Leyland irked at not being consulted on Smiley, Landrum moves

National League notes

March 22, 1992

Pittsburgh Pirates manager Jim Leyland -- who watched John Smiley get traded and Bill Landrum get released -- confronted his bosses because he felt they were making moves without his input.

It especially hurt when Smiley -- a popular 20-game winner -- was dealt Tuesday to the Minnesota Twins.

"It hurt me that I wasn't involved, but that's the way it is," said Leyland, who met Friday with general manager Ted Simmons and Mark Sauer, the team president.

Simmons wouldn't comment on the meeting, saying it was a private matter.

Leyland said he felt better after the discussion.

"I felt a little bit hurt, but I'm also aware that when a general manager has an opportunity, you can't always get the particulars and discuss things," he said.

Leyland said he merely wanted to let Simmons and Sauer know about his concerns. He said he doesn't want veto power over trades.

Landrum -- who led the Pirates with 17 saves last season -- was placed on release waivers Thursday in an apparent cost-cutting move. He said yesterday he plans to file a grievance through the Major League Baseball Players Association saying he was improperly released.

Landrum, who will clear waivers Monday if unclaimed, intends to base his grievance on paragraph 7 (b) of the uniform player's contract, which states a player can be released only for improper conduct, lack of skill or breach of contract.

* PIRATES: Four days after being involved in one of the team's biggest spring trades ever, Denny Neagle pitched yesterday for his new team -- against his old team.

Neagle, who went to Arundel High, said he thought it was more than a coincidence that Leyland started him against the Twins, the team that on Tuesday traded him and minor-league outfielder Midre Cummings for Smiley.

Neagle, 23, allowed a run and two hits, walked three and struck out two in four innings and got the victory as the Pirates beat the Twins, 3-1.

"I think they wanted to see how I'd handle the challenge," Neagle said. "My day to throw was Thursday but they waited to pitch me until today. Maybe they wanted to see how I'd handle the adversity. That's how I took it, as a test, and I was happy with the way I reacted to it."

* GIANTS: Commissioner Fay Vincent said he's throwing his support behind a measure that would bring the team to the South Bay.

Vincent, saying he could no longer weather the windy cold night games at Candlestick Park, was scheduled to meet tomorrow with San Jose Mayor Susan Hammer.

"I'm going there to try to be helpful. I met with the mayor, and I think she's very effective. This is a very good solution," Vincent said Friday in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"The fans in San Francisco have to be the toughest fans in the world. I know, because I go there every year. In July, everyone's wearing a parka, like a football game in November.

"Last year I left early to go sit in the press box and everybody was yelling at me for chickening out. I told them, "I'm just not that hardy.' And I'm from Connecticut."

Vincent said he hoped the measure would pass the June 2 ballot, the fourth time the fate of the Giants has been placed in the hands of voters.

"The criteria for a team to move is very tough, but a new ballpark is absolutely essential for San Francisco."

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