The fans have spoken -- and, heck with them, the Colorado Rockies have fired Don Cherry.
While Armand Pohan, the club president, was mulling whether to pay off the former Boston Bruin skipper of marked success for the upcoming second year of his contract and look for somebody else to lead the club out of the NHL cellar, the Rocky Mountain News in Denver took a weekend call-in poll.
Results: Keep Cherry 3,025. Fire Cherry 48.
Pohan and company looked at other figures, like 19-48-13, the Rockies' 1979-80 record, and Pohan declared yesterday, "We need a coach who will devote his full energies to coaching and teaching. As a teacher of younger players, Don's approach has failed to produce results . . . In the long run, no amount of color can substitute for winning."
And, famous last words: "Personally, I don't know a better guy to have a beer with or shoot pool with" . . .
Meanwhile, sports agent Bucky Woy says, "I'm sick and tired of representing people and having front office and management make me look like an orge" -- and has filed a $17 million libel suit against Ted Turner, owner of the Atlanta Braves and a few other baubles.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court, Dallas, alleges "false and defamatory" statements by Turner about Woy on and after June 1, 1979. The agent further charges that Turner tried to force young third baseman Bob Horner to fire Woy.
The lawsuit states that Turner said Woy "caused the death of a person and was a blackmailer."
"He (Turner) told the press that I killed Bill Lucas, who died an untimely death of an aneurysm right as we were going to arbitration (over Horner's contract), and that John Mullen should take out insurance . . ." Woy elaborates. Lucas was director of player personnel and Mullen (now general manager) took Lucas' position in the Brave organization . . .
Tension among the Braves extended yesterday even to the tunnel leading to the visitor's clubhouse in Montreal. Outfielder Jeff Burroughs scuffled there with John Sullivan, the bullpen coach. Burroughs, onetime Washington Senator prodigy, another time American League MVP for Texas, has been disenchanted over his irregular use in the lineup, although batting .303 . . .
Another big fight in the lively welterweight class: Detroit's unbeaten Tommy Hearns due in Mexico City today to sign with champ Pipino Cuevas for a WBA title bout, date and site pending. Besides that and his own defense June 20 versus Roberto Duran, WBC champ S. R. Leonard can look ahead to NBC-TV's revival of Friday Night Fights, 10 p.m. slot, with Aug. 1, 8 and 22 cards; Sugar to team with Dick Enberg as commentators. Right, Capt. A? . . .
Tension? Violence? In the International Hockey League, where two Milwaukee players including ex-Cap Michel Bergeron are suing the Saginaw Gears for $2 million for injuries suffered in two playoff games last month, the Saginaw club has countered with a $5 million libel-slander suit against Milwaukee, whose owner Lloyd Pettit pulled his team from the playoffs after loss of those two games in protest of what he called excessive violence. "Lies," retorts Saginaw G. Wren Blair . . .
Bringing us round to the Central Hockey League -- and, ta-da, Danny Belisle. The coach of the Washington Capitals from October 1978 to November 1979 has signed a two-year contract to coach the Dallas Black Hawks -- despite the name not Chicago's affiliate, but Vancouver's.