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PADRES UPDATE : NOTEBOOK : Operation on Gwynn's Left Knee Goes According to Plan, Doctors Say

September 19, 1991|BOB NIGHTENGALE

SAN DIEGO — Padre right fielder Tony Gwynn was relieved Wednesday when doctors found no meniscus damage during the operation on his left knee. Gwynn will be fully recovered by the end of October, doctors said.

"Everything went exactly as expected," Padre trainer Bob Day said.

Drs. Jan Fronek and Cliff Colwell performed the hour-long surgery. They said the surgery repaired wear and tear on the articular cartilage of his left knee. The recovery time is two to six weeks, which will cause him to miss the remainder of the season.

"I'm an optimist, so there's an outside chance he could be back before the end of the year," Day said, "but the chance of him playing is minimal."

Said John Boggs, Gwynn's agent: "Knowing Tony, he's going to strive for that. But it's going to depend on one, if it's smart. And two, whether he feels comfortable with it.

"I think he's mostly disappointed because I think Tony wanted to play every game the rest of the Padre schedule."

The Padres failed to sign their No. 1 draft choice when pitcher Joey Hamilton rejected their final offer Wednesday. He is scheduled to attend classes this morning at Georgia Southern for his senior year.

Hamilton was seeking a signing bonus of $500,000, and the Padres would not offer more than $350,000.

"It's unfortunate things worked out the way they did," said Janet Hamilton, who represented her son in negotiations. "We had really hoped things would be different. But they're the ones who are going to have to live with not signing their No. 1 pick. I feel sorry for them.

"And from what I'm watching on TV tonight, they could use a pitcher.

"Could you please hold up a sign that reads, 'San Diego needs a pitcher?' "

McIlvaine refused comment.

The biggest obstacle in the negotiations appears to be agent Scott Boras, who was advising the Hamilton family. McIlvaine made no attempt to conceal his disdain for Boras and publicly criticized him for his interference in the negotiations.

"I don't mind criticism," Boras said, "but please, let's be factual about it. Joe's obviously upset, but facts are facts, and pitchers have gotten more money in the draft.

"The market spoke when Harry Dalton (Brewer general manager) said he was willing to pay John Burke $500,000. And the Padres aren't willing to pay market-value. It's very simple.

"Look at Andy Benes, when the Padres drafted him in '88. Do you think (former general manager) Jack McKeon balked at paying Andy $235,000? And that was $75,000 more than anyone else had received at the time. I think they're plenty happy with Andy now, don't you think?

"So now they're willing to give up a potential Andy Benes for $150,000?

"That's not good business sense to me, but it's their choice."

McIlvaine believes that Hamilton will cost himself at least $150,000 in the draft next season because he no longer will have leverage. Boras vehemently disagrees.

"You just watch," Boras said, "it's going to be open season. I can go in before the draft and tell everybody what we'll sign for. That'll let the clubs know exactly where we stand before the draft. We won't have to abide by NCAA rules any more.

"And when that happens, you're going to see Todd Van Poppel (who received $1.2 million last season from the Oakland Athletics) all over again.

"Really, we can't wait."

Padre starter Bruce Hurst, who has inflammation of his left elbow, will miss his scheduled start Sunday. "We're doing it strictly for precautionary reasons," Padre Manager Greg Riddoch said. Riddoch said one of the relievers will make the start for Hurst. . . . Andy Benes, who's scheduled to start tonight, said he has a tender left knee that he aggravated over the weekend in San Francisco. Still, he said the knee should be OK to allow him to start. . . . Reliever Pat Clements pitched in his first game for the Padres since April 24. Clements allowed one hit and one walk in two-thirds of an inning. . . . The Braves have juggled their rotation in order for them to start three left-handers against the Dodgers: Steve Avery, Charlie Leibrandt and Tom Glavine. . . . The Padres, who will have their organization meetings next week in Scottsdale, have scheduled a meeting with their coaching staff today to evaluate and make recommendations on the major league talent. . . . The Braves announced that they will retain their entire coaching staff for the 1992 season. . . . Riddoch was ejected by Dana DeMuth in the fifth inning for arguing a close play at first base on Jerald Clark's ground ball. . . . The Padre bullpen has allowed only one run in 15 2/3 innings over the past two days.

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