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Padres' McIlvaine Apologizes for Statements About Boras

December 17, 1992|BOB NIGHTENGALE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SAN DIEGO — Threatened with a defamation of character lawsuit, Padre General Manager Joe McIlvaine reached an out-of-court settlement with agent Scott Boras.

Although the parties are prohibited from discussing the settlement, it has been learned that McIlvaine vowed that he will refrain from making critical comments on Boras' character or negotiating tactics.

"I'm a very reasonable guy," Boras said. "I'm only out to defend my rights.

"This has little to do with my relationship with the Padres. I have a very good relationship with (President) Dick Freeman. I've never had problems working with Joe in contract negotiations. The only issue I had with Joe is the statements he made.

"And when they are made, I have to take steps to right the wrong."

As part of the settlement, McIlvaine also had to make a public apology for comments he made about Boras that were published May 31, 1992, in The Times.

The statement, written by the club's legal counsel and signed by Freeman, reads: "Joe McIlvaine retracts all statements attributed to him concerning Scott Boras in the May 31, 1992, issue of the Los Angeles Times. (McIlvaine's) statements were inaccurate. He extends an apology to Scott on behalf of both himself and the San Diego Padres organization. Scott and Joe intend to renew their efforts to maintain a constructive and professional working relationship in the future."

In the published story, McIlvaine was critical of Boras' tactics involving the June free agent draft, saying that first-round pick Joey Hamilton had informed the Padres that he had no adviser. Later, they learned he was being counseled by Boras.

"Basically, (Hamilton) lied to us," McIlvaine said in the story. "We had no idea. That's why half the time, you don't know who he represents. He's very good at that. His clients are very good about keeping their mouths shut."

It was the second time that Boras threatened McIlvaine with a lawsuit. McIlvaine previously issued a retraction for comments he made in Baseball America newspaper.

"As far as I'm concerned, it's over," Boras said. "A settlement has been reached, and that's the end of it. Hopefully, we can have a professional relationship."

Besides Hamilton, Boras represents starter Andy Benes and infielder Kurt Stillwell on the Padres.

In other news, the Padres and Texas Rangers made a minor trade involving a pair of one-time prospects. The Padres acquired left-handed reliever Pat Gomez, 24, for right-handed reliever Terry Bross.

Gomez, who came to the Rangers a week ago from the Atlanta Braves in the Charlie Leibrandt trade, is expected to open the year at triple-A Las Vegas. He has struggled in each of the past three seasons at triple-A, compiling a 6-15 record and yielding a 5.26 ERA with 93 walks in 164 1/3 innings. He opened last season with double-A Greenville, where he was 7-0 with a 1.13 ERA in eight starts. Then he was 3-5 with a 5.45 ERA in 23 games (11 starts) with triple-A Richmond.

Bross, 26, spent all but three days at triple-A Las Vegas this past season, going 7-3 with a 3.26 ERA. He was impressive in the Arizona Fall League this winter, posting a 6-0 record and 3.13 ERA. He was a teammate of Padre outfielder Steve Pegues, who wound up winning the fall league batting title with a .347 batting average and finished second with 17 homers and 34 RBIs.

The Padres still are attempting to consummate one more trade--to deal right-handed reliever Mike Maddux--before Sunday's deadline when contracts must be tendered. The Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves have shown interest.

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