One Yankee, still with time to dive into Friday's free-agent pool, who won't: Lou Piniella. A .438 World Series batter at 38, he'll be in his 40s before expiration of the New York AL contract he signed yesterday, saying, "I feel the danger period for an athlete is the mid-30s. I have passed that period and feel I can be productive as long as I maintain my smooth swing." George Steinbrenner seconds that -- "Lou is a player who can rise to the occasion" -- and will pay him an estimated $200,000 a year to prove it. . . .
Two first basemen named R. Jackson could turn up for reentry. Ron Jackson, short-time Tiger (and a mere Type C!), is close to signing a $2.5 million, multiyear Detroit contract but may first test the draft, says agent Abdul Jalil. Agent Gary Walker, meanwhile, is shopping Reggie Jackson around as willing, yea, eager, "to try first base with a great deal of gusto," if the Yanks or other clubs can't see him in their outfield. But don't be surprised, Walker counsels, if Reggie goes for Atlanta and all that national exposure on the Ted Turner network . . .
NL manager of the year, AP poll: Tom Lasorda, 215 votes to 163 for UPI's pick, Whitey Herzog . . .Comeback player of the year, by vote of 30 UPI baseball correspondents: Greg Luzinski, 13 votes to 8 for White Sox mate Bill Almon, 3 for Oriole Dennis Martinez . . . The Comiskey Park customer who threw the beer bottle that hit Martinez in the head during a rain delay April 22 has been sentenced to 26 weekends in jail -- and must pay room and board for the privilege . . .
Dick Williams visits San Diego, says he would manage Padres "if they feel I haven't overpriced myself." He wants maybe $150,000 a year. And maybe autonomy enough not to take the rap that boss Ballard Smith laid on Frank Howard: "stubborn" refusal to communicate with the front office. Better known as "apple polishing," retorted Hondo . . . Jim Frey, Kansas City ex-manager, is back at what he maybe does best: batting coach, with the Mets of old Oriole colleague George Bamberger . . . The Dick Howser Royals yesterday became the first major leaguers to lose five straight on postseason tour of Japan; a Yomiuri Giant-Seibu Lion squad trumped two George Brett home runs, 7-3.
A Dallas grand jury declines to indict the man, 26, accused of shooting Cowboy injured-reserve tackle Don Smerek in an Oct. 11 parking lot tussle. Could have been self-defense, jurors may have decided after hearing witnesses who said Smerek, 6-7, 255, picked the fight that got him wounded in the chest . . . The Boston College point-shaving trial in New York recessed until Monday, when the defense will lead off with witnesses unavailable this week. . . U.S. Supreme Court refuses to consider appeal from a former women's basketball coach, Eloise Jacobs, seeking satisfaction from William and Mary College on a claim she was fired in 1978 because of her age, 40, when her job was upgraded to full time and given to a successor, 25 . . .
Basketball exhibition Thursday, 7:30, Halsey Field House: Irish national team versus Navy . . . Big East coaches' preseason poll: Georgetown to win it; Connecticut's Corny Thompson player of year -- over GU's Sleepy Floyd, who Playboy says will lead the Hoyas to the national championship . . . Eastern Eight coaches peg West Virginia as champ, GW seventh.