The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on October 20, 1983 · Page 74
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 74

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Thursday, October 20, 1983
Page 74
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p4 ThejPost, Thursday, OctoberJO, 1983 Kuhn Plans No Immediate Action on Guilty Royals f Ml Wlr XrvKM NEW YORK - No immediate action is expected by baseball authorities following recent guilty pleas by jour members of the 1983 Kansas City Royals in connection with a cocaine Investigation. "When we have the facts, we will make our decision," said Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn. ; A joint committee of major league officials and the players' union have been studying drug-abuse problems. ' A spokesman for the Major League Baseball Players Association says, "Since we are working with those people (baseball) right now, neither we nor they want to make public press . comments." In the cases of the four Royals Vida Blue, Willie Aikens, Willie Wilson and Jerry Martin plea bargaining took place. Aikens, Martin and Wilson pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of attemping to possess cocaine. Blue, once a Cy Young Award-winning pitcher and released by the . Koyals Aug. 5, pleaded guilty to possession of three grams of cocaine. All four are scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 17 in federal court. The charges, all misdemeanors, carry maximum penalities of a $5,000 fine ; and one year in jail. No baseball players were among ' the 12 people charged in two indict- , ments returned Tuesday by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Kan. Padres, Marlins Renew SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Padres have renewed their working agreement with the Miami Marlins of the Florida State League by signing a one-year player development contract. "They were with us last year and we're happy to be back in the Florida State League because playing conditions are just outstanding," said Tom Romenesko, administrator of the Padres' minor league department. The Padres and the Marlins worked out an agreement for the first time last year. "Every park that our club plays in Is a major league spring training facility," Romenesko said. "With outstanding facilities like that, it makes for better player development conditions." The Marlins are one of two Class A farm clubs that have working agreements with the Padres. San Diego also has a player development contract with the Reno, Nev., Padres of the California League. The Padres have two other minor league affiliates the Las Vegas Stars in the Class AAA Pacific Coast League and the Beaumont Golden Gators in the Class AA Texas League. Yanks Sign Montefusco NEW YORK - Pitcher John Montefusco, acquired by the New York Yankees in August, signed a three-year contract with the Yankees for a reported $1.5 million. Montefusco, 33, came to the Yankees from the San Diego Padres Aug. 26 for two minor leaguers. He compiled a 5-0 record for New York with a 3 32 ERA. Had he not signed, he was eligible to become a free agent. y p .. Bowie Kuhn . . . waiting for '(acts' Seitz Dead at 78 NEW YORK - Peter Seitz, the labor aribtrator whose decision in 1975 paved the way for free agency in baseball and other sports, is dead at 78. Seitz died Monday after spinal surgery. An arbitrator in a wide variety of labor rulings, Seitz is best known for his rulings in 1975 in the cases of Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally, who had requested that they be granted free-agent status. Seitz held that the reserve clause which bound players to their teams until the teams traded or released them was valid for only one year. Thus, McNally, who played for the Montreal Expos, and Messersmith, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, were free after they had finished the length of their contracts, plus one year. Seitz, a lawyer, also served as a member of the National Wage Stabilization Board, was counsel and assistant to the director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. He also served as a director of industrial relations for the Defense Department. Brewers Name Coach MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Brewers announced the appointment of Tom Trebelhorn, 35, manager of the Hawaiian Pacific Coast League team last season, as first-base coach. General manager Harry Dalton said Trebelhorn will replace Ron Hansen, who is not being retained by the club, but three other coaches will remain on the staff under new manager Rene Lachemann. They are Dave Garcia, third base; Pat Dobson, pitching, and Larry Haney, bullpen. Trebelhorn, a native of Portland, Ore., managed the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League in 1982. He spent five seasons in the minors as a catcher. Royals Sign Wathan KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Catcher John Wathan decided not to pursue free agency and instead signed a four-year contract with the Kansas City Royals. Wathan, 34, hit .245 with 33 RBI last season. He had said he would file for free agency by next week if he did not have a new contract. Terms of the ' . I , iLIJMi , irin i ' 1 4 p pi i ' i .. Irwin Kimmelman (left) greets Mickey Mantle, who's banned from baseball