Henry Aaron maintains he was serious when he declared himself a candidate to be commissioner of baseball, but says, "I predict Bowie Kuhn is going to be reelected."
The home run king, here with Bob Lemon yesterday to promote the second Cracker Jack Old Timers Baseball Classic (July 18, RFK), said the major leagues need change.
"In some areas, baseball isn't really a healthy game . . . People in control have allowed a financial runaway," Aaron said. "Minnesota and Cleveland, for example, can never compete with the teams in wealthier markets under the current system." Sounds like Edward Bennett Williams endorsing some sort of revenue sharing.
Aaron (Atlanta Braves' director of player development) said a salary cap such as just adopted by pro basketball might be the answer--"but I don't think Marvin Miller--I mean (Ken) Moffett (players association director)--would ever let that happen."
Lemon, who will manage the AL ex-stars here, might be willing to give up his current low-pressure job of scouting in Dodger Stadium and Anaheim Stadium for the Yankees and manage in the majors again, "depending on who called."
Missed at the Aaron-Lemon reception: WRC's Moe Siegel, in Sibley Hospital with a back problem . . .
Neil Allen, New York Mets' relief ace fallen on the hard times of a 0-3 record, 9.32 ERA, a recent arrest for a tavern scrap and an incident of absenteeism, is the latest big leaguer to confess to an alcohol problem.
Allen admitted lying when he called to beg off Sunday's game because he had taken his wife to a hospital. Actually, he was sick from drinking and flu, he said in a later call to General Manager Frank Cashen.
Allen consented to treatment, probably at The Meadows in Arizona where several other athletes have undergone rehabilitation for drug and alcohol abuse. "Naturally," said Cashen, "the Mets will give whatever assistance we can. We made arrangements this morning . . ."