SAN DIEGO — As promised, Kurt Bevacqua called his boss, Jack McKeon, on Tuesday, basically just to find out when they could talk about Bevacqua's future in baseball.
And, although this may or may not shed light on the situation, McKeon told Bevacqua he didn't have the time now, but to, by all means, stay in touch.
So that's what Bevacqua did, in his own little way, touching up San Francisco pitcher Dave LaPoint for a two-run homer in the fourth, driving in the decisive runs in a 4-3 Padre victory over the Giants Tuesday night.
And considering Bevacqua had committed two errors and stranded six base runners in a game Monday night, wouldn't today be a fine time to dial 283-7294 (the Padre offices) and ask for McKeon?
McKeon plans to be out of town.
Now, if it sounds like McKeon is doing an artful job of dodging Bevacqua, it just isn't so. He hardly slept Monday night because his son Kasey's car was stolen right outside their home. Some kid, it seems, used a pen knife to unlock the front door and rev the engine.
After midnight, the highway patrol called. McKeon described the conversation:
"Are you John McKeon?"
"Yes," said McKeon, awoken by the phone and unable to see straight.
"Do you own a Brown 280-Z?"
"Yeah, it's out in the driveway."
"Carol (McKeon's wife), will you see if Kasey's car's outside?"
"Oh oh," Carol said as she peered out the window.
"Well, we've got it," said the highway patrol.
"Good," said McKeon.
"We're coming over," said the highway patrol.
Eventually, the cops got there, and one of them showed McKeon how the kid managed to rip off the car. They went inside. They drank coffee. They filled out the reports until it was after 3 a.m.
"We start talking, and this one guy is a ball fan, and he was at the game that night, and he's telling me how to straighten out the club. He had pretty good advice, too."
Anyway, McKeon got Kasey out of bed, and they went down to some police lot to see how much damage had been done to the car. The security guard wouldn't let them in, so they came home. It was after 4 a.m. now. McKeon went to bed, but never fell asleep because he had promised to take some friends to the airport for a 7 a.m. flight.
Eventually, he had to take the car out of the lot, and then he had a lunch appointment and then a meeting with Ballard Smith, team president, and then with Manager Dick Williams and Williams' coaches.
"If the car didn't get stolen, I might have fit him (Bevacqua) in," McKeon said.
Bevacqua, hanging around the dugout prior to Tuesday's game, said: "Yeah, I called him first thing this morning. I didn't want him to think I'd wait until after a good game to take advantage of him in negotiations . . . He told me about his car having been stolen. I said I didn't do it, and that if I did, it wouldn't have been hard to find it because I'd have dropped it."
There he goes again, criticizing his own fielding skills.
But he didn't make an error Tuesday.
And although he hit into a double play in the second inning, he went on to hit that homer.
Unfortunately, he was nowhere to be found afterward.
"I don't know if he's around," Williams said. "He might be in the next room playing pinball."
About that meeting Tuesday with Williams and the coaches, McKeon would only say: "If you want to call it a meeting. I don't know if I would. We all sat down and talked, talked about players and so forth."
Still, McKeon, when asked about personnel, said there were about 10 players he'd term untouchables. Also, he said: "I know what I want."
"Speed. That's No. 1," he said. "That is, if I can get it. I know what I want, but another team might not know what it wants. Also a third baseman for the future, whether it's this year or next year. I mean, we're going to need a third baseman for the future, and I'm not taking anything away from Graig Nettles. You've got to prepare yourself. You've got to look to the future."