because of casino contracts Replacing Joe Morgan, a Little Guy Who Stands Tall, Will Be Big Order r By Dave Anderson O N.w York TIuim NEW YORK Any day now, Joe Morgan is ' expected to decide that he won't be playing base- ball anymore. Managing somewhere in the future perhaps. But not flapping his left arm in the batter's box anymore, not pivoting on a double play at second base, not stealing bases. And not hitting more home runs than any little man in baseball history. "I'm not 5-8, but I'm not 5-7," he was saying during the World Series. "I'm somewhere in between, I guess 5-7 "4." Whatever his height, his stature is securely established. By any measure, Joe Morgan has been the best little man to play the game. He has hit 262 homers; only Rogers Hornsby has more among second baseman. He has stolen 681 bases, 10th on the career list. He has received 1,797 bases on balls, fourth on the career list behind Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski, and ahead of Mickey Mantle and Mel Ott. He has played more games at second base, 2,436, than anybody except the oldtimer Eddie Collins. "I'll always be happy," Morgan said, "because I've accomplished more than any little guy who ever lived." More than most big guys, too. The reason, perhaps, is that he never played the way most little guys do. "Back when I was 18 on the sandlots in the San Francisco area, Lefty O'Doul used to come to the games and he once told me, 'Don't let anybody change your swing,' " he said, referring to the Hall of Fame slugger of another era. "And when I got to the minors, my first manager, Billy Goodman, who won a batting title with the Red Sox, told me the same thing. I never wanted to be like other second basemen. I don't slap the ball around. I hit with my legs." Those legs helped Morgan hit 260 regular-season homers while in the lineup as a second baseman; he hit one as a pinch-hitter, one as an outfielder. Rogers Hornsby hit 301 in his career, 264 as a second baseman. "If we win this Series," Morgan said last week, "I may find it very important to try to break that record. Rogers Hornsby was the greatest right-handed hitter of all time. That would be somfcihing to break his record." 'I'll always be happy because I've accomplished more than any little guy who ever lived.' Joe Morgan But the Phillies didn't win the World Series, and the 40-year-old legs that supply the power for Morgan's home runs have begun to betray him. During the recent season he often suffered from the plague of the aging athlete pulled leg muscles. Even so, he often played anyway. "But I'm not going to play hurt again," he said. "It's not worth it to play hurt." As a result, Morgan probably won't play at all. But sooner or later some team wisely will hire him as a manager. This time a year ago he was a candidate to manage the Houston Astros, a team he had helped win the National League West pennant in 1980, but he chose to continue playing. Two months later, he was traded to the Phillies by the San Francisco Giants. Earlier in his career, of course, he had been traded to the Cincinnati Reds from the Astros, his original team. "The Reds got better after I joined them, the Astros got better after I joined them, the Giants got better after I joined them," he likes to say, "and this year the Phillies got better after I joined them." The success of his team has never been a coincidence. With the Reds, Morgan was the National League's Most Valuable Player in both 1975 and 1976 on World Series championship teams that included Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Dave Concepcion and George Foster. In 1976, when the Reds swept the World Series from the Yankees in four games, Morgan had his best year .320, with 27 homers, 111 runs batted in and 60 stolen bases. He led the National League with a .576 slugging average not bad for a little guy- "Growing up, Nellie Fox and Jackie Robinson were my heroes," he says. "Jackie because he was black, and Nellie because he played hard." As it turned out, Nellie Fox, a second baseman who had been the American League's most valuable player in 1959 with the pennant-winning Chicago White Sox, was finishing up his career with the Astros when Joe Morgan was brought up from the minors at the end of both the 1963 and 1964 seasons. When the 1965 season started, Joe Morgan replaced Nellie Fox as the Astros' second baseman. "Nellie told me the guys who stayed around the big leagues the longest," Morgan recalls, "were the ones who helped their teams win." Morgan stayed around 19 seasons helping his teams win seven division titles, four National League pennants and those two World Series rings. And last year, he almost sparked the Giants to another division title with a .289 average with 14 homers. On the final day of the season he endeared himself forever to San Francisco fans by knocking the Los Angeles Dodgers out of contention with a three-run homer off Terry Forster at Candlestick Park. But when Morgan demanded a guaranteed $600,000 contract, the Giants chose to trade him to the Phillies rather than risk going to salary arbitration with their $400,000 offer. This season Morgan's average dropped to .230, but he justified his salary with 16 homers, 59 runs batted in, 87 walks and 18 stolen bases as the Phillies streaked to the National League East