If owners want action, not proposals, at meetings, they should invite players

Phil jackman

August 24, 1993|By Phil Jackman

Reading Time: Two Minutes.-- If, in the final analysis, baseball (management) needs the permission of the players (labor) to effect any change, then why do the owners hold meetings without the workers being represented and make decisions that rarely make it to fruition intact? Case in point: the wild-card playoff proposal for next year, which has little chance of coming off as planned.

* Nominees for overstatement of the year in a press release are pouring in, but subsequent entries have virtually no chance against this effort from Wizard Press: "In a move that is the publishing equivalent of Bobby Thompson's (sic) 'shot heard 'round the world,' Wizard Press has named Tucker Freeman Smith editor and chief of its newest magazine, Collector's SportsLook." Let's see you live up to that billing, Smitty.

* Auburn was placed on two years probation for a rash of violations in its basketball and tennis programs less than two years ago. So how come when the football program was found ultra-dirty going all the way back to 1989 the Tigers didn't get the "death penalty" as prescribed by NCAA law? Maybe the fact the school has drawn probation "only" a half-dozen times since it was the gridiron champ in the late '50s constitutes extenuating circumstances.

* It seems that things aren't going just right for Redskins Hall of Fame hero John Riggins these days. He's living in a storage space garage he rents and is being sued by his former attorneys for legal fees accrued when they defended him on assault and battery, negligence and drunken driving charges. Where's Sandra Day O'Connor when you need her, Riggo?

* AC Milan and Torino provided an interesting if not exciting Italian Super-Cup match before 25,000 fans (from New Jersey) at RFK Stadium the other day. Problem is, the United States will probably never take to soccer big time considering Milan, reportedly the world's best team, played a stunning 14 ties during a 34-game Italian League schedule. The champs, beaten just twice, averaged less than two goals per game. Hey, man, we want touchdowns, three-pointers, home runs and hat tricks, and lots of 'em.

* It came as a shock to learn that in 20 World Series games, Willie Mays went just 17-for-71 for a .239 average with no home runs and six RBI. These numbers will probably make Ted Williams feel a bit better. Thumper was 5-for-25 in one Series, all singles.

* Speaking of Teddy Ballgame, the gent who did the art work for the premiere set being put out by the Ted Williams Card Co. is none other than Gene Locklear, an outfielder who hit a decent .274 while playing about 60 games a season for the Reds, Padres and Yankees in the mid-1970s. Of his playing career, Gene says, "Everyone kept treating me like I was lucky to be in the big leagues. I had guys playing in front of me who never hit .300 in the minors, and I had won two batting titles down there."

* While on the subject of sports collecting, a couple of publications known as Box Seat News and Box Seat Gazette detail all the wondrous deals fans can come by purchasing seats from bygone ballparks like Crosley and Forbes Field, Met Stadium, Comiskey Park and even some from minor-league ballparks.

Business is obviously good because replicas of a Camden Yards seat command a $250 price tag, and there's no way of forecasting what Memorial Stadium chairs will go for once the unpardonable mistake is made to level the joint. Pssst, city fathers, never too early to set plans for an auction.

* Maybe the Bullets know what they're doing, but doesn't it seem strange that a team with a lousy 22-60 record last season finds itself with a roster full of 12 guaranteed contracts? Oh well, it's Washington, where being saddled with entitlements is common.

* Please, before it's too late and the New England Patriots get their stadium situation straightened out, and in the event the NFL doesn't interfere with another franchise move, someone hereabout put in a bid for the team just in case things don't expand our way.

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