Jim Rice, who could have virtually named his price had he made 1985 a vintage year and then entered the free-agent market, has signed anew with the Boston Red Sox for a reported $10 million over four years.
The Red Sox payroll increased further as right-handed reliever Bob Stanley accepted a four-year renewal (also for 1986-89) totaling more than $4 million, and third baseman Wade Boggs won salary arbitration and will earn $1 million in 1985.
A postseason bidding war might have made Rice, 32 next month, baseball's first $3 million man. Instead, the Red Sox pulled off what appeared unlikely not long ago with Rice arguing in public with co-owner Haywood Sullivan.
But Rice was clearly pleased with his new pact. A .303 career hitter who leads the majors in total bases and RBI over the last nine years, he slumped in 1984 to .280, his major league low.
Stanley, 30, said he becomes the fourth-highest-paid reliever, behind Bruce Sutter, Goose Gossage and Willie Hernandez.
"This should lay to rest that this ownership is not committed to winning," General Manager Lou Gorman said. But, while the Red Sox shed something of a cheapskate image of recent years, Gorman said he was "shocked" at the arbitration ruling in favor of three-year (.349, .361, .325) major leaguer Boggs, whom the club offered $675,000 . . .
Pete Rose predicts he will get his 95th hit of the season, 4,192nd lifetime, to break Ty Cobb's career record on Aug. 26. The Reds will be host to the Cardinals that day . . .
Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth, testifying with Brewers and American League officials in Milwaukee against projected construction of a maximum-medium security state prison adjacent to County Stadium, said: "I came here to protect the franchise (with the majors' smallest market). It is a fragile franchise" . . .
Van Lingle Mungo, a hard-throwing right-hander who won 81 games and lost 71 for the Brooklyn Dodgers in a five-year span of the 1930s and led the league in strikeouts (238) in 1936, died at 74 Tuesday in his native Pageland, S.C. He closed out with a 14-7 season for the 1945 New York Giants for a 120-115 career. More recently, 1970, Mungo was memorialized as the title name in a song stringing together great old baseball names. His daughter operated the Pam E K doughnut shops in Northern Virginia until her death a year or two ago.