The San Francisco Giants will play the 1986 baseball season at Candlestick Park, despite owner Bob Lurie's vow that the team would never play again in the wind-swept stadium, according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News.
The story in yesterday's editions cited "two sources close to the club's negotiations" with San Francisco city officials. It said Lurie will accept a city offer of reduced rent and other financial inducements at the city-owned stadium for a promise that San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein and the city's Board of Supervisors will continue to search for ways to involve the city in a plan to build a downtown ballpark.
Lurie has said repeatedly that the construction of a downtown park is the key element in an effort to make his National League team financially viable. His failure to find a downtown alternative to Candlestick Park has fueled fears the Giants might leave San Francisco.
No figures on the city's offer were available. However, according to the Mercury News, "Sources said the Giants' rent at Candlestick likely would be reduced significantly." Last season, the Giants paid the city $840,000.
Lurie reportedly lost about $5 million in 1985, and the team had been for sale. Representatives of two Washington, D.C., groups reportedly had spoken with Lurie about purchasing the National League team and moving it there . . .
Dwight Gooden, the New York Mets' Cy Young Award-winning pitcher, had his injured left ankle examined by club physician James Parkes yesterday and was told he would be "100 percent by the beginning of spring training."
Gooden said he injured the ankle when he tripped over a drainpipe while shagging fly balls hit by his 17-year-old nephew in a Tampa, Fla., park Jan. 5.
Mets publicity director Jay Horwitz said at a news conference at Shea Stadium that Parkes said the injury was "an uncomplicated mild sprain of the left ankle . . . "
Randy Bass, the American whose slugging led the Hanshin Tigers to their first Japanese championship in 1985, has agreed to a contract that is expected to earn him $650,000 in 1986, Japanese news reports said.
The figure, $150,000 more than what he reportedly made in 1985, would make Bass the highest-paid baseball player in Japan.
Bass has played three seasons with the Tigers, a team based in Osaka in western Japan. Last year, the left-handed first baseman was named his league's most valuable player and won the Japan professional sports Grand Prix award. He hit .350, drove in 134 runs and hit 54 home runs, one short of the Japanese record, set in 1964 during a longer season.