Armstrong talks dogs, troops with Schott

March 10, 1991

Pitcher Jack Armstrong, who walked out of camp Tuesday in a contract dispute, met yesterday with Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott, but continued his boycott of spring training.

"He came in early in the afternoon and talked to Mrs. Schott, [manager] Lou Piniella and [general manager] Bob Quinn," said Reds spokesman Jon Braude. "Nothing's been resolved."

Armstrong was fined another $500 yesterday, increasing his total fines to $1,500 since Thursday's mandatory reporting date, Braude said.

"Marge and I discussed things ranging from the boys over in the desert . . . to dogs and other irrelevant things," Armstrong said. "I BTC simply reaffirmed my principles."

Armstrong, who made $107,000 last year, when he was 12-9 with a 3.42 ERA, bolted when his contract was renewed for $215,000 instead of the $315,000 he was seeking.

Meanwhile, general manager Quinn's contract has been extended one year through the 1992 season.

Quinn, 54, joined the Reds in October 1989 and was credited with engineering several trades that bolstered Cincinnati in its 1990 march to National League and World Series championships. For that, he was named Major League Executive of the Year by The Sporting News.

Among the acquisitions credited to Quinn are reliever Randy Myers, infielders Hal Morris and Bill Doran and outfielders Billy Hatcher and Glenn Braggs.

PIRATES: Wally Backman says Pittsburgh has not wrecked its chances for repeating as National League East champions.

Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonilla, the Pirates' two most potent offensive players, are unhappy with their $2 million-plus salaries.

"Knowing the type of guy Jim Leyland is, I don't think it'll happen," said Backman. "He'll keep things under control. He's the easiest guy I ever played for. You'll always have contract problems, but once you go between the lines, the kind of manager Jimmy is, he'll have them ready to play."

* BREWERS: Designated hitter Dave Parker is not talking about his contract or the rumors that he wants Milwaukee to improve the contract or give him an extension.

"I have no comment on that," said Parker, who has a $1.4 million salary this year and the same next year if the Brewers exercise their option. Many less productive players will earn more than he does, and he is reportedly unhappy about it.

"The market exploded after I went to Milwaukee and guys doing what I'm doing are making $2 million and $1 million more than me," Parker said. "The way the market has exploded, I feel there should be an adjustment salary-wise."

BRAVES: Pitcher John Smoltz, who did not appear in camp Friday or yesterday after the club renewed his contract, is expected to return today.

Smoltz had been seeking a raise to $485,000 from his $247,500 salary of 1990. He turned down a management offer of $379,000, and the Braves then renewed the contract at $350,000.

Smoltz had said he "needed a couple of days to think about it" after the action Thursday.

* GIANTS: Kevin Mitchell, who homered in Friday's exhibition opener, was scratched yesterday because of a strained rib cartilage.

* INDIANS: First baseman Keith Hernandez has returned to his home in New York because of a herniated disk in his lower back, the club said.

* ATHLETICS: Reggie Jackson, in camp as a part-time coach, was asked about Jim Palmer's attempted comeback and said that he, too, had considered trying to play again.

"I had thought about it a couple times," said Jackson, who last played in 1987. "People say, 'Gosh, Reggie, you look a lot better than when you played.' But once your reflexes and quickness are gone, you can't get them back.

* TWINS: After pitcher Jack Morris made his Minnesota debut, giving up one run and four hits in three innings, he said: "I feel better at this point than I did last year. Last year, I only got seven innings of work, and then it was, 'Go get 'em.' I had to trick people for the first month.

"I have more strength now than I did at the end of spring training last year."

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