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Mike Downey

In Spring, Thoughts of Fancy

March 18, 1987|MIKE DOWNEY

Official spring training report:

Baltimore Orioles--First baseman Eddie Murray insisted again today that he will be a team player this season, and vowed that before the season ends he would decide which team.

Boston Red Sox--Police today issued a warrant for the arrest of pitcher Dennis (Oil Can) Boyd, who allegedly owed a video store more than $25 for overdue rentals of five movies: "Ninja Umpire of Death," "Ninjas in the Outfield," "Samurai Designated Hitter," "Bullpen Tarts" and "The Slugger's Massage Parlor."

Cleveland Indians--Pitcher Phil Niekro signed a contract extension today guaranteeing him $10,000 in incentives if he is either the starting pitcher in the 1987 All-Star game or if he is unable to get a ticket to the game with his senior-citizen discount.

Detroit Tigers--Jack Morris, changing his mind after announcing that he would return to the Tigers, revealed today that he had signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies to rejoin catcher Lance Parrish. Tickets to the Tiger season opener are being altered to read: "Battery not included."

Milwaukee Brewers--Another boiler in the spring clubhouse blew up, but although no one was injured, team officials decided to remove the fixture from the clubhouse, wondering in the process why anybody needed a boiler in Arizona in the first place.

New York Yankees--First baseman Don Mattingly enraged owner George Steinbrenner in an exhibition game today by going 5 for 5 but failing to lead the team to victory. "At least Reggie Jackson was a winner," Steinbrenner snapped.

Toronto Blue Jays--Sportswriters covering the team professed surprise today at an announcement banning owner Harold Ballard of the Toronto Maple Leafs from the Blue Jay locker room, field, refreshment counters and stadium parking lot. No reasons were given.

California Angels--Catcher Bob Boone's chances of rejoining the team May 1 were dealt a serious blow when owner Gene Autry learned of Boone's participation in a local radio station's "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer Demolition Night."

Chicago White Sox--Owners Eddie Einsdorf and Jerry Reinhorn, or whatever their names are, unveiled the team's seventh uniform change in six years. Players' shirts now say "White Sox" on the front and "Black Sox" on the back, after continued threats of protest and boycott by the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Kansas City Royals--Young outfielder Bo Jackson was stunned today when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League agreed to sign him only if he would spend one more year in the minor leagues for seasoning.

Minnesota Twins--New Manager Tom Kelly, demanding better arrangements than former Twin Manager Billy Gardner got, will be living at a beautiful Motel 7 just outside Minneapolis, a team spokesman said.

Oakland A's--Reggie Jackson, vowing that he has a new outlook, promised Manager Tony LaRussa today that he will celebrate on the night the A's win the pennant, even if he doesn't get to play in the game.

Seattle Mariners--Mariner management today traded Alvin Davis, Jim Presley, Mark Langston, Mike Moore and Phil Bradley to the Kansas City Royals for a fifth-round draft choice and an official 1985 World Series program.

Texas Rangers--Citing a severe loss in profits, Manager Bobby Valentine issued a restraining order forbidding anyone other than pitcher Terry Forster to come within 50 feet of the Texas Stadium nacho vendor.

Atlanta Braves--Outfielder Dale Murphy has been reinstated after a second drug test disclosed not cocaine but potentially lethal amounts of peanut butter, jelly, milk and cookies.

Cincinnati Reds--Manager Pete Rose said he would go with veteran Pete Rose at first base in the team's season opener. Rose had bitterly complained about a lack of playing time this spring, but Rose said Rose had continued to impress him in workouts.

Houston Astros--Still reeling from the suspension of pitcher Mike Scott, who was ejected from a game Sunday after a search of his uniform by umpires uncovered a small battery-powered drill, the Astros blasted the league for "lack of proof."

Los Angeles Dodgers--A Dodger infielder caught a ground ball, running the team's total to three straight.

San Diego Padres--Advised that Steve Boros was fired for being "too nice" and Dick Williams was fired for being "too tough," Padre Manager Larry Bowa today ordered half the team to run extra laps, and gave the other half the rest of the day off.

San Francisco Giants--Having taught the split-fingered fastball to every other pitcher in baseball, Manager Roger Craig finally began teaching it to the Giants, saying: "Damn. I knew I forgot something last year."

Chicago Cubs--Announcer Harry Caray, ordered to cut back after having been hospitalized for heart problems, was told by doctors today that he can say Holy or Cow after home runs, but not both.

Montreal Expos--No winners have been announced yet in the club's first annual "Name Five Expos" contest, a club spokesman said.

New York Mets--The Mets assaulted and battered five pitchers, three of them their own, for 17 hits and 22 stitches today in a 10-0 exhibition victory over the Attica prison all-stars.

Philadelphia Phillies--Catcher Lance Parrish held a press conference to announce that with the pending arrival of pitcher Jack Morris to the Phillies, he would be returning to the Tigers. "Why do you think I left Detroit in the first place?" Parrish asked.

Pittsburgh Pirates--A $50,000 Mercedes-Benz will be awarded this season to the team's one-millionth customer, concluding a contest that began in 1972.

St. Louis Cardinals--Owner August Busch disclosed plans to cut off beer sales at Busch Stadium concession stands immediately after the ninth inning.

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