Rod Carew almost certainly is heading into his final year as a Minnesota Twin because Calvin Griffith has made clear to his batting champion the team is not interested in negotiating a long-term contract.
"There is no way I'm interested in signing a two-year contract with the Twins," said 12th-year Twin Carew after a meeting between his new agent, Jerry Simon, and Griffith in Orlando, Fla., resulted in only such an offer.
"I wanted to sign a contract that would commit me to the Twins for the next seven, eight years, for the rest of my career,' Carew stewed. Since they are not interested in that, the Twins should trade me. I'm considering something to force them to make that move. I hate to do something like that to Gene (Mauch, Minnesota manager) but what happened (after the Simon-Griffith talk) had me walking around in a daze at the clubhouse.
"I know I'm going to have trouble in my mental approach if I remain here, and I don't want to spend two seasons going through the motions."
Carew has one year left on a three-year contract, plus an option year to which he is obligated because he signed before the 1976 Players Association agreement. His agent is talking $500,000 a year (Carew currently earns $200,000 salary, and received a $100,000 bonus for his .388 feat last season. He'll be 33 on Oct. 1.
Griffith would seem to have little choice but to swing a trade sometime between now and say, June 1979, or see his star go in the autumn 1979 reentry draft. The Twins' only compensation that way would be an amateur draft choice, if we've got our rules straight . . .
Leon Spinks' lawyers say they'll be in federal court, Las Vegas, today suing the World Boxing Council for stripping their man's heavyweight title - they say in violation not only of antitrust laws but of WBC's own Article 12. Said article does not require a defense against a No. 1 challenger, just one in the top 10, within six months of becoming champion . . . Add Spinks endorsers: State of New Jersey, via boxing commissioner Joe Walcott, the old champ who wired Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, "Titles are won and lost only in the ring" . . . Switched from Mexico City to Los Angeles: WBC ceremonial presentation tomorrow of its heavy title belt to Ken Norton. The better, says WBC prez Jose Sulaiman of Mexico City, to confer with reps of Norton, contender Larry Holmes (and promoter Don King's folks) about arranging a Norton-Holmes fight for the belt . . . To be in Mexico City after all: all-star college wrestling April 5-8 that the AAU had tried to revent in renewal of its old feud with NCAA. It took prodding by U.S. District Judge William Steckler after the issue was taken to court in Indianapolis.
Vanderbilt U. rekons it will wind up $10,000 in the red on the recent U.S. S'Africa Davis Cup matches beset by protests that decimated attendance and increased security costs. But Joe Davis, a trustee of the Nashville school, promised to underwrite losses up to $880,000 . . . Red Rum is hurting, and so are the millions of British steeplechase followers who hoped to back him for a fourth victory in the Grand National at Aintree. A sore leg has left the beloved 13-year-old, an early 6-1 favorite, a doubtful starter for Saturday's renewal, and his trainer, Ginger McCain, said, "We are all sick with worry" . . .
Interesting was the word yesterday from Almost Heaven that a very nearby ACC coach supposedly was interviewed for the West Virginia U. basketball job supposedly being filled with Gale Catlett of Cincinnati today, and so is the one from Atlanta (a la last week's from Indianapolis re the Purdue job) of Foster, Foster, Tacy and Holland of the ACC being "among top candidates" to coach at U. of Georgia - but that Florida State's Hugh Durham is "the top candidate" . . . St. Bonaventure's Coach Jim Satalin, meanwhile, has rejected an offer from Wyoming after turning down Davidson (since filled) . . . Speaking of dubious reports. Fan Fare apologizes for "transferring" AU Coach Jim Lynam's brother Kevin from La Salle to St. Joseph's in Saturday's column . . . More all-star college senior baskets coming up - Thursday in Richmond's Robins Center: North Carolina Virginia matchup. N.C. State's Craig Davis (Peary H.S.) an early selectee; coaches, Billy Packer vs. VCU's Dana Kirk. Saturday in Charlotte, ACC region stars vs. SEC region. Invitees include Maryland's Lawrence Boston, Virginia's Marc Iavaroni, Navy's Hank Kuzma; Kentucky's Mike Phillips and James Lee. And Ed Hopkins of GU is in Wednesday's Big Apple Classic in New York, then the Super Conference tilt in Winston-Salem Sunday . . .
. . . Kansas/ChiBear great Gale Sayers, the O.J. Simpson of his day, has applied for the U. of Missouri athletic directorship (Sayers currently is a.d. at Southern Illinois-Carbondale). If he gets it, no way for him - and Warren Powers, the new football coach - to go but up after the first four Mizzou games this fall: Notre Dame, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma . . .