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Whitson Keeps Low Profile in His Return to New York

September 05, 1986|TOM FRIEND

NEW YORK — Diego pitcher Ed Whitson, certain he'll become the next Wally Joyner, says he won't step onto the Shea Stadium field when the Padres play the Mets this weekend.

Whitson received death threats when he played for the New York Yankees earlier this season, and he figures if a knife can get tossed at the Angels' Joyner, why can't a gun get aimed at him?

Originally, he was supposed to pitch Saturday's game here, but Manager Steve Boros knew of Whitson's fear and scheduled him to pitch Monday in San Francisco instead. Whitson didn't even accompany the team to New York Wednesday night, choosing to spend his off-day Thursday in Atlantic City, N.J.

He is due today but will wear sunglasses, even if it's cloudy outside. He refuses to walk the streets.

"My room service bill is going to be a mint," he said.

"Walking out there (on the Yankee Stadium field), it was like carrying a bullseye on your back. That's what I felt like the whole time I was there.

"The only time you'll see me out there (in public this weekend) is getting off the bus and getting on the bus. Will I be in the dugout for the games? Yeah, but I'll sit on the far end near the runway. That's as far as I'll go.

"(Let's) play the games and get the hell out of there. That's all I want to do. The sooner we get out of there, the better."

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