Even Travis John's classy daddy has had it with the New York Yankees' no-class act.
"You leave my son out of this! If you ever bring my son into this again, I'll . . . !" shouted Tommy John in the visitors' clubhouse in Arlington (Tex.) Stadium. He yelled it at Bill Bergesch, team v.p. Bergesch had reacted to John's reaction ("trade me") at exile to the Yankee bullpen by telling reporters he was disappointed in the veteran --after the "superstar treatment" given John since 1979, and "special treatment" accorded him last summer.
The "special treatment" part set off John. He felt Bergesch--or George Steinbrenner, since "I don't think Mr. Bergesch could express an opinion himself"--meant the weeks Travis lay critically hurt from a three-story fall.
"I've been a good soldier," says John. "(Saturday night) was the first time I wasn't good. I did what any red-blooded male would do when somebody degrades your family . . .
"I think Travis and the situation got more positive public relations for the Yankees. George probably owes Travis . . ."
You may recall the toddler throwing out the first ball at a Yankee playoff last fall. And the Yankees hastening World Series doom in Game 6 by lifting the "good soldier"--of whom Steinbrenner now states, "I'm sure Tommy is upset at his lack of success. But this did not warrant this outburst . . . The best thing he can do is let his pitching do his talking for him . . . Tommy himself is the one who brought Travis into the matter."
Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn said as Postmaster General William F. Bolger issued the Jackie Robinson stamp at the Hall of Fame yesterday that Robinson was "the earthquake in America--he made the country tremble" . . . Kuhn trembles not at thoughts of Aug. 17-19, declaring, "The (major league) meetings in San Diego will probably resolve the pending question of Bowie Kuhn, and it's good that we get that resolved . . . The air should be cleared" . . . Ammunition for the commissioner's defense? The majors' fourth-best attendance week in history just recorded (2,210,955), and July 5-11 was No. 3 all-time. NL single-day record Saturday, 242,986 for six games, majors' 1982 tally through Sunday 28,364,405, or 22,214 per game; half-million ahead of the pace in bountiful 1980 . . .
And Washington's U.S. Football League franchise, according to G.M. Dick Myers, has had about 3,000 "serious inquiries" as to 1983 season tickets. No price scale yet, so no applications can be processed now, says Myers . . .
The buck never stops: Several NBA Players Association members have sued the league, claiming antitrust violation in owners' proposal to cap player salaries at (says N.Y. Daily News) $2.8 million per team. Hearing before a special master set Friday in New York, union saying the lid would kill free-agent movement . . . And NFL Vikings' coaching staff, led by Bud Grant, threatens to boycott Saturday's Hall of Fame game versus Colts unless coaches receive same stipend (under $1,000 apiece) as players for the extra exhibition . . .
Instant millionaire: Fortune Teller, 2-year-old pacer driven by Eldon Harner, victor in last night's $1,957,500 Woodrow Wilson Pace. And in just 1:53 3/5, a track record for 2-year-olds at the Meadowlands, did this 7-to-5 favorite win $978,000, triple his previous earnings.
J.R. Richard, exhorted by 3,539 and a banner reading "Good Luck J.R. See You in the Dome," completed the Class A part of his comeback from a stroke as losing pitcher in Tampa Tarpons 4, Daytona Beach Astros 1. Nine strikeouts, 11 hits, two walks; leaves 3-1 W-L behind as he heads for Tucson and AAA debut Saturday . . .
Women's long jump record, Romanian media report, has been taken to 23 feet 7 1/2 by Vali Ionescu at national championships . . . Sweep Six sole winner Friday at Canada's Greenwood track: H. Andre Nader, $140,000. Saturday at Woodbine: Nader again, $117,000 . . . Dave Revering, demoted to AAA by Blue Jays, turns $250,000 contract to zilch; opts for free agency . . . In NFL, recently all-pro Charger DT Louie Kelcher, only 28, retires.
All-star amateur boxing Wednesday, 8 p.m., Hillcrest Heights Boys Club: HHBC vs. Baltimore City Boxing Club. Proceeds help send 15-member Potomac Valley association squad to national meet next week in Columbus, Ohio.