Since the San Francisco Giants won't move to Washington this year, seems they've decided they'd better make their presence known to all those strangers who never go to see them play in the Bay Area.
Item: Co-owner Bob Lurie crosses the bay to open a Giants ticket office and promote his National Leaguers in Oakland - "I'm not trying to hurt Charlie Finley, particularly, but I want to make sure we survive."
Better item: Pitcher John Montefusco, being interviewed in the club-house at training in Casa Grande, Ariz., in interrupted by teammate Bill Madlock, and they erupt in a fistfight. Seems the Count pointed up some weaknesses on the team (Madlock's golve at third?); Madlock butted in; Montefusco offered to belt the est-while batting champion with a bat if he didn't "shut up," Madlock accepted the challenge and swung (a fist). Other players broke it up, and as for the bruise Montefusco sported over his left eye afterward, it was there before the tiff, he said . . .
Maury Wills, the old Cardozo flash, was in Giant camp in a short stint as bunting/stealing tutor, and said player fights are no big deal - "We fought like hell among the Dodgers, and won. Things like this clear the air" . . . Bobby Bragan, credited by Wills with turning his career upward at Spokane in the Coast League, is due March 16 to address the Alexandria Grandstand Managers and minor-leagues headman Bragan will find 'em a happy lot - they'll be able to put up their own Dukes. Judge Wiley R. Wright of Alexandria Cicuit Court yesterday denied an injunction sought by the Lynhaven Citizens Association, and the city can go ahead and spend $120,000 for field, parking and street improvements at Cora Kelly Elementary School for use by the new Class A baseball team. Home opener already scheduled: Lynchburg Mets vs. Dukes, April 18. Free-agent tryouts in the offing; to inquire, dial H-O-M-E-R-UN (yep, the number originally appropriated by a bring-back-big-leageball movement) . . . With or without a team, though, Starplex D.C. Stadium-Armory) will have its fights. Round Three of the Parade of Future Champions, nine scheduled novice pro tourney bouts plus a 10-round main event, has been announced for the Armory Wednesday. The 10-rounder fields Mike Baker (before his March 25 Las Vegas scrap) versus Philadelphia mixer Jimmy Savage . . .
More Dukes: While Duquesne of the Eastern Eight was canning John Cinicola and making Mike Rice basketball coach, Duke U. Coach Bill Foster was reporting two starters on his ACC Tournament champs, Kenny Dennard and John Harrell, sprained ankles in practice Tuesday - hurting preparations for the NCAA regional date with Rhode Island at Charlotte on Sunday, though they likely will play.
The 1979 NCAA hoop finals are scheduled for Salt Lake City March 24-26 (tickets orderable by mail only, postmarked April 3, no sooner, $60 a pair or $129 for four to the two sessions, checks or money orders to 1979 NCAA Basketball Finals, P.O. Box 8900, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108). But hold the phone. Salt Lake County Attorney lottery draw on those public orders may violate a state antigambling law. Chances - excuse the expression - are, though, the lottery won't be ruled a gambling raffle - or they'll send the bundles of letters to NCAA HQ in Kansas for a draw there . . .
Baltimore officials went before a committee of the legislature in Annapolis this week asking $1 million to help renovate Memorial Stadium for Oriole and Colt action; Mayor William Donald Schaefer again warning that the baseball club would move if the city was less indulgent than it's been . . . Jockey. Bill Shoemaker, 46, wed again (see Personalities in/Style); old Colt John Unitas, 45, will have additional repairs on the knee that bothered him throughout his 18 NFL years. "It's something that has to be done if I want to walk and play with the other guys," said restaurateur-Colt R.R. person Unitas as he arranged surgery in Baltimore Children's Hospital this weekend . . . Any connection between that and the tryout camp the Colts plan next month - to pick the 1978 cheerleading squad, avowedly with an eye toward emulating Dallas' eye-poppers? . . .
Today's college basketballer arrest: James (Stretch) Gregory, Washington's older-brother gift to Wisconsin until bad grades sidelined him at mid-season. He's charged with shoplifting a wallet from a Madison department store . . . UPI's college player of the year, earning him the Naismith Trophy: Marquette's Butch Lee, 55 votes from among 173 media ballots; Larry Bird of Indiana state second, 38, Phil Ford, UNC, 31 . . . One big prospect not enumerated by our man in Sunday's paper after the Howard Garfinkel chat: 7-foot-2 Wallace Bryant of Gary, Ind. Supposed to be better than Moses Malone at same stage, and yet to reach "awsome" potential is the word, but at his size - Maryland, Tennessee, Iowa et al. are wooing. Maybe Bob Geoghan, who rounded up all those good guards for the March 30 Capital Classic in the Centre, will bring him in among the frontcourters?