"Right now," said Gerry Cooney's comanager, one month from the scheduled date with Larry Holmes to put Muhammad Ali's biggest paydays in the shade, "we're up in the air. We're just waiting on Dr. Minkoff."
Countered Holmes' promoting friend, Don King: make that Jeffrey Minkoff, Cooney's personal physician, plus "an objective, special team of doctors."
King is coproducer of the Las Vegas March 15 WBC title fight jeopardized since Cooney broke off Catskills training Saturday. Orthopedic surgeon Minkoff began checking out Cooney's ailing left shoulder at NYU Medical Center yesterday and plans a more thorough examination today. A statement on fight status is expected today or Wednesday.
The challenger "even has pain sleeping right now," his man said. Principals agree the bout be set back unless Cooney is 100 percent. King wants "an honest, professional medical opinion by other distinguished doctors" and recommends a specific team of five, including four from Cleveland and Warren, Ohio--King's bailiwick . . .
Interleague baseball trading resumed yesterday, the Phillies leaked word about a swap that should be completed today, and the Orioles wrapped up Feb. 10 deal for Cincinnati pitcher Paul Moskau by sending utility infielder Wayne Krenchicki to the Reds . . . Baltimore has reduced the unsigned on its 40-player roster to one--Mike Flanagan, bound anyhow by '82 option. Newly satisfied: Cal Ripken Jr., Puerto Rican winter league MVP with .314, 10 HR, 49 RBI in 60 games . . . Montreal made official its estimated $15 million deal with Gary Carter so he'll be catchin' on in Montreal through 1989 . . .
Oh, the Phillies? Outfielder Bake McBride to Cleveland for lefty reliever Sid Monge, barring a snag. As in Tug McGraw, you are growing old, a little insurance won't hurt? . . . The Indians were buoyed by staff ace John Denny's weekend decision to stay on, rejecting A's and Yankees--who offered $100,000 more a year, he said. He doesn't need sometimes "demanding and irrational" George Steinbrenner . . . Cubs' re-signing Dick Tidrow means only one Type A free agent (new Phillie Ed Farmer) changed clubs.
Dan Pastorini: now a drunk-driving charge in Newport Beach, Calif. . . .
Dead at 23: Mark Alcorn, former St. Louis U. and Louisiana State varsity basketballer, out of St. Louis' DeSmet High School. He struggled 14 months with cancer--during which he rooted his LSU mates to last year's NCAA Midwest Regional championship . . .
The $382,000 winning Pic Six ticket from Jan. 25 at Hialeah: finally turned in, by a Fort Lauderdale attorney for an unnamed "casual horseplayer." IRS reduced the check to $305,876.