The Major League Players Association issued a list yesterday of 58 baseballers who had filed for salary arbitration prior to the deadline this week, and it featured relief pitching aces Bruce Sutter, Cubs; Kent Tekulve, Pirates, and Joe Sambito, Astros.
Well, make that Sutter and Sambito; at about the same time the assocition release was handed out in New York, Pittsburgh was saying World Series hero Tekulve, catcher Ed Ott and outfielder Omar Moreno had withdrawn requests for arbitration because their agent, Tom Reich, is confident the parties will be fair and good-faith bargaining will suffice. (Reich knows whereof he speaks, having negotiated Dave Parker's milestone contact last year.)
That still leaves 55 players to go through the procedure by which an impartial arbiter receives a salary figure from the player, another from the club, holds a hearing, then selects one of the two submitted figures as the player's pay -- no in-betweens. The hearings will be held individually through Feb. 23.
As usual, Charlie Finley's Oakland chattels are most numerous among arbitration seekers: 10 of them. Nor is everybody happy in Detroit, where top-notchers Jason Thompson, Lou Whitaker, Steve Kemp, Alan Trammell and even Bird Fidrych prefer to take their chances with an independent ruling rather than accept the Tigers' 1980 offers. . .
Then there is Jerry Royster, Atlanta infielder who zoomed from benchwarmer to thief of 35 bases, scorer of 103 runs off a .273 bat last year and has just won a five-year, $1.5 million Brave contract.
"Overwhelming . . . a bit much for me to grasp, really," admitted Royster. "I didn't exactly grow up thinking I'd be worth a million dollars to play baseball . . ."
Eddie Stanky was listed in good condition after yesterday's Birmingham surgery to replace two heart valves. As Branch Rickey once said of the old second baseman. "All he can do is beat you."
Dana Kirk, Memphis State basketball coach via Virginia Commonwealth, apologized to M-State for his behavior in bringing on a midgame forfeit to Florida State last week and thanked Metro Seven Commissioner Larry Albus for his rebuke of both the referees and Kirk. The coach pulled his team off the court with 15:40 to play in Tallahassee, after a technical on the Memphis State bench and a shouting match with the officials. Kirk held the basketball behind his back and told referee Don Wooldridge that if Florida State took the foul shots, his Tigers were leaving. A Seminole made the two free throws for a 55-54 FSU lead, and that's the way it ended, right then.
Cal Poly-Pomona has discovered that rescue center Kenneth Barrance got credit for a summer extension course he never took; has declared him ineligible, expelled h im and forfeited its eight victories among the 17 games in which he appeared.
Big names: Terry Bradshaw, to reign as king of the Mardi Gras Krewe of Karnival on Monday in New Orleans' Superdome . . . Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, on file for divorce from his wife Habiba; the couple separated more than a year ago. Their three children include little Kareem, 3.
A-J and the Lakers play under their third head coach of the season tonight at the Forum. Assistant Pat Riley takes over for the Portland game from Paul Westhead, the interim coach (for injured Jack McKinney); Westhead just had a kidney stone surgically removed . . . Looking forward to playing in L.A., for Southern California: Dwight Anderson, the star guard who quit Kentucky after the UK victory over Purdue Dec. 22. Already enrolled at USC, the Dayton, Ohio, flash -- eligible for Pac-10 action second semester next year -- complained that Kentucky basketball was no fun; "like going to work" . . .
Early Clemson recruit Raymond Jones of Union, S.C., will be somewhat lacking in high school experience when he reports to college: was kicked off Union's team after a "physical and verbal confrontation" with his coach. That was some time after the 6-9 center declared for the ACC Tigers . . .