Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn has scheduled a hearing next Wednesday in Dallas to review the proposed $400,000 sale of relief pitcher Paul Lindblad by the Oakland A's to the Texas Rangers.
Kuhn sent telegrams yesterday afternoon to A's owner Charles O. Finley, Rangers owner Brad Corbett and Lindblad saying the 10 a.m. hearing would cover two topics:
One, whether the proposed assignment by the Oakland club of Lindblad's contract to Texas for cash is part of a plan or purpose of the Oakland club's management to liquidate the club's established major league talent in exchange for cash.
"And, two, whether the commissioner's approval of the transaction pursuant to major league rule 12 (a) should not be withheld on the ground that it would not be in the best interest of baseball."
Last summer Kuhn used the rule empowering the commissioner to act "in the best interest of baseball" to nullify Finley's attempted $3.5 million sale of Vida Blue to the New York Yankees and Joe Rudi and Rollie Fingers to the Boston Red Sox.
Until the two issues are resolved, Kuhn's office said, Lindblad will remain on the Oakland roster and will not be permitted to work out or talk contract with the Rangers.
Finley, who is awaiting the result of his suit against Kuhn for vetoing last summer's sales, sold Lindblad's contract a day after Kuhn asked all clubs to check with his office before buying or selling a player for substantial cash.
Finley ignored the request and threatened to boycott any hearing unless Kuhn stated in writing what was to be discussed.
Before the telegrams were sent yesterday, Corbett said he might not attend any hearing. "The whole thing is ridiculous," he said. "If I had ever known what was going to happen, I wouldn't have gotten into this.
"I'm not going to get into anything political between the commissioner and Mr. Finley. Call Mr. Finley. He has all the answers."
Lindblad, the man in the middle, said Finley traded him after rejecting his salary request. Although he will miss Oakland, he said yesterday, the club does not appear to be a contender this coming season, while Texas does.