A body blow to U. of Virginia football 1980, but a boost for the '81 Cavs: Greg Taylor being redshirted. Taylor teamed with Tom Vigorito as a potent one-two running back punch in '79, then was switched to flanker in the spring in hopes of broadening Coach Dick Bestwick's offense. But Taylor pulled a hamstring in preseason practice and has not played a down. Though a senior, he gets another year of eligibility.Vigorito will be gone, but Taylor won't . . .
J.R. Richard, the man the Astros left behind: Word of a World Series-time operation ahead somewhere in California for the big right-hander felled by a stroke at midseason, this one to remove a blood clot still in his pitching shoulder, evidently came as a surprise to the club. Apprised of the revelation by Tom Reich, the Houston ace's agent in Pittsburgh, Astro General Manager Tal Smith at the playoffs in Philadelphia said the impending surgery was news to him . . .
Dave Winfield, the San Diego outfielder coming off a .276 season with 87 RBI, both figures a tad above his eight-year career averages, evidently is a San Diego outfielder no longer. He is going into next month's reentry draft with a parting blast at Padre management, which in turn indicates it will not enter any bidding war over him with interested parties expected to include the Astros, Mets and Yankees -- leaving the Padres without a 6-foot-6 all-star and with only one big man, incoming Manager Frank Howard . . .
Jeff Nixon, the Gar-Field grad hailed last week as NFL defensive player of the month for September, is through until November; strained a knee in Buffalo's conquest Sunday of San Diego. So the Bills have picked up a replacement safety, retired-since-'78 L.A. all-pro Bill Simpson . . . And Green Bay waives goodbye to its two-time league scoring champion, nine-year kicker Chester Marcol.The native of Poland has been beaten out (again) by Tom Birney, a native of Scotland -- as in what have you done for us, lately, Chester, since beating the Bears in the opener by running your own blocked kick in for an overtime touchdown?