If you were running the St. Louis Cardinals, and your starting shortstop told you he was not going to put out a full effort this year for his $130,000 salary, would he still be your starting shortstop?
Garry Templeton told the Cards yesterday, "I'm not going to play hard, I'm not going to do my best here. Either get me traded or get me more money." Would you trade him or let him cool it on the bench?
Templeton, 23, was paid $100,000 in 1978 after a hot .322 campaign in '77, his first full year. For that $100,000, he provided a 42-point drop in batting, to .280, and 40 error-40! So, General Manager John Claiborne suggested a 10 percent pay cut. Templeton instead drew a $30,000 raise but continued to seethe over the "insult" and is out with his ultimatum.
He is batting .175 in spring training. He is playing Jackadaisically enough to irritate teammates and is saying, "hopefully, I'll be traded if the Cardinals aren't too chicken to trade me...I'll put out what I want to put out."
Gee, Templeton must have been trying too hard last year. Forty errors-40! Plus one big boo-boo already in '79?
A deal to make everybody involved happy, yesterdayhs swap of Richie Hebner from the Phillies, who displaced him when they obtained Pete Rose, to the Mets for Nino Espinosa, who brings Philadelphia much needed pitching. At least, Manager Danny Ozark offers that righty Espinosa (11-15, 4.72 ERA last year) "has the ability to be a much better pitcher on our ball club, simply because our infield defense is superior." And the Mets have been desperate for strong hitting of the ilk of Hebner's .283, 17 HR, 71 RBI, Now, does he push good old Lenny Randle off third base in Shea? And does Espinosa-counted on to fill in for injured Larry Christenson - say "no, thanks," when Tug Mcgraw asks him to go bicycling?
The Anaheim Angels have found an old Dodger to step in for newly retired old Dodger Ron Fairly: welcome back from two years in Japan, Willie Davis.
Another big one landed: Rick Tunstall, 7 feet, 240 pounds, courted by Lefty et al. for his exploits at Altoona (Pa.) H.S and unlimited potential; he's picked Duquesne. Pursuers Lee Rose of Purdue and Denny Crum of Louisville called Tunstall one of the two best "pure pivot men" in the highs ranks...
Another returnee to Southern California: former USC assistant Stan Morrison, hired as Trojan basketball coach to succeed Bob Boyd.
Interesting main event in Baltimore Civic Center tonight: Dale Staley of P.G. vs. Alvin Anderson. Big chance for kayo specialist Staley, says his manager, Chris cline, who may be leadoff witness at Congressman Eddie Beard's boxing hearings on the Hill Thursday. "It was at my behest" Beard introduced his bill for federal regulation, cline says.
Died: At 70 in Los Angeles, Don Osborn, former pitching coach for the pittsburgh Pirates, who was expected to rejoin them for a fourth stint this year but declined because of failing health ... At 22 in Philadelphia, Joseph Nedley, a junior and starting offensive guard on Temple's football squad. He was shot five times at close range in a fight outside a bar. A 32-year old man was arrested and held on $125,000 bail. Coach Wayne Hardin, stunned, canceled a day of spring practice.
Joe Theismann gave his all, as billed, in ABC's World Superstars (as you can witness sunday on WJLA-TV-7), but that was a tough, finely trained bunch gathered in the Bahamas. Brian Budd, the Canadian soccer player, repeats as champion, earning $39,500; Greg Pruitt of the Cleveland Browns, the domestic Superstars winner, sweeps his fortes - weightlifting, 100 dash, obstacle course-to grab second money. Redskin QB Theismann says Dallas kicker Rafael Septien (representing Mexico) "beat me in tennis, that little sucker, and tennis was going to be my strong suit; it was downhill from that," downhill to "sixth or seventh place, I'm not sure." For consolation, Our Joe won $2,400, but swears it was hard earned. His best event: "the soccer kick."