The news that Minnesota relief pitcher Ron Davis beat the Twins in his arbitration bid for $475,000 a year--a $175,000 raise--has left club owner Calvin Griffith fuming.
"I'm so . . . sick about Davis winning that I almost vomited," Griffith told reporters after hearing that Davis had won his salary arbitration in Chicago Monday.
The Twins won their arbitration case against pitcher Bobby Castillo, but that didn't cool Griffith's temper.
"He is no more entitled to that kind of salary than I am being president of the United States," Griffith said. " . . . I know deep down in my heart that I would die a slow death if I had to pay him that much money for the whole year."
Asked if that meant Davis would be traded, Griffith said loudly: "I don't like being taken. I can be taken only so far. He got a $175,000 raise for doing nothing."
Davis, acquired from the New York Yankees in the deal for Roy Smalley and Roger Erickson early last season, was 3-9 last season with a 4.42 earned-run average and 22 saves, fifth highest in the league.
Davis, 27, the highest-paid Twin, said he understands Griffith's anger.
"I'm on Calvin's side," said Davis, who had wanted a five-year contract with the club. "I don't like the system, either. I really do feel sorry for Calvin because we know he can't afford it . . . " Cecil Cooper, the Milwaukee Brewers' first baseman, was named the 13th winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, given annually by major league baseball to the player who it determines best exemplifies the game both on and off the field . . .
Insurance coverage is running out, and friends and family of Tony Conigliaro, who was stricken by a heart attack 13 months ago, hope a benefit concert by Dionne Warwick, scheduled for April 15 at Symphony Hall in Boston, will help pay hospital bills for the former Boston Red Sox slugger.