title. In the World Series his .263 average included two homers and a triple. He scored three of the Phillies' nine runs, the only one to score more than one run. "This World Series doesn't mean any more to me than the others did," he said during it, "but I'm enjoying playing in this World Series more. I'm smelling the roses. I took the World Series for granted in Cincinnati, and I enjoy playing with Pete and Tony more now. I took that for granted before." Some fans probably enjoyed Morgan's last World Series more than his others, just as they probably took him for granted when he was with the Reds during his best years. And now, with the Phillies prepared to use the touted rookie Juan Samuel at second base next 'season, Morgan is prepared to stop playing. Unlike too many elderly players, he will leave with honor, not embarrassment. Some years ago, in spring training, that spirit to excel was obvious. "Have a good year," a man said, casually. "I will," Joe Morgan said, seriously. contract were not disclosed. Wathan set a record for stolen bases by a catcher with 36 in 1982, but was ousted from the starting catcher's job late last jeason by rookie Don Slaught, who has been called the team's catcher of the future. Wathan can also play first base and the outfield in backup roles. "I do not intend to give up the battle for the No. 1 catching job, but I won't make waves about it," Wathan said. "I've never made waves. I do intend to play no matter what." Wathan, who had a lifetime batting average of .276 entering last season, played a reserve role early in his career. He became the fulltime catcher after the 1980 season. Reunion Dates Set FRANKFORT, Ky. - After overcoming financial problems, the annual reunion of former black baseball players from the old Negro leagues will be held again in Ashland, and outgoing commissioner Bowie Kuhn is expected to show up. The Nov. 2-4 event will reunite players who were banned from white professional baseball during the first 44 decades of the century because of race. Previous reunions had been held during the summer, but this year's was delayed because of funding problems. Harry Wiley, an Ashland Oil Inc. executive who has worked with the event in the past, said the problems arose when the Schlitz Brewing Co. withdrew its support. "We were discouraged when the people who funded it for the last two years weren't able to continue," Wiley said. "It has taken us this long to find new sponsors." Wiley said Monday in a telephone interview that money has been contributed by the Alcoa Foundation, the Donald Trump Foundation and the Ashland Oil Foundation. He said the later date would enable modern players who are interested to attend. Besides Kuhn, others expected to attend are former commissioner A.B-, (Happy) Chandler and Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Buck Leonard, Judy Johnson and Monte Irvin, now an aide to Kuhn. Chandler, a former two-term governor of Kentucky and former United States Senator, was commissioner when Jackie Robinson broke the color line of the major leagues with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Other players Invited include Jimmy Critchfield, Buck O'Neill, Ray Dandridge, Piper Davis and Clint Thomas. Wiley said there will be a special honoree this year, but he doesn't know who it will be. Previous honorees have included Thomas, a native of nearby Greenup, who was honored at the first reunion in 1979, the late Satchel Paige, Johnson and the late Emma Manley. The reunion will begin with a showing of the documentary film about life in the old Negro leagues: "There was Always Sun Shining Someplace." The movie was broadcast by the Public Broadcasting System last summer. Official Criticizes Mantle, Mays Ban Baseball ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -State attorney general Irwin I. Kimmelman said yesterday that outgoing baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn was "way off base" when he banned former stars Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays from working for major-league teams because of their ties to casino hotels. His comments came as Mantle, once the star outfielder for the New York Yankees, was awarded a casino industry license yesterday to serve as a 'goodwill ambassador" for the Clar-idge Hotel and Casino. Mays has held a similar post since 1980 at Bally's Park Place, another casino in Atlantic City. Kimmelman said the ban against Mantle and Mays was considered an attack on New Jersey's ability to police the gaming industry. Kuhn is "at the very least, impugning the integrity of the state of New Jersey in the operation of the casino gaming business," Kimmelman said. "On this issue, the commissioner is way off base." The New Jersey Casino Control Commission voted 4-0 with one commissioner absent, to grant Mantle's license. As a casino employee, state law prohibits the 18-year baseball veteran who retired in 1968 from betting in Atlantic City's gambling halls. When Kuhn received word of Mantle's contract with Claridge in January, he immediately banned the 51-year-old former superstar from working for a major-league team a move that has drawn criticism from Kimmelman and New Jersey gaming officials. Kuhn imposed a similar ban in 1980 against Mays, who played for the New York and