PHILADELPHIA — Goose Gossage's agent, Jerry Kapstein, continued conversations with San Diego Padre President Ballard Smith Tuesday. A decision on Gossage's status could come as early as today.
According to Don Fehr--the director of the Major League Players Assn.--the ball is in the Padres' court.
"They (Gossage's people) are waiting for a response from the Padres," Fehr said Tuesday. "Hopefully, it will come tomorrow."
However, Smith (who joined the Padres here Tuesday) said: "I don't know what he (Fehr) means by that. And I really have no comment on anything else."
Smith suspended Gossage without pay last Friday because of Gossage's repeated "public attacks" against the Padre front office. Gossage, Kapstein and Gossage's attorney, Bob Teaff, then met for an hour with Smith, Padre owner Joan Kroc and General Manager Jack McKeon on Monday.
No one would comment immediately after the meeting, but Teaff said early Tuesday evening from San Diego: "I can confirm that Ballard and Jerry have had several conversations today. Obviously, I can't get into the subject matter, but according to Jerry, the . . . spirit of the talks has been positive. I'd say they'll continue to stay in close touch. As far as a timetable (on a decision), I don't have an estimate. All I can say is Ballard and Jerry will continue to be in touch. And Jerry and Rich (Gossage) are meeting right now."
Neither Gossage nor Kapstein could be reached for comment.
Smith had planned his trip to Philadelphia long before Gossage's suspension. He had said he wanted to be around the team more, so that's why he's here. He did not meet with the team Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Fehr said a grievance is ready to be filed against Smith if Gossage isn't returned to the team.
"Well, the first step of a grievance is a meeting between the player and his club," Fehr said. "They've done that. . . . But this is a very strange situation. If the Padres prevail on this, you might need to get press releases from the players. I mean, the players won't talk to you (the media, out of fear of retaliation from Smith). It's like they (Smith and Kroc) are saying, 'Let's not worry about petty things like freedom of speech.' It's like they're going back to the days where people with the money ruled the roost."
PADRES AT A GLANCE
Scorecard FIRST INNING Padres--Flannery singled to right. Gwynn singled to right, Flannery stopping at second. McReynolds flied to right, Flannery tagging and taking third. Garvey forced Gwynn at second, Flannery scoring. Kennedy homered to right, his 11th. Nettles flied to center. Three runs, three hits.
Padres--With one out, Flannery walked. Gwynn flied to left. McReynolds homered to left, his 21st. Garvey grounded to the pitcher. Two runs, one hit.
Phillies--Russell doubled to left. Aguayo popped to the catcher. Legg, batting for Bittiger, flied to center. Redus singled to left, Russell scoring. Schu struck out. One run, two hits, one left.
Padres--Templeton singled to right and stole second. LaPoint sacrificed. Flannery struck out. Gwynn singled to left, Templeton scoring. McReynolds flied to left. One run, two hits, one left.
Phillies--Aguayo walked. Thompson, batting for Hudson, singled to right, Aguayo taking third. Redus doubled to left, Aguayo scoring and Thompson taking third. Schu struck out. Hayes grounded to second. One run, two hits, two left.