Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn's office said yesterday it will investigate allegations by Chicago Cubs catcher Jody Davis that a former teammate, shortstop Ivan DeJesus, intentionally failed to make putouts on a fellow Latin player on base stealing attempts last year.
DeJesus, now shortstop for the Philadelphia Phillies, denied the accusation.
Davis made the allegations Wednesday night in Pittsburgh after twice throwing out the National League's leading base stealer, Omar Moreno, as the Cubs snapped a five-game losing streak and defeated the Pirates, 6-5, in 10 innings.
"I never did get him (Moreno) last year," Davis told the AP after the game. "Last year I made the same kind of throws, but I couldn't get him once because DeJesus was covering and taking care of his buddy. If he (Moreno) hadn't been Latin, he would have been out."
With the Phillies in St. Louis, DeJesus told the wire service, "He's talking a lot of bull. Just because he didn't throw him out last year was not my fault. Maybe he didn't throw it to the right spot.
"It sounds like he's real cocky about throwing out Moreno," DeJesus said. "I'm glad he threw him out. He was a rookie last year, and this shows me he's improved his arm and his delivery. But that's a real bad statement he made. I can't understand why he would say something like that."
Moreno, who twice has led the league in stolen bases and is leading again this year with 35, also denied Davis' charges.
"Why would he say that? He (DeJesus) is one of the best shortstops in the National League," Moreno told the Associated Press.
Pittsburgh Manager Chuck Tanner said he was surprised by Davis' comments. "I've always seen him cover. I can't remember anything funny. I'm just looking at Omar running," Tanner said.
Moreno had been thrown out stealing 10 times this year before Wednesday, but he had succeeded on his last nine attempts. Wednesday was the first time this year he had been thrown out twice in a single game.
Contacted yesterday morning, Kuhn's office was unaware of Davis' allegations, but later a spokesman for the commissioner said the matter would be investigated.
Last winter, a catcher for the Alexandria Dukes, Angel Rodriguez, was suspended from baseball for one year after he was found to have tipped off opposing Latin batters in Spanish on what pitches to expect.