McKEON'S CHOICE: Jack McKeon has notified Padres Chairman Tom Werner that he would like to relinquish his job as manager and remain solely as the club's vice president of baseball operations, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"I came down {from the front office} originally to help the club out," said McKeon, who replaced Larry Bowa on May 28, 1988. "I never thought I'd manage again, and certainly I never had the intention of being a long-term manager."

MOVES: Pittsburgh put C Don Slaught on 15-day DL, recalled C Dann Billardello. . . . San Diego optioned OF Jerry Clark (.269) to Las Vegas, called up OF Thomas Howard (.325 in PCL). . . . Oakland activated P Reggie Harris from the DL (preseason hepatitis, sore shoulder), shipped OF Doug Jennings (.189) to Tacoma.

DAY IN COURT: The Cardinals' Tom Pagnozzi, Frank DiPino and Greg Mathews have rejected an offer to settle disorderly conduct charges against them, their lawyer Jim Kidney saying they want their names cleared. They were arrested May 19 for a fight in Covington, Ky., across the river from Cincinnati, a few hours after St. Louis played the Reds.

"These fellows are heroes, not villains," Kidney said. "They came to the aid of a woman being attacked by an unknown assailant."

FLAG BURNING: Old Glory burned before thousands in the birthplace of American independence, but it wasn't a free speech demonstration. Accidentally ignited by fireworks over Veterans Stadium after the Phillies game Monday night, a cloth Stars and Stripes flown about 50 feet above the stands in center field swiftly went up in flames.

The flag has been replaced, but with more fireworks planned after tonight's game, it was moved temporarily to another pole.

REDSOXSKINS: "We're a blue-collar team," Boston SS Jody Reed says. "We're like the Washington Redskins -- on the ground, grind it out, just keep it going."