Now it's shove back the San Francisco Giants and give the California Angels the inside track in the Rod Carew sweepstakes.
The Giants withdrew their offer to the Minnesota Twins yesterday upon learning the perennial batting champion was saying he would rather stay in the American League. And Buzzie Bavasi, the Angel exec, received permission from Cal Griffith, Twin owner, to talk to Carew (under contract through 1979 but fed up with the Twins so up for trade). Reportedly Gene Autry & Co. of Anaheim will offer Carew about $4 million for five years, similar to the Giant proposal, while dangling outfieder Ken Landreaux, a prize 1978 rookie, and other talent in front of Griffith.
Switching to Cleveland: Did anybody really believe Bobby Bonds when he said in the fall after being traded from Texas he never would report to the Indians? Right, nonblievers, Bonds has met with Tribe President Gabe Paul and said "the door is still very much open" -- just "negotiate in good faith." Meaning, repackage the four years left on his Ranger carryover contract upward from the existing $400,000 per annum or whatever... And here are 51 of the 52 major league umpires having returned their individual contracts (with three years left on the general contract that sets minimum pay and other benefits) to their lawyer, Richie Phillips, to press for more money. Another strike threat in the offing?
Hey, it's Super Bowl week! And the war of words is off with a Cliff Harris bang: "We're going to have to knock (Terry) Bradshaw out early. I'll be looking to hit him, not to hurt him, but that doesn't mean he might not get hurt." So, of course, the first thing Bradshaw was asked after the Steelers' charter jet landed in Miami yesterday was what about the Dallas safety's remarks, harking beck to Super Bowl 10 when Bradshaw was knocked cold by Cowboy linebacker D. D. Lewis as he released his second scoring pass late in game. So, said a smiling Terry the Steeler, "If that is what they have to do, they better do it then. If Cliff feels like he needs to knock me out, he should try to do it -- but do it cleanly."
Steelers 17, Cowboys 6: That's the count of NFL coaches (surveyed by the Miami News) picking the winner of Sunday's S.B. 13. Significantly, maybe, the breakdown is 11-0 for Pitt among AFC coaches reached, 6-6 among the NFC respondents -- and number Washington's Jack Pardee among those picking against the champion of his own conference... Long-range Miami forecast from U.S. Weather Bureau there: "Too early to give an extended weekend forecast.But we think we can expect fair skies and the temperature to be in the low 70s by game time."
John Walker's running comeback continued apace as the New Zealander followed up his record indoor 1,500 in California by going outdoors in Australia yesterday and breaking the Down Under record for the mile; he clocked 3:56.3.
Gene Corrigan, U. of Virginia A.D., affirms the item out of Florida about trying to pull out of a 1979 football date in Gainesville but says it's not so sudden -- he began in July 1977 wiggling out of that and seven other tough dates in the next four years. The objective is to find the up side of.500, and "we're trying to get a little breathing room." Corrgan noted Georgia and Florida had been back to back on the schedule this October -- "Okay, we don't mind playing one (big timer) a year, but have seven of them, counting Georgia Tech, in our conference now. We'd like to play our ACC schedule, VMI, Virginia Tech, Army and Navy; we would be content with that the rest of our lives."
Milton Thompson of Gaithersburg, second-round pick by Atlanta in the baseball draft last week, has signed with the Braves; reports to Florida spring training, then Johnson City, Tenn., of the rookie league. Thompson hit 353 last spring for Haward U., then won 19-and-under player-of-year laurels in the Clark Griffith League after batting.427, hitting 17 homers and stealing a lot of sacks.