The Yankees' advance guard opens "voluntary" training, Steinbrenner style, today in Fort Lauderdale . . . The Orioles, whose countdown to battery assembly in Miami dips under 200 hours today, yesterday introduced to regional media their new weapon, Darnell Glenn Ford Sr. . . Suddenly it's spring, baseball fans!
Ford--Disco Dan the outfielder to you--heard Baltimore G.M. Hank Peters count 11 outfielders on roster and wish Earl Weaver (wintering in Florida) will change his mind about retiring as manager after this season. Then Ford cracked:
"From what Hank says, the organization is loaded with young, strong outfielders. Now all I need is for Weaver to retire and the Orioles to hire Gene Mauch!" Gene Mauch and Ford did not see eye to eye in Minnesota or Anaheim.
That nickname--"some friends in Minnesota," Ford explains, "they owned a disco, I just kind of stood around. No, I'm not a swingin'-type player; I'm a low-key guy, pretty much a family man." Those poses for Playgirl last spring training? "I'm an impulse person. I don't regret anything I can do. I told my wife about it. She kept asking and decided 'I'm sure you'll do right.' I had some say, and you'll notice none of the pictures has me totally nude."