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Henderson's Lengthy All-Star Role Irks Martin

July 18, 1985|HELENE ELLIOTT | Newsday

MINNEAPOLIS — Rickey Henderson brought a note from the New York Yankee doctors with him to the All-Star game, informing American League Manager Sparky Anderson of Detroit that his ankle was sore and that his playing time should be limited. But Henderson, a member of the starting outfield, told Anderson he felt fine and played six innings.

Yankee Manager Billy Martin, already irate over seeing National League fireballer Nolan Ryan brush back Henderson in the fifth inning and New York outfielder Dave Winfield in the sixth, ripped Anderson--and chided Henderson for disregarding his orders.

"We sent Rickey with a note that his leg was bad, but I guess Sparky can't read," Martin said Wednesday. "We got him out of there Sunday against Texas because his legs were bothering him. If he wanted to play, he should have played for us that day. Our pennant race is certainly a hell of a lot more important than the All-Star game, as far as I'm concerned."

Told that Henderson had vouched for his health, Martin frowned. Henderson, Winfield and Don Mattingly were excused from a Yankee workout Wednesday at the Metrodome, where the team plays the Twins today. Mattingly did attend the workout.

"He (Anderson) should have gone according to the doctor's report," Martin said. "He (Henderson) had a slight problem with his leg, and three innings is all we wanted him to play. No player is going to jake out of the All-Star game. You can't blame Rickey. . . .

"I was hoping he'd play only three innings, but he played seven (actually six). We've got four games here on artificial turf and three in Kansas City. I'm just wondering if Sparky ever saw that note."

Anderson was not available for comment.

As for Ryan's two high, inside fastballs that backed Henderson and Winfield off the plate, Martin said: "I'd hate to see our guys get hit by a .500 pitcher. That's his career record, isn't it? (Actually, it's 239-212). I was surprised he pitched in the All-Star game. I picked him one year--1977--as a substitute, and he refused. One year it's important to him, the next year it's not."

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