Former Orioles president Larry Lucchino, organizing a group to purchase the San Diego Padres, is close to closing the deal. He will not have to invest any money, but in return for brokering the deal, will become club president and be granted a small equity in the team.
If Lucchino decides to fire Padres general manager Randy Smith, look for him to turn to Orioles assistant general manager Doug Melvin to rebuild the Padres. Orioles third base coach Jerry Narron, who roomed with Melvin when they were minor leaguers in the Yankees' organization, would be on Melvin's list of managerial candidates.
Around the horn
Don't ever accuse Colorado Rockies outfielder Ellis Burks of not changing his socks often enough. During his professional baseball career, Burks has played for, in order, the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago White Sox and the Colorado Springs SkySox (on an injury rehabilitation assignment) . . . If the Cleveland Indians play 16 games or more -- a virtual impossibility at this point -- the player to be named in the Dave Winfield trade would be a Double-A player. Anywhere from one to 15 games would bring a Class-A player in return. If they don't play any more games, Indians general manager John Hart must write a check for $100 made out to the Minnesota Twins and take Andy MacPhail out to dinner. Now that MacPhail has left the Twins to become the president of the Chicago Cubs, shouldn't MacPhail's successor get the free meal? . . . . MacPhail's agreement with the Cubs stipulates there will be absolutely no interference from ownership. Reports on MacPhail's agreement range from a five-year deal at $600,000 per year to a 10-year, $10 million contract. Either way, he has just cause to have his name
legally changed to Andy MacSucceed.