Thirty-nine year since the Cleveland Indians' infamous "Crybaby Rebellion" against Manager Ossie Vitt, another Indian revolt is afoot -- this one in support of lame-duck manager Jeff Torborg.
Afoot? Sure, Torborg has responded from socks up to President Gabe Paul's attempt to dump him in favor of Bob Lemon. Torborg, left to twist in the wind until Lemon or whoever takes over next year, or sooner, punctuated his counterdeclaration that he will finish out the season, then quit, by defiantly pulling the legs of his uniform trousers over the stripes on his socks.
Gasp! Paul has standing orders that the Indians expose at least one stripe on the stockings at all times. "To hell with the stripe," said Torborg, and team members present followed suit spiting Paul's edict.
Torborg also took a swipe at another Paul rule, no whiskers, saying he doesn't care if the Tribe looks like the smith Brothers by Labor Day.
Outfielder Bobby Bonds stood up for the skipper who in June 1977 succeeded Frank Robinson: "If you don't have the horses, you can't pull the wagon." Outfielder Jim Norris, known to have clashed with Torborg on occasions, gave the manager a "peace offering," a cloth scroll reading. "If you are being run out of town, get in front and make it look like a parade" . . .
Fourth of july parade of pennant odds as Jimmy the Greek surfaces with season's midpoint line shows Baltimore, Montreal and Houston so entrenched atop their divisions they are odds-on to finish that way. Orioles are 1 to 2 to win AL East, Red Sox 2-1 to overhaul 'em; Yankees 20-1 [and only the pinstripe tradition," says the Greek, "prevents Billy Martin's boys from being 200-1"]; Brewers a possibly tempting 50-1. In Nl East, it's Expos 7-10, Pirates 4-1, Phillies 6-1, Cuba and Cards 20-1; Mets 5,000 to 1 to make a new miracle. NL West: Astros 2-5, Reds and Giants 5-1; defending champ Dodgers 100-1. Al West: Angels 9-5, Rangers 2-1, Royals 7-2, Twins 7-2. Other 5,000-1 shots: A's, Indians. Blue Jays? 10,000-1 . . .
Cleveland's NBA team features harmony between owner Nick Mileti and players, Micleti calling a team meeting for Saturday to gather "input" on overall situation, including players' choice to succeed moved-to-Boston Bill Fitch. "They are a class bunch of guys," Mileti said, "and I definitely expect to get straight, honest answers." Veteran guard Austin Carr, Washington's own, said "The meeting surprised me, but . . .good idea . . . very healthy thing" . . .
N.c. State's Norm Sloan hints the 1980 British Olympic basketball team he will coach may not be such a pushover. "I received a call from the Washington area," Sloan told the Charlotte Observer recently, "a father was calling about his son. When he said Sam[p]son, my ears perked up. I thought, 'Here we go again' [with Ralph Sampson,] but the father had a decided English accent. The youngster played for George Washington. The name is spelled Samson. Mike Samson was a good player for Gw, and I said I was interested." An American born in Britain, or pf a British father, can play for the United Kingdom . . .