Philadelphia woos free-agent Bonilla with a tour of city Notes

November 20, 1991

Phillies president Bill Giles said yesterday that he thinks Philadelphia has a 50-50 chance of signing free-agent Bobby Bonilla.

Giles and general manager Lee Thomas courted Bonilla and agent Dennis Gilbert for five hours Saturday. They toured the area to show off housing and schools, stopped by Lenny Dykstra's home and spoke on the telephone with manager Jim Fregosi.

"He liked the city, liked Lee, liked Fregosi, liked the ballclub," Giles said. "If the money is equal, I think we have a 50-50 chance of getting him."

Giles said that if the Phillies sign Bonilla, they might trade Von Hayes or Dale Murphy for prospects. The Phillies also have to decide whether to re-sign Mitch Williams, who wants a four-year deal worth more than $12 million.

* BREWERS: Shortstop Bill Spiers underwent successful surgery for a herniated disk in his back.

The surgery was performed by team physician Dr. Paul Jacobs at Sinai-Samaritan Medical Center. Jacobs said Spiers' recovery time is expected to be three months.

* Richard Ravitch, who ran New York City's subways and was an unsuccessful candidate for mayor in 1989, was hired by baseball owners as president and chief executive officer of their Player Relations Committee.

Ravitch, a 58-year-old multimillionaire with no baseball experience, becomes the clubs' primary negotiator in their dealings with the Major League Baseball Player Association.

* CARDINALS: St. Louis unveiled new, old-style uniforms and blue caps for road games.

The Cardinals join a growing list of teams looking to their past to update their look. The new look isn't a drastic change, and it's actually the style of uniforms -- with minor alternations -- and caps that St. Louis players wore from 1956-64.

The Cardinals also are installing a new artificial surface and bringing in the outfield fences in an effort to increase the number of home runs at spacious Busch Stadium.

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