Something's got to give in the Cleveland wigwam after the latest Frank Robinson-Rico Carty flareup, and for a start it's Carty's bankroll.
If American League rules didn't prohibit placing a player on two lists simultaneously, designated hitter Carty not only would be designated to the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring pull (as of last week) but to the suspended list. Nevertheless, manager Robinson fined him (undisclosed but stiff amount) and ordered him home to Ohio minutes after the Indians beat the Oakland A's, 3-1, Monday night with Carty, suited up in the dug-out despite his disability, heckling Robinson's Tactical moves all the while.
"There was laughing, giggling and kiddling among Rico and other black ballplayers huddled at the end of the bench," said Robinson, major league baseball's first black manager. "It's becoming a black-white thing. This has been going on for some time and I've tried to ignore it, but it is creating a bad attitude."
Robinson did not amplify on the "black-white thing" but evidently alluded to polarization among the Tribe, with resultant disunity.
Before the game, according to Robinson, Carty ignored him when he asked about his condition; after the game, Carty refused to come into Robinson's office. Goodbye, Rico, who lost last month publicly knocked his skipper for lack of leadership. A whole week to trading deadline. . .
Onetime wayward footballer Duane Thomas was expected in Vancouver last night to begin a new life at 29 by arriving in the British Columbia Lions' training camp and signing for the 1977 Canadian League season. The former Cowboy and Redskin ball carier, appropriately enough, negotiated with B.C. through Full Circle Athletic Management Inc. of Toronto. . .
The National Golf Day folks had better print up an extra big batch of "I beat the Champions" tags this year. All the club amateurs have to net with handicap in their NGD rounds for charity, which they can play anytime between now and July 4 weekend, is 77 for men and 80 for women. Oakmont near Pittsburgh was that though this week for target-score shooters Jerry Pate, men's U.S. Open champion, and JoAnne Carner, women's Open champ, as they carded 78 and 81 respectively. . .
Tommy Heinsohn, who leads active NBA coaches with 416 won, 240 lost in his eigth Boston compaigns, signed a multiyear contract yesterday to stay on as Celtic strategist. Heinsohn, who reportedly sought a three-year contract at $100,000 per, joined with the club in keeping mum on what he got, but he offered, "I'm happy with it, I'm very happy with it". . . Came D-Day for the Indiana Pacers and coach-general manager bobby Leonard reported, "We are in a three-week sudden-death overtime." Arena Sports, Inc., which operates the foundering NBA franchise, opened a three-week "Save Our Pacers" drive aimed at selling 8,000 season tickets and attracting $750,000 of new equity investment - or else . . . In New Orleans, oil and seafood magnate Andrew Martin agreed to sell his 20 per cent of the NBA Jazz to the California majority owners he's been feuding with for two seasons - Sam Battistone and Invest West, who now would have 75 per cent interest . . .
Commisioner Bowie Kuhn's office has announced that baseball will commemorate the 30th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's entry into the game with a week of recognition around the majors, July 18-25, centered around the July 19 All-Star Game in Yankee Stadium . . . Dodger old-time day Sunday, at which Walter Alston's number joined those of Robinson, Roy Campanella and Sandy Koufax in retirement, drew from L.A. Times columnist Jim Murray the wonder not only why not Pee Wee Reese, but why the old captain hasn't made the Hall of Fame. Reese was the glue of seven pennant-winners in his 16 years on the Brooklyns-L.A.s, rapped 2,170 hits, etc., and, Murray writes:
"When Jackie Robinson became the first black man in the major leagues, Pee Wee Reese became the first white man to shake his hand. To play cards with him. To eat dinner with him. To make double plays with him. Robinson never forgot it. Years later, he embarrassed Pee Wee with exraavagant praise which, by the way, was not what Jackie was noted for. "Hey, I didn't do anything I wouldn't normally do, protested Pee We. 'I didn't have to make any extra effort or anything.'
"'Exactly,' said Robinson."