Lenny Randle told his side of the $23,407 story to his hometown Phoenix paper before facing the Texas Ranger music and, if there's any humor in the sordid mess, it could be his denial of manager Frank Lucchesi's claim that his hands were in his pockets when Randle socked him.
"There was no way Frank had his hands in his pockets," said Randle. "He always uses his hands when he talks" . . .
The spotlight in Baltimore today will be on Bump Wills, whose installation at second base set off Randle, and it might behoove the perennial complement of noose-threatened major league managers to cast a glance over their shoulders at Bump's papa, Maury Wills. After 11 those years of chafing to manage in the majors, Wills says he turned down the San Francisco Giants job last fall because he was offered only a one-year contract at $45,000 and put off about incentive bonuses. So he stuck with NBC (he's in the second year of his second four-year contract), coached base running this spring for the Dodgers and told the L.A. Times:
"Baseball has given me an exciting and fulfilling life with achievements I never dreamed of when I was a kid in Washington, D.C., stealing bases on the sandlots . . . And now, with my sights set on being a manager, what's past is prologue . . . I'm kneeling in the on-deck circle, waiting" . . .
How much do Jerry Hoffberger and the Orioles appreciate the D.C. business they are so afraid of losing if Washington gets a team: Roger Schlossberg of Catholic University says he and some 18 canon law seminarians will make an excursion to the Oriole opener that has been a fixture for the group for several years - and they're still looking for acknowledgment, a welcome over the Memorial Stadium public address or message board. "But they always tell us you have to have a group of at least 50," said Schlossberg. "Oh well, it's Baltimore; what can you expect?" Maybe today . . .
It's been so long since baseball was played at RFK that we had to check the files to find that, no, it wasn't Paul Lindblad as suggested here who was the last pitcher on the Senator mound. He was relieved by unforgettable, but we forgot, Joe Grzenda for the final two outs. And it was four years ago, not three, that Joe Danzansky and friends tentatively bought the Padres. We all make mistakes . . .
Like the current TV Guide, whose illustration for its annual baseball preview features a player nattily attired in uniform with W on the cap and SENATORS across the chest. Rub it in, rub it in . . .
New York Met general manager Joe McDonald's face must have been doubly red upon his recent arrest in Florida for drunk driving. It was just last spring, wasn't it, that he dressed down Cleon Jones for conduct unbecoming a Met following the player's arrest for a Florida indiscretion? . . . The government of Ontario bowed to the dry lobby and the Canadian National Exhibition Stadium, home of the Toronto Blue Jays, will be the only beerless park in the majors . . . After "Something for Joey," what? Ron LeFlore, the Detroit outfielder who spent 3 1/2 years in prison, says television is considering making a movie about him. He said he thought Universal Studios would make the film for CBS and the role of LeFlore might be played by LeVar Burton, who was young Kunta Kinte in "Roots" . . . Scheduled for the NBC 1977-78 season is "Wilma," true-life story of Olympic triple gold-medal sprinter Wilma Rudolph, who overcame physical handicaps . . . The 1977 Heisman Trophy campaign has begun with an Oklahoma State broadside boosting running back Terry Miller, who was No. 4 in the 1976 voting behind three seniors . . . Another good Big Eight running back could be Russel Davis' old running mate at Woodbridge High, Jimmy Little of Kansas. He starred for the Jayhawk JV last season, ripped off 17 yars in two varsity carries and ran track this spring to the tune of a 49-flat 440 . . .
Could'a knock us over with a light Brooklyn hit when the camera panned the audience at Saturday's Pro Bowlers tourney in Florida and Chris Schenkel said, there they are, Don Carter and Paula Sperber Carter. When did the former men's and women's bowlers of the year merge? . . . Somebody up there didn't like Dave Davis, evidently, after his recent reply when he visited here and was asked whether we could ever expect to see such as ex-Washingtonian Patty Costello, woman bowler of the year, in a men's tour event. No way, the PBA lefty said. "The guys don't want her in. Where would she change clothes? . . . The guys would work on her mind.We're a men's organization. Let her in and open a can of worms. If she did good we'd never hear the end of it. And she couldn't compete with us over the long run; it's a matter of strength and stamina. Over 42 games she wouldn't even get close." So Davis is out of the Fair Lanes Springfield with a foot injury - not foot in mouth, though, by us . . .
Giner Rouse of Robinson, highs hoop player of year here, visited N.C. State yesterday on southern swing of schools she's considering. Presumably she'll be back for Maryland-Virginia high school half of the April 23 college stars' "Underalls All-American Classic" at GW. Well, Hanes Hosiery is the sponsor . . .