Phyllis McGraw, TV personality, read the statement from her home in Media (Pa.) to the media: a demand for equal pay for equal work.
The author, and the subject, was Tug McGraw, her relief pitching husband who had a nation of baseball viewers biting their nails with his charismatic rescue missions throughout the National League championship playoff and World Series, with video cutaways to Mrs. M. running through the emotional wringer.
So much for the Philadelphia Phillies, world champions, as family.
"I have entered the free agent draft as of this afternoon, Nov. 5," the McGraw statement read. "My request to the Phillies was this: My contribution to the first world championship in 97 years was equal to that of any person or player on the team. I want to be in the norm with the salaries of these players. To date, the Phillies have declined to make me a proposal of salary comparable to those . . . of the other key players. I didn't want this, but at this point there was no other choice."
Last midnight was the deadline for declaring for the reentry draft a week from today. Players have until Monday to sign with their teams, but with the declaration by McGraw, 36, at this stage there is a full deck of declared free agents, 52 of them.
Including Phil cohero Del Unser.
Dusty Baker, the Los Angeles outfielder, turned down an offer the Dodgers' owner, Peter O'Malley, said would have made him "one of the top 10 paid players in baseball and the highest paid player in the history of the Dodgers' in preceeding McGraw into the draft pool by a few hours. Baker, 31, reportedly rejected $3.5 million in a five-year contract . . .
Jerry Reuss, the Dodger lefthander who rebounded from a 7-14 season in 1979 to go 18-6, with a no-hitter, is UPI's comeback National Leaguer of the year, receiving 32 of 50 writers' votes . . . Whatever happened to Walt Alston? The 1954-76 L.A. Manager is living a retired life of Riley, he told the Alexandria Grandstand Managers t'other night -- pool, trapshooting, golf, motorcycling, all the varied pleasures of Darrtown, Ohio. And, "I sit up there and second-guess (successor and former lieutenant) Tom Lasorda all the time -- but, what the heck, he second-guessed me all the time" . . .
The basketball career of L.A. Laker rookie Butch Carter, touted guard from Indiana, is in jeopardy, officials reported after Carter underwent tests by cardiologists and neurologists. Severe "valvular abnormality in the heart." Carter was blinded in his right eye for about 45 minutes last week; probably an effect of the heart problem . . .
Latest victim of the NFL-in-general, Green Bay-in-particular injury rash: Steve Adkins, the running back from Maryland, sprained ankle necessitating four weeks in a cast . . . Latest on basketball's Marvin Barnes is an old story: ABA-NBA's old problem child has quit his Italian team, Hurlingham of Trieste -- reportedly hours before it could fire him . . . In the NBA old Bullet Kevin Loughery has, for the nonce, squirmed off a hot seat. Several New Jersey Nets executives have been unhappy with Loughery's coaching -- including the way he has had popular guard Eddie Jordan, ex-Rutgers, not to mention Washington, D.C., languish since picking up Foots Walker. Principal owner Joseph Taub denied that Friday night's win over the Bullets saved the coach's job -- but a vote of confidence did, at yesterday's regular Nets Board meeting . . .
Tsk-tsk, Ohio State U. officials say they removed a page from the Indiana-Ohio State football program -- ripping it out of 17,000 copies -- because it contained a couple of digs at Buckeye coaching in a top-20 basketball preview written by nationally known scribe Curry Kirkpatrick for Touchdown Publications, publisher of the national section of the program.
Kirkpatrick wrote that "Basketball coach Eldon Miller . . . had a collection of the best talent around last year, but . . . faltered in the closing weeks and couldn't even win the Big Ten, much less the Big One."
To expunge this, a Dayton printing firm spent "a couple of thousand of dollars at least," according to its salesman, former Ohio State basketball player Craig Taylor. "Figure it out. I hired 20 Kelly girls. It must have taken them about 80 hours of work . . . around the clock so we could get the program out in time."