Iron Mike Marshall - what, you forgot all about him? - tried to take his curve, screwball and bent for controversy to Minnesota and sparked what may amount to a clubhouse revolt among Calvin Griffith's Twins.
At least, the development proved revolting enough to Rod Carew that Mr. Bat says it is the last straw - 'I' will never sign (to stay) with this team."
Marshall, 35 and out of baseball work, finally made it through an off-season without having a loud row with faculty and officialdom at Michigan State, where he has been taking a doctorate in exercise physiology. But when he came to Chicago to show the visiting Twins' manager, Gene Mauch - for whom he toiled in relief in Montreal 1970-73 before doing it in Cyyoung Award style for the '74 Dodgers - that he can still pitch: powie.
From all accounts, Mauch was impressed and wanted to sign him. But Griffith heaped on the cold water: "Marshall broke down three years in a row and then he went into the re-entry draft and nobody took him and now here it is May and he's looking for a job. It just doesnt make good sense to me. Why didn't he go to spring training?"
What Mauch muttered under his breath is unrecorded, but what Carew said at this latest showing of the tight-fistedness he insists has made the Twins a sure loser is: "I'll play out my option (in 1979) and become a free agent. And if Griffith tries to trade me, I'll veto the deal. If he's going to stick it to us, I'm going to stick it to him."
P.S. The Minneapolis Tribune yesterday offered prizes to readers predicting the day closet to the day the Twins will be mathematically eliminated from the American League West race. First prize: two boxe seats for the Twins' final home game. Second prize: four box seats.
And they promised Griff a rose garden to clear out of Washington in 1961 . . .
Also up in arms: Willie McCovey, at 40 negotiating with the San Francisco Giants for a 10-year package deal (two or three more as a player, the rest on a personal services contract). Big Mac threatens to have 'em stow it because - they don't want to play for the hotel suites he has grown accustomed to (at his own expense) "the last six or seven seasons."
Things are rough all over in the bigs. AL President Lee MacPhail has issued a memo to the 14 teams, noting, "Persons have reportedly been entering clubhouses to solicit bets, collect money, etc." MacPhail said he had talked about gambling with two clubs in particular, and declared, "Certainly a player has a right to bet on a horse, but we don't want the clubhouses used as OTB (off-track betting) stations . . .Gambling and baseball do not go together and betting in or from the clubhouses will not be tolerated" . . .
Mike Menchel, Redskin publicist until about a year ago, has landed on his feet: assistant general manager of NASL's Caribouss of Colorado. "A great opportunity," he exults as he leaves the WEEL Radio (Fairfax) staff . . .Meanwhile, back at Redskin Park, they're issuing last reminder, May 19 is final deadline for season-ticket renewals ("running ahead of last year") . . .Before the Spurs-Bullets playoff, San Antonio Coach Doug Moe was called a heck of a lot more kinds of dumb by predecessor Tom Nissalke, now the Houston Rockets' coach, in a hassle via Texas newspapers, than Gene Shue called Philly successor Billy Cunningham in print during 76ers-Bullets. Moe wrote that when the last-place Rockets visited San Antonio during the season, Nissalke told writers that Moe's Spurs were still using his plays. "That's ridiculous," Moe wrote. "We have about three plays, and those are for George Gervin." Fuel for next winter's fires now that Moe has just been given a year's renewal as coach . . .
Howard Davis fights his first 10-rounder today, on TV, while fellow Olympic champ/unbeaten pro Sugar Ray Leonard goes eight or less against not on TV. But Leonard has signed for his first 10-rounder, June 3 versus Rafael Rodriguez (21-8-1) of Minneapolis in Baltimore Civic Center, on CBS but blacked out here . . .P.G. neighbor Dale Staley, stalking Leonard, made his pro mark 6-0 by kayoing Ray' Ross in 2:42 of the first round at White Plains, N.Y., Wednesday . . .
If the Omnibus House Group succeeds in puttin' on the ritz as advertised, Leonard, Ali, Spinks, Arum, Cosell and many other big boxing names will join Mayor Walter Washington at 7 tonight in the Hyatt Regency for the long-range tribut to Joe Louis. The old champ who had heart surgery last year, will be home in Las Vegas but his wife and son, Joseph Louis Barrow Ur., will receive the Boxer of the Century Award for the Bomber.
Died: Dave Kerr, 68, in Belleville, Ontario; he was on the last N.Y. Ranger team to win the Stanley Cup (1939-40 season) - the year he won the Vezina Trophy as top NHL goalie with a 1.60 goals-against average.