San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets in a glorious career that spanned three decades. Kimmelman, in a speech to the casino commission at its regular meeting, said: "Organized baseball will not be hurt by permitting Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays to be officially affiliated with organized baseball at the same time they are associated with casinos in Atlantic City." Kimmelman called Kuhn's decision over concerns of sports betting "a gross overreaction to a phantom that has no chance of materializing. "Does anyone really think these two could ever be corrupted by anyone, or, that they would use their efforts to corrupt a professional sport in which they have universal respect? To even raise the suggestion shows little faith in their integrity, which has long since been demonstrated for all to see." Unlike Nevada, New Jersey does not permit betting on sporting events. "It seems ludicrous to take the position (that) commissioner Kuhn has in the total absence of the evil he is trying to avoid," said Kimmelman. Kuhn, who plans to step down as commissioner Dec. 31, was unavailable for reaction to Kimmelman's statements, according to officials in his New York office. But Chuck Adams, a spokesman for Kuhn, said: "Basically, the commissioner has no public response to Mr. Kimmelman. "He made his decisions on Mantle and Mays based on his obligation as commissioner to protect baseball not only from unsavory influences, but also from the appearance of wrongdoing." Adams added that Mays and Mantle would be allowed to return to baseball if they severed their ties to the casino industry. Casino commissioner Donald M. Thomas said Kuhn "has in reality victimized the game itself and baseball fans everywhere." In an April 6, 1983 letter to Kuhn, state Division of Gaming Enforcement director Thomas R. O'Brien urged the baseball commissioner to reconsider his stand on forcing Mantle and Mays to sever their ties with the sport. But Kuhn replied in a letter: "Among baseball's concerns are continuing efforts in various jurisdictions to legalize gambling in one form or another on team sports. We have steadfastly opposed such efforts and to that end require everyone in baseball to avoid or sever significant ties with the legalized gambling industry." Mantle, who resides in Dallas, said he still can play in Oldtimers games and said "it would probably be hypocritical if the commissioner didn't ban me after he banned Willie (Mays)." ; Mantle noted that his only affiliation with baseball since his retirement has been an annual two-week period as a batting coach for the Yankees during spring training. Mantle likened his position with the Claridge to his rookie year with the Yankees. "I'm starting out on something new," said Mantle, who turns 52 today. He will receive about $100,000 a year for about five appearances a month for the Claridge. 'Puddin' Head' Jones Dies PHILADELPHIA - Willie (Puddin' Head) Jones, a longtime member of the Philadelphia Phillies, has died from cancer of the lymph glands. . The 58-year-old Jones died at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati Tuesday night, officials said. Jones started his career with the Cleveland Indians, played third base for the Phillies from 1947 through 1960 and retired after playing the 1961 season with the Cincinnati Reds. He ended his career with a .258 average, 190 homers and 812 RBI. In 1950, when the Phillies won the National League pennant, Jones averaged .267 with 25 homers, 100 runs and 88 RBI. Jones returned to Philadelphia to play in the Old-Timers Game Aug. 27 as part of the Phillies' centennial celebrations. A funeral service is scheduled Friday in Cincinnati and a burial service is scheduled for the weekend in Laur-inburg, N.C. Jones is survived by two sons, Willie Jones Jr. of Oreland, Pa., and Brad Jones of Chester, and by a daughter, Kathie Burris of Norristown, Pa. Stearns Signs With Mets NEW YORK - New York Mets catcher John Stearns signed a one-year contract extension, which runs through the 1984 season, Mets general manager Frank Cashen announced. Cashen also said Stearns had returned to his home in Denver and will not go to the Mets' winter instructional league team in St. Petersburg as originally planned. Earlier this month, Dr. Richard Eaton and Dr. James Parks performed a re-exploration procedure on Stearns' right elbow to remove scar tissue. Stearns underwent elbow surgery June 10, and the only action he saw in 1983 was as a pinch runner in four games in September. "I got a good report from the doctor today. I have full mobility in my elbow and I hope to be throwing again by Christmas," Stearns said. Rose From Dl- Rose's consecutive game playing streak ended on Aug. 24 at 745, 10th on the all-time list. He is the only player to have two streaks of 600 games or more. This season Rose played in his 3,200th game, scored his 2,000th run and hit his 700th double. He is the only player to have played in over 500 games at five different positions first base, second base, third base and left and right fields. He has missed just 92 games (12 this season) in 21 years. Rose was Rookie of the Year in 1963 and the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1973. In 1975 he was the World Series MVP.

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