tigers, American League West Divi- . sion rival California has been busy snaring free agent prize Mark Langs: ' toa "One reason it's so hard to stay on . top is it Is hard to keep the balance of talent in one place with teams signing players. . . "But that's something that is be- yond control," he added. "What you can do is control the type talent you -have. "I try to concentrate on the A's and what we're doing, rather than on the '. other clubs," La Russa said. "As far as losing Dave Parker, I give Dave cred-' ; It for the two years he gave us and wish him well. But on the other hand, I don't want to dwell on It too much, because if you do that, you're halfway' to losing." La Russa said it was still too early '. to speculate as to which player or players would assume Parker's designated hitter role in 1990. Alderson indicated the Athletics are not likely to make any deals at the , winter meetings, although the names , of free agents John Tudor and Lloyd , Moseby have been part of some spec-, ulatioa "It's conceivable, but I don't know that we'll go into the free agent market," Alderson said. "Teams are al- ways looking for pitching and we are: going to have to replace Parker and " Phillips." i-: Last year the A's signed pitcher . Mike Moore as a free agent, but the team did not make a major offseason trade last year. Rickey Henderson came back to Oakland in a June trade -with the New York Yankees and has.' ; . re-signed with the A's for $12 million. f 5 .s vecky will have further surgery on his left arm, due to the recurrence of a desmoid tumor. Dravecky, who retired last month from the Giants after a courageous comeback from cancer surgery on his pitching arm, will have the surgery early next month at the Sloan-Ketter-ing Memorial Cancer Center in New York. No-Show: San Francisco Giants' outfielder Kevin Mitchell was a noshow yesterday at the ceremony honoring him as The Sporting News Major League Player of the Year. Giants' manager Roger Craig accepted the Waterf ord Crystal trophy InMitchell'sstead. Greenwell on block: One name that has been mentioned in several speculated trades Is Boston's Mike Greenwell. Greenwell has been thought to be included in a deal that would send him to Montreal. Another proposed package has Greenwell headed to the Atlanta Braves. And still another, has the hard-hitting Red Sox left fielder headed to the Houston Astros in exchange for split-finger fastball ace Mike Scott Scott has also been mentioned in a trade to the Philadelphia Phillies for Von Hayes and a left-handed pitcher. Atlanta-bound?: Brook Jacoby, dispatched to Cleveland by Atlanta with Brett Butler In the now-Infamous Len Barker deal, could be headed back to Atlanta, according talk here. One Brave being shopped around Is injured first baseman Gerald Perry. Frank talk: Did the Baltimore Orioles overachleve last year with their rise from the rubble of 107 losses to a near AL East division title? Not according to Orioles Manager Frank Robinson. Still, the Orioles are not deluding themselves into thinking they have gone from doormat to powerhouse overnight "The rebuilding process is a long way from over," Robinson said. "What we're trying to do is keep improving. If each year we can remove the 23rd and 24th player from our major league roster and replace them with someone better, we'll keep making progress," Robinson said. Dodger doings: The Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday offered salary arbitration to free agents John Tudor and former Columbia State player John Shelby. time yesterday pheasant hunting at Meadowbrook Game Farm, approximately 40 miles north of Nashville between Westmoreland, Term., and Portland, Tenn. Tudor suitor: St Louis Cardinals' manager Whltey Herzog says the Cards are still trying to reacquire onetime staff ace John Tudor via the free agent route. The left-handed Tudor helped pitch the Cardinals Into two World Series during his tenture in St Louis between 1 985-88. He was dispatched to the Los Angeles Dodgers In a late-season 1988 trade for first baseman Pedro Guerrero. "We are still trying to sign John Tudor," Herzog said. "He has shown some Interest In Boston and New York, but we are interested In him." Tudor, If healthy, would further bolster the Cardinals' pitch! ng,as they have already landed free agent pitcher Bryn Smith from Montreal. Smith is slated to join left-hander Joe Magrane and right-hander Jose DcLeon in the Cardinals' rotatioa The other spots in the rotation are still undecided. Dravecky surgery. Former San Francisco Giants pitcher Dave Dra Bucky Dent already has a firm answer to "The Question" as be readies for his