St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on February 25, 1993 · Page 32
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 32

St. Louis, Missouri
Issue Date:
Thursday, February 25, 1993
Page 32
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8D SPORTS ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 1993 BASEBALL CARDINALS NOTEBOOK Unsigned Players Facing Renewal March 2, GM Says By Rick Hummel Of the Post-Dispatch Stall ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - As the Cardinals went through their first full-scale workout Wednesday, a dozen or so still were unsigned, including regular outfielders Ray Lankford and Bernard Gilkey, regular second baseman Geronimo Pena, starting pitchers Rheal Cormier, Omar , Olivares and Donovan Osborne and reliever Mike Perez. ; But general manager Dal Maxvill said he wasn't worried about any of them, even if he has to renew all their contracts by March 2. " Teams have 10 days starting on March 2 to renew the contracts with no more than a 20 percent cut allowable, but Maxvill said that if necessary, he would renew them on the first day. "There's no need to wait We'll spare everybody the suspense and all the baloney," he said. "Hopefully, everybody will sign the contract" Outfielder Ozzie Canseco agreed to a contract Wednesday. It calls an estimated $125,000. Infielder Stan Royer is believed to be close to settling for a similar figure, which is $16,000 above the big-league minimum. The Cardinals are believed to be offering Lankford $300,000 and Gilkey, Pena, Olivares, Perez and infielder Luis Alicea between $170,000 and $190,000. All are players ; with less than three years' service and not yet eligible for salary arbitration. " ' Maxvill said he had no problem with any player or agent settling for the renewal letter rather than taking the club's last offer. "If it's in terms of their self-respect or self-esteem in not giving in ... I won't hold a grudge against them for that," he said. ' The Cardinals' general manager recalled one player several years ago who had made $68,000 and was offered AP! Veterans Committee Strikes Out Center fielder Ray Lankford is one of about a dozen unsigned Cardinals who face the prospect of having their contracts renewed. $72,000 the next season. He declined that offer but accepted the $70,000 renewal. Pride, apparently in that case, was worth $2,000. "I held them both out for him. I should have pulled a gun out" he said, jokingly, "and said, 'Sign this contract right now.' " It seemed only fitting that the lone player absent from the first full day of workouts was a player from the Dominican Republic named Andujar who was late because of visa problems. Infielder Juan Andujar will be here Friday, manager Joe Torre said. No doubt on the advice of uncle Joaquin, the habitually late former Cardinals pitcher. Brian Jordan may be a better all-around player than Canseco, but Torre said of the battle for right field: "I want to see them both play and see who wins it. I don't think it's Jordan's job to lose. I'm going to try to give them both 75 to 100 at-bats" in the spring. BOB BROEG CONTRIBUTING rSPORTS EDITOR Yeah, we blew it again. But Baseball's Court of Last Resort, the national Hall of Fame Veterans Committee, has been doing that ever since Steve Clark had the concept for a baseball museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., and executive Ford Frick suggested a selection of superlative players. Baseball writers back in 1936 gave 75 per cent approval to only five men who had played in this century: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson. But when the original old-timers committee voted, its members were like those of us who slunk away the other night from Tampa, Fla. We struck out but those gallant geezers at the outset popped up. They omitted the founder of the National League, William Hulbert, when honoring the American League's first CEO, Ban Johnson. Instead, either in haste or with none of the research made available by the Society for American Baseball Research, they chose the NL's first president, Morgan Bulkeley. Easy choice. Bulkeley went on to become governor of Connecticut and a United States Senator. Poor Bill Hulbert, probably the Cubs' greatest fan until Bill McClellan, really wanted the league to succeed. He had orchestrated it, but he really didn't want to leave the Cubbies. As Hulbert put it, "I'd rather be a lamppost in Chicago than a millionaire." Chances are, he was both. He also was the league's saviour when Bulkeley took a quick powder at a time greed unfrocked dishonest players and $5-a-game umpires weren't always reliable, either. Hulbert chased crooked players out of the league, backed the umps and ran the NL until he died in 1882 at 50. By then, the National League was strong enough to withstand the American Association, predecessor of the American League, as a rival. But alas, Hulbert is not yet a member of Cooperstown. He was narrowly denied Hall of Fame admission the other day. Another who was a critical near-miss was Leon Day, 76, a former star pitcher-infielder in the Negro leagues. Day's biggest problem was that he was born too soon to have enough left when "organized" baseball, a euphemism for bigot ball, admitted Jackie Robinson to the bigs in 1947. Day, a pro from 1935 