"Hrbek, you're next!" a Minnesota mate yelled to slugger Kent Hrbek in the Twins' clubhouse as reliever Ron Davis lambasted Tuesday night's trade of bullpen pal Doug Corbett plus infielder Rob Wilfong to the Angels. Wrong. Next were Butch Wynegar and Roger Erickson.
Catcher Wynegar, owner Calvin Griffith's highest-paid Twin (save Davis?), yesterday went the April way of top-dollar Roy Smalley--to the Yankees; with righty Erickson (4-3) for infielder Larry Milbourne and minor league pitchers John Pacella and Pete Filson. For New York, the trade seemed dictated by the latest Yankee break-up: catcher Rick Cerone's chip fracture of mitt-hand thumb. Cerone, out up to six weeks, was hurt tagging California's Don Baylor and upset that the play could have been avoided had not Milbourne muffed a throw and induced Baylor, caught off base, to try to race home.
"We'll have to get ourselves another catcher," said N.Y. Manager Stick Michael. How soon boss Steinbrenner obliged . . . But Wynegar said the Yankees told him they had been after him even before Cerone got hurt.
Oh. As Davis was saying: "If anybody should be traded, it's the owner." The ex-Yankee reliever labeled the Twins-Angels deal: "stupidity . . . All he's (Griffith) worried about is money . . . and he got $400,000 in (Angel) cash." And after the Wynegar swap: "There ain't no future for this team."
Griffith's retort: Davis is a "New York counterfeit." And, "If I had had time today he would have been in my office. We will have a conversation after we get back (off the road)."
It's enough to make a guy punch the dugout wall . . . Only, not in Seattle. There, where Yankee Doyle Alexander so broke a knuckle, Cleveland righty John Denny Tuesday night upon ninth-inning removal from a game he thought he had won, wham! Sprained right thumb; Denny may miss a turn . . .
Nancy Lopez-Melton is dehyphenating. Tim Melton, husband of three years, Houston sportscaster, confirms the LPGA star has filed for a divorce "I did not want . . . I love Nancy more now than the day I married her" . . . Coolidge's Tomi (Pebbles) Rucker, D.C. Interhigh female athlete of the year, gladdens Maryland's track staff; she'll sprint and long jump as a Terrapin . . . N.C. State wins a year-ahead basketball pledge, from 6-10 and 20-point Terry Shackleford of Denton (N.C.) . . . VMI can recruit, too: 6-5 1/2 Gay Elmore, West Virginia boys high school player of year at South Charleston.
Catholic U.'s last Division I hurrah: ECAC South baseball playoffs today, four of 12 teams made 'em, starting today at James Madison. CU (19-12)-Old Dominion at noon, then JMU-East Carolina; double elimination, winner to NCAA regionals. Last hurrah, too, for CU's coach, John Norris, moving on.
Mark Cregar, 26, of Wilmington, Del., fatally shot here (robbery?): all-round athlete, 1973 all-Met DB in football, at Wheaton High; went on to play for Wake Forest . . .
Redskins chapter, NFL Alumni, presents a program on youth sports for parents and coaches, free, 1 p.m. Sunday at Blair High, Al Demao in charge. Dr. Jack Llewellyn, sports psychologist, consultant to Houston Astros, moderates panel discussion with Stan Lavine, Bobby Ross, Sam Huff, Larry Brown, Sonny Jurgensen and audience . . .
Bruised Yankee: John Mayberry, foot stepped on--and hot Pirate Jason Thompson out since Sunday when a knee bruised his calf . . . A. Bowie Kuhn vetoed Yanks' '81 deal of Jim Spencer, Greg Cochran, Fred Toliver and $850,000 to Bucs for Thompson.