Padres' Turmoil Deepens; Player Rep Quits

Posted: August 25, 1986

SAN DIEGO — After a solid week of acrimony and clubhouse turmoil, all of it chronicled by the media in as lush a detail as that reserved for a TV soap bedroom scene, Padres player representative Tim Flannery has thrown in the towel.

"It's not a great job to have," the infielder said. "I've been down a little bit; it's frustrating on the field."

Sources say Flannery and Padres president Ballard Smith had a shouting match during Friday afternoon's stormy team meeting involving Smith's stance on refusing to award long-term contracts in the future without mandatory

drug-testing clauses. The fifth-place club has been in turmoil since Smith criticized several players to the press and added napalm to the conflagration by saying he would have no interest in signing Tim Raines as a free agent

because of the Montreal outfielder's past drug problems.

Smith softened his stance on that somewhat over the weekend, saying he would consider players with past drug problems if they could be tested.

Meanwhile, lefthander Dave Dravecky will formally become the club's third player representative of the season today after Flannery addresses his teammates. Catcher Terry Kennedy resigned in June. Dravecky was elected but demurred and Flannery volunteered. Dravecky, a member of the John Birch Society, said he is willing to serve this time.

Flannery says he disputed Smith's claim that the players association has no interest in the implementation of a drug-testing program. All drug-testing clauses in player contracts have been ruled null and void by federal arbitrator Tom Roberts. Roberts was subsequently fired by the Player Relations Committee, creating the current crisis between club owners and players.

The Boston Red Sox have informed player agents that they will not offer pitchers contracts longer than two years or position players longer than three years. The American League East leaders also announced they will negotiate no more contracts during the season, will no longer offer loans to players, buy out contracts, award signing bonuses or any incentives other than MVP, Cy Young Award or All-Star team selection.

Phillies vice president Tony Siegle, who serves as the club's contract negotiator, said the topic has come up "briefly and informally" during recent front office conversations. "But we haven't whittled it down to a policy," he said. The Phillies currently will not guarantee contracts beyond three years. They have also cut down or eliminated a variety of contract perks, such as loans and various fringe benefits. Most of their key young players will not be eligible for free agency for several more seasons, so the Phillies have concentrated more on keeping costly and divisive arbitration hearings to a minimum the past two years.

BEAVERS DAM BOWA'S STARS: Portland snapped the Las Vegas Stars' winning streak at seven with a 12-7 victory Saturday. Manager Larry Bowa got another big game from star catcher Benito Santiago, who slammed two homers. Righthander Arturo Gonzalez squared his record at 10-10 for Portland and added a solo homer, his first in U.S. professional baseball.

MEANWHILE, IN READING: The Phillies' Eastern League club moved within one game of first-place Pittsfield Saturday night behind a 5-2, complete-game victory over the Cubs by ace righthander Marvin Freeman. Freeman raised his record to 13-6 with a no-walk, six-strikeout effort. Yesterday, Reading and Pittsfield split a doubleheader. Reading won the opener, 8-3, but dropped the nightcap, 5-4.

comments powered by Disqus