to '51, was set back three years by military service and by a spell of post-war arm trouble that turned him briefly to the outfield. How good was Day? The answer was a brow-raiser delivered by Hall of Famer Monte Irvin. "If you know how much I admire Bob Gibson all-around," Irvin said, "and yet tell you that Leon was almost Gibby's equal as a pitcher and even better fielding and hitting." Powerful compliment, but Day also came up short in veterans balloting. Despite admirable support from the fans, the Cardinals' Terry Moore didn't get too far. Neither did Cecil Travis, the great-hitting Washington shortstop-third baseman who missed nearly four seasons in the military. And part of Travis' feet were frozen in the Battle of the Bulge. What happens when you get together a group of former playing stars, writers, broadcasters and executives is exactly what you'd get if you and your Uncle Emil got into a baseball bull session. Not arguments, but mild disagreements. As a 20-year committee member who can remember when we could elect up to three candidates, the most significant thing was that we then had a third ballot Our recent failures, though frustrating to all of us and, hopefully, to the Hall of Fame, have not been surprising. I'd prefer a 5-3-2 voting breakdown rather than our current 10-5-and-forget-it format. You can run into an impasse that takes more ballots if not more time. But it is a shame to withhold Hall of Fame honors for worthy candidates. The distinction is indeed great and eagerly sought. Just five hours before Leo Durocher died a year ago at 85, The Lip's last words were bitterness toward a couple of guys Durocher didn't think ever would vote for him. NOTEBOOK Bonds Gets A Run For His Money By The Associated Press The big boppers with the bulging wallets showed up at spring training Wednesday. 1 Barry Bonds, who signed a record $43.75 million, six-year contract, arrived at the San Francisco Giants' camp in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Cecil Fielder, who agreed to a $36 million, five-year deal with Detroit, arrived at the Tigers' complex in Lakeland, Fla. On his first day with his new team, Bonds had to run for his money. "I've never run so much," he said. "We stretched for 30 minutes, ran three miles, stretched some more and then did sprints. My back got real tight. ... I'm not used to that kind of running. I'm not accustomed to the new program. I'll be happy when April comes and the running is over." -Bonds, selected twice as National League Most Valuable Player while he was with the Pittsburgh Pirates, said he understands the attention his status brings. But he doesn't enjoy it. "We're entertainers, dude, and as long as there's television, pay," he said. "The sports world entertains people more than anyone, and they see us on a daily basis. Why dwell on my contract? Talk about David Letter-man's contract. Enjoy the show. It's not going to change. We pay a lot of taxes even more now. Cut us some slack. There's a lot more to life than to be bickering or whining over money." Fielder has led the major leagues in runs batted in the last three years. The only other player to do that was Babe Ruth from 1919-1921. , "You know how the public is going to be," Fielder said. "They are going to expect things. All you can do is go out and play hard every day. I know this: I don't think I can do any better than what I've done so far." In other spring training news: Center fielder Kenny Lofton got one of the richest contracts given to a young player when he agreed with the Cleveland Indians on a $6.3 million, four-year deal. Lofton hit .285 last year and set an American League rookie record by stealing 66 bases. He had 15 doubles, eight triples, five homers and 42 RBIs, and was second to Pat Listach of Milwaukee in voting for AL Rookie of the Year. Cincinnati Reds players shared their feelings about Marge Schott intended to clear the air over her use of racial slurs. ; General manager Jim Bowden called the meeting before the team's first full-squad workout Schott the Reds' controlling partner, didn't attend. She'll begin a one-year suspension March 1 for using slurs. Bowden and several players said the 95-minute meeting was helpful. "It went well," shortstop Barry Lar-kin said. "It's baseball time now. All the off-field stuff should be behind us." : An unpublicized shooting incident involving a Montreal Expos' minor-league player prompted the California Angels to revise a trade made with the Expos last month. Whitey Herzog said that he first decided on outfielder Glenn Murray as the player to be received for first baseman Lee Stevens. But the trade was scrapped when the Angels found out one of Murray's thighs had been hit by a bullet in an incident at a bar. The Angels, who have experienced dissatisfaction over a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays involving injured Kelly Gruber, then decided to take pitcher Jeff Tuss instead of Murray. The Angels discovered Tuss accepted a football scholarship to Fresno State, so the Angels complained and got nitrher Keith Morrison. WMMimmss W HE If l (iSsii 111 .1 LSSSiIi 111 L F I JOTmTUI fffitllt I L. kA.v rumj uuu"vt ' I I I I ! " I f f V HM. 89.95 43-571 Sale ends 22893 Others at this price can't compare! 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