Charlie Finley says he sold Joe Coleman to Toronto last week - the day before his Oakland manager, Bobby Winkles, quit - only because the Senators' onetime boy wonder no longer has a fast ball.
"He's a very fine old man," the A's owner said from his Chicago office, "but all he does is throw that slop up there . . . doesn't throw hard enough now to break a pane of glass. He was spending his spare time trying to teach our young guys how to pitch. How can he do that when he can't pitch himself?"
Now the kicker: Finley turned around two days after selling Coleman, 31, and asked Peter Bavasi, Blue Jay president, to return the veteran right-hander (3-0) for the $15,000 he paid for him.
"I didn't want him on our team [not at his $87,500 salary], but I had a chance to send him to Pittsburgh and hopefully get (Manny) Sanguillen back," chortled Charlie O. . .
Sport Magazine has stired up another intrasquad oratorical scrimmage. To one degree or another, Los Angeles linebacker Isiah Robertson puts a critical knock on Ram mates Jim Youngblood, Fred Dryer and Pat Haden in the June issue of Sport. Youngblood and Dryer have retorted in kind in the L.A. press: Youngblood - I've had my fill of Isiah and so has the whole Ram team. He's the one we always have to cover up for on the field. . . ." Dryer - "Isiah now has zero credibility with me; I don't event want to talk to him anymore." Maybe with new Coach George Allen hovering near, Robertson backed off, "I deny emphatically I said all of those things in the magazine. I might sue." Responds Sports editor Barry Stainback: "He sent in the manuscript himself and initialed each page" . . .
When Samantha Stevenson, who wrote the Sport Mag article in which former Coach Gene Shue called Coach Billy Cunningham a "figurehead" and in which she chronicled 76er bickering and backstabbing, went to the Philly locker room after their playoff elimination by the Bullets at Cap Centre, the sad Sixers greeted her warmly. George McGinnis kissed her, saying, "You have a job and I don't hold anything against you." As to Sixer G.M. Pat Williams' crack about Stevenson not knowing if "the ball is stuffed or inflated," Sport chortles that "she is consulting lawyers" . . .
In hockey, a magazine we shall (finally) leave unnamed had Montreal defenseman Larry Robinson drop into New York to pick up the car it annually awards the Stanley Cup playoff MVP - and sparked more news. Canadien Coach Scotty Bowman came along, fueling growing rumors he might allow himself to be wooed away by the Rangers. . . . And it appeared 75 percent sure for a while Tom Watt, U. of Toronto coach, would be introduced tomorrow as coach of the NHL's Minnesota North Stars, whose only success last season was beating the Caps out of No. 1 draft. Watt played it smart, hedging on an offer to coach the Norstars' Oklahoma City farm, then evidently falling into the big one when U. of Minnesota to Coach Herb Brooks turned down North Star G.M. Lou Nanne's offer of - later word has Watt calling a press conference today to say: Forget it . . .
George Gervin and the San Antonio Spurs are talking possible upgrading of the Ice Man's contract, which has five years to run . . . Darby Creek Road, fourth in the Kentucky Derby and held out of the Preakness, will challenge Affirmed and Alydar in the Belmont to concentrate on the June 18 Ohio Derby, said trainer Woody Stephens . . . Billy Fields, 6-4 1/2, whose scoring average crowded 40 throughout his senior year for Osbourn Park out Manassas way, has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball for a late bidder for his services: Providence . . .
More golfing for the good of it: The Touchdown Club, whose charities are too numerous to mention, gathers selves, some Redskins, guests and out-of-town visitors including the erst-while Duke three-sport great, Ace Parker, for its 35th annual outing at Washingtonian CC on Friday. All-day from 7 a.m., shotgun golf start at 9:30 for 300 competitors . . .