Dave Parker is A-OK, the Pittsburgh Pirates proclaim. A sales pitch to Bucco fans or to possible takers at the winter baseball meetings that officially convene Monday after weekend preliminaries in Hollywood, Fla.?
An attempt to make sure Parker puts out 100 percent for his $1 million a year, or whatever?
Harding Peterson, Pirate VP, issued a statement yesterday countering recent plaints by Tom Reich, Parker's agent, that the club failed to rally behind its hero of the late '70s in his tougher times -- excessive poundage, bum knees, .258 average, and rife criticism. Like remarks attributed to teammate Lee Lacy about Parker: "He's a bad guy on the ball club."
"Dave Parker will go down in the record books," Peterson stated for the organization, "as one of the truly outstanding players in the game and is not only a team player but a team leader . . . in 1981, still a positive force on the club." Manager Chuck Tanner concurred.
So Parker will stay? Well, says Peterson, there is only one untouchable on the roster. Willie Stargell . . .
Hondo is back! Or rather, never left the NL. Frank Howard, San Diego ex-manager, goes New York to do for skipper George Bamberger what he used to do for Bambi in Milwaukee. Yep, a giant Met third base coach . . . Another old Bambi buddy, Earl Weaver, was convicted yesterday by a Baltimore County judge of drunk driving Aug. 31; sentencing delayed for the Oriole manager pending evaluation to see if he needs professional counseling. Weaver's operator's license was suspended Nov. 3 for 60 days . . .
World Series shares have been divvied from the record player pool of $4,143,060. Champion Dodgers voted 35 full shares, five partials, 27 cash grants; they specially requested that precise figures be secret. Yankees voted 30 full shares of $28,845 each, 12 partials, 26 cash grants; gave managers Gene Michael and Bob Lemon a half-share each. Montreal's NL East winners collected $12,377 full shares (30) and gave halves to ex-manager Dick Williams and September successor Jim Fanning. AL West's Oakland: 31 full shares of $14,349 . . .
Outland Trophy winner as 1981's outstanding college football lineman, by Football Writers Association vote: Dave Rimington, Nebraska junior center who was the first lineman named Big Eight player of the year (UPI) . . . And the South has risen again! Jeff Davis ACC player of the year. The Clemson senior is the second linebacker in a row so named (1980, North Carolina's Lawrence Taylor) . . .
Didn't believe ex-champ Muhammad Ali serious about fighting Trevor Berbick? D.C. Armory has news for you: Closed circuit Dec. 11, from Nassau, of Ali-Berbick, Hearns-Geraldo, Page-LeDoux, Shavers-Prater, plus live bouts featuring Pat Jefferson, Lloyd Taylor, Herb Wilens, Scott Farmer; 7:30 p.m. . . . World Boxing Council, through President Jose Sulaiman in Mexico City, announces it will organize a foundation for research toward prevention and treatment of ring injuries. Dr. Gerald Finneran, UCLA director of sports medicine, to be chairman of the scientific board of what will be known as . . . the Muhammad Ali foundation.