Blast, no-show Harbor call off tryout Bays star chooses security of lab job

October 02, 1991|By Bill Free

The on-again, off-again Jean Harbor tryout with the Baltimore Blast ended unceremoniously yesterday at William Myers Pavilion.

Harbor didn't show up for a 10:30 a.m. practice session, prompting Blast coach Kenny Cooper to end the soap opera-like developments of the past 12 days involving the standout from the Maryland Bays.

"I'm closing the book on this [Harbor tryout] right now," said Cooper. "It's unfortunate, and I'm disappointed. The Blast and Bays fans were looking forward to it. But this is the second time I've been stood up. The only other time that happened to me was by my wife before we got married."

Cooper said he wouldn't close the door on Harbor trying out for the team in the future.

Harbor was supposed to practice Saturday but arrived 1 hour, 15 minutes late because of traffic and opted to meet with Cooper for 15 minutes instead of practicing.

Harbor, reached yesterday at his job as a radiochemistry technician in Rockville, said he called off the four-day tryout because his company wouldn't give him the time off and several of his friends advised him not to give up the security of his job unless he had a guaranteed contract from the Blast.

"Not too many people would give up a job unless they have another one," said Harbor.

The Blast has said repeatedly it could not give Harbor a contract until he proved himself as an indoor player during a tryout.

Harbor had said Sunday he was ready to come to Blast camp yesterday without a contract and without being reimbursed upfront more than $500 for missing the four days of work. The Blast said it would reimburse Harbor if he made the team.

But Harbor said he changed his mind Monday night about reporting to camp after talking to his friends,

who warned him about the possibility of being hurt while trying out.

"If I get hurt, that's what makes me fear going out for the Blast," said Harbor.

Harbor said his brother Jonas, who serves as his agent, was going to call the Blast yesterday to inform the team of his decision. Blast vice president of soccer operations Drew Forrester said the team hadn't heard from the Harbors as of 5 p.m.

Harbor said he used all his vacation days to play for the Bays last summer, and his company doesn't want to give him days off now because "we're very busy and it takes three months to train someone to do my job."

NOTES: The Blast has come to an agreement in principal with first-round draft pick, D Kris Kelderman, from the University of Virginia. Kelderman is expected to sign in the next couple of days, becoming the 16th player under contract. . . . Baltimore has informed 2-year Blast veteran M David Vaudreuil (who made a comeback last year to play after reconstructive knee surgery) and fourth-round draft pick M John Maessner that it can't offer them contracts this season. Vaudreuil and Maessner are being pursued by Harrisburg Heat coach Jim Pollihan.

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