Somebody threw a radio battery at Dave Parker, in right field for the Pirates in their home park Sunday, and the two-time batting champion calls it the last straw -- he wants out of Pittsburgh.
"It is in the best interests of both parties -- the city of Pittsburgh and myself -- to complete my career without bodily harm," declared the 6-foot-5, 230-pounder who was National League MVP in 1978.
"I was hit in the head with a gas valve from a pellet gun last year. Sunday it was a battery. Earlier this year somebody tossed a sock full of nuts and bolts that weighed five pounds. A couple of years ago it was a bat." n
After the battery whizzed by Sunday, Parker picked it up, stalked off the field and sat out the last inning of the Willie Stargell Day doubleheader opener. He didn't play the second game -- maybe because of the 100-degree heat, maybe not.
"Maybe it's the money (his huge contract worth close to $1 million a year)," that angers people, Parker said.
"Whoever feels that strongly about Dave Parker, we can eliminate that problem."
The big fellow's contract confines the list of teams to which he can be traded to nine, including his hometown of Cincinnati. But, wherever, he says, he has informed the Bucco front office they "have to get me out of town, period."
Harding Peterson, Pirate chief executive, is making no move in that direction yet and Manager Chuck Tanner notes that "for every one that tries to do something to him, there's 100 that love him."
Parker doesn't dispute that, saying, "Hey, I love the city and I'd love to stay there. Fact is, I've got to go out every day and put my career on the line. "I'll do everything I can to help the Pirates win, but I've reached the point of no return"...
Ed Figueroa, a 20-game winner on the New York Yankees' 1978 championship team but a man turned sore of arm and at heart in '79 and '80, was dropped from the American League East leaders' roster yesterday.
Figueroa, 31, was "designated for assignment" as Luis Tiant returned from the disabled list. That gives the Yanks 10 days to try to find another major league home for the pride of Puerto Rico who won 16 games for California in 1975, then 19, 16 and 20 in his first three years with the Yankees. He dipped to 4-6 last year, when he required August surgery for bone chips in his right elbow, and to 3-3 with 6.98 earned-run average this year in which he constantly griped publicly about his handling by management.
He admitted giving less than his best in two mop-up bombings by Kansas City on the weekend.
If nothing happens in the prescribed 10 days, Figgy becomes his own reclamation project.
The July 15 brushback battle with the New York Mets wasn't the last of it for Atlanta pitcher Al Hrabosky. The Mad Hungarian of the Braves followed up by punching a cameraman Monday evening -- or, rather, the cameraman's camera, which bruised the TV man's eye. But it didn't keep WSB-TV's Ken Watley from keeping the film rolling as Hrabosky let sportscaster Knox Nunally have it verbally for Nunnally's on-air comments about the lefty's behavior during the Met embroglio. The latest fracas, around the Atlanta Stadium batting cage, made the station's nightly newscast in -- to steal Shirley Povich's line -- living choler...
Tony Greene, the little guy from Gaithersburg and U. of Maryland, got an early visit from the dread Turk at the Buffalo Bills' training camp in Niagara Falls. Yep, cut after nine years -- and 38 interceptions -- with the club he made at free safety as a free agent. Coach Chuck Knox said he hopes the quick ax gives Greene a chance to catch on elsewhere in the NFL. . .
Concerned Athletes in Action has opened a Washington chapter, with a one-week boys sports camp on the Bowie State campus starting Aug. 10 to get operations rolling. CAIA, not to be confused with religious-oriented Athletes in Action, enlisted Roy Jefferson, John Thompson, Bob Dandridge and Rose Elder's support, and apperances, at Langston Golf Course yesterday to promote the youth service agency. Roscoe Brown Jr. is cofounder and executive director of the agency which he said is off to a successful beginning in Norfolk, San Antonio and Springfield, Ill. Dandridge has been involved since inception, saying, "I'm always a little leery about community youth organizations" but this one is worthy.
Sports is just a part of the picture; as Jefferson said, "They have tutoring programs, college assistance programs, counseling..." Brown's immediate goal is to enroll 200 youths; student athletes and just students...
The harness racing plant in East Rutherford, N.J. has totted up the glories of $1,011,000 Meadowlands Pace night last weekend: the purse, a record for the sport; 42,612 attendance, a track record; $4,004,426 handle and $634,264 pool, records for the sport -- and, of course, the 1:53 1/5 time for Niatross, fastest ever for a 3-year-old pacer and only a tick off standardbred racing's speediest mile...
Ted Marchibroda had three years left at about $150,000 annually, on his Baltimore contract when the Colts fired him as coach Dec. 27. The Colts refused to pay, citing a provision voiding the pact if he did not try to find another job at once and pointing to his turn-down of several assistant-coaching offers.
Richard Bennett, Marchibroda's Washington attorney, filed a complaint with the NFL. A mediation session has been held, a settlement reached but not divulged, with Bennett commenting, "I think what is important for Ted Marchibroda is that he get another head-coaching job and that he put the Baltimore Colts behind him."