first full season as manager of the New York Yankees. The Question, in regards to everyone who manages in the pinstripes is "How will you deal with Yankee owner George Steinbrenner. Dent's answer "He's the boss. I mean he owns the ballclub. "I'm just going to manage the best way I know how," Dent said. "I know what the bottom line is and what will happen if I don't win enough." The Yankees obviously have some talent in Don Mattingly and Steve Sax, but even Dent admits there are many problems which have to be resolved during spring training. "We've got a lot of area where we've got some question marks," Dent said. "But we've got a lot of good young players." The Yankees have long been noted for big spendinn in the free agent market and this winter forked over $2 million for pitcher Pascual Perez Also, longtime relief ace Dave Righetti Is being targeted for the starting rotation for the first time in several seasons. Cwy nn guns: Despite being on a tight schedule, San Diego Padres' star AP Will John Tudor be back in a St Louis uniform? outfielder Tony Gwynn still found some time for rest and relaxation in the Nashville area Gwynn, who edged out Will Clark for the 1989 batting title, spentsome Mew York Mets' Mitchell dealt in light trading 2 As for Davis, the National League Cy Young Award winner for the Padres, San Diego manager Jack McKeon said, "He wants to take his time and I don't blame him. It's a big decision. "I'm confident he'll be intelligent In his decision. I wish nlm luck. I'm just hopeful his luck Is in San Diego." Elsewhere, former big league pitcher Bill Gullickson, who lives in Brentwood, Is expected to sign with the Houston Astros. Gullickson, a former Expo, Red and Yankee, has been pitching In Japan. In other developments, the Royals also signed free agent right-handed pitcher Steve Crawford and free agent first baseman designated hitter RussMormaa H have a player of that loyalty and character." The Angels have already landed prize free agent Mark Langston for a reported $16 million. Baseball's waiver rules are now such that the end of the winter meetings no longer signal the end of inter-league trading. "Time is no longer of the essence," said Rader. "You don't need to have a deal completed by the end of the winter meetings." As for the escalating figures on player salaries, Rader said, "For the salaries to jump from $20,000 to $100,000 took forever but from $1 million to $3 million was phenomenal. It's like a geometric progressloa It's going straight up." and 105 RBI in 1989. Alomar hit .306 at Class AAA Las Vegas with 13 homersandlOlRBI. Otherwisejt has not been the busy swap meet some had expected here. Another holdup in transactions has been the negotiating process for free agents, particularly Robin Yount and Mark Davis. Among the teams interested in Yount was the California Angels, but Angels manager Doug Rader said the club Is willing to wait out Yount's deliberations on possibly leaving the Milwaukee Brewers. "I'm led to believe that Robin is giving Milwaukee an opportunity to prove its interest" said Rader. "You try to be as patient and as professional as you can be. It's the kind of attitude that does nothing but speak more highly of him. It's very desirable to completed on Monday between the Yankees and Pirates. Alomar is one of two outstanding young catchers at San Diego, with Benito Santiago, and it would be no surprise if he Is dealt Carter also has been seen as a likely candidate to be dealt before the meetings end here. Indians manager John McNamara, who lives in Brentwood, was just recently selected to take the helm in Cleveland. When asked yesterday about the prospects of missing out on using Carter's talents, he replied, "If you don't ever have snow for Christmas, how can you miss a white Christmas?" McNamara did say, "I think something will be accomplished here in Nashville with Joe Carter." Carter hit .243 with 35 home runs tion that is pitching rich. He will get a full opportunity to prove himself with us." Mitchell was 1 1-1 1 with a X03 earned run average in 26 games last season for Class AAA Tidewater. All his appearances were as starts. He was 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in two appearances for the Mets. In his career, Mitchell Is 3-8 with the Mets with a 4.08 ERA in 27 games. Mitchell was acquired by the Mets from the Red Sox in 1985. Mitchell said he first learned about the deal when Mets general mana-gaei jue McDvaine called him Monday night Meanwhile, the Carter deal heated up what has been a rather lackluster week for trading A minor trade was

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