Juan Marichal, the Hall of Fame right-hander famous for his high leg kick, remembers the first time he met Jose Rijo. He didn't like him.
It had nothing to do with pitch selection or pickoff moves. Marichal's daughter, Rosie, was dating Rijo and brought the pitcher, then with Oakland, home to meet her dad. "He was immature. He was running around all over the place," Marichal said, none too happy that Rosie, attending San Francisco State college at the time, was dating a baseball player.
"Rosie never said anything about it. I don't want to say she lied, but she never told me about it," Marichal said.
When they finally met, Marichal said, "I was a little cold to him."
"It was tougher than facing any left-handed hitter," Rijo said of the meeting. "I had a little reputation."
Now, Rijo and Rosie are happily married. Rijo is Cincinnati's ace pitcher and Marichal is one of his biggest fans. And Rijo listens intently to advice from his father-in-law. "He's my hero. I hope I'm his hero," Rijo said.
The only flaw in this picture of happiness is that Marichal's loyalties are divided _ he is on the A's payroll as director of Latin America scouting.
The Marge file: The stories about Reds owner Marge Schott run the gamut from crazy to bizarre. But she denied a press box rumor that she was having her dog, Schottzie, fitted for a World Series ring: "It would have to be an awfully big ring. But it's a good idea. You writers do come up with some good ones."
Here's a theory: One reason for Oakland's problems in the World Series could be the ex-Cub factor. The theory, discovered by an Illinois man in 1978, is this: Any World Series team with three or more former Cubs will lose. After his initial findings in 1978, Ron Berler went back to 1945 to check his theory and has found that only one of 13 teams with three ex-Cubs has ever won the Series _ the 1960 Pirates. With the addition of Scott Sanderson this season, the A's have three former Chicago northsiders _ Sanderson, Dennis Eckersley and Ron Hassey. The Reds have two _ Billy Hatcher and Luis Quinones.
Media All-Stars: You could put together a pretty good team with the former players who are carrying microphones during the World Series. Pitchers include Marichal, Joe Nuxhall and Jim Kaat; catchers Tim McCarver, Johnny Bench and Joe Garagiola; infielders Joe Morgan, Ray Knight, Len Matuszek and Sadaharu Oh; and outfielders Ken Griffey Sr., Dave Parker and Gary Matthews.
Waiting for word: Players association chief Don Fehr is watching with interest to see if Roger Clemens is fined or suspended for his playoff-game tirade. "Suffice it to say, it would be a very strange world if he were disciplined and the umpire who dumped a player on his head wasn't," Fehr said, referring to a regular-season incident involving NL umpire Joe West and Von Hayes of the Phillies.
Bucs blues: It didn't take look for the glow to come off the Pirates' championship season. Already there are whispers among baseball people that some Pirates execs want to shop likely MVP Barry Bonds while his value is high and before he further destroys the clubhouse atmosphere. San Diego is a possibility. The team will make one offer to pitcher Zane Smith (three years, $6-million) and "that's it. No negotiating," according to general manager Larry Doughty. They also have to re-sign Sid Bream. The agent for R.J. Reynolds is making noises about more money. Free-agency looms in 1991 for Andy Van Slyke and Bobby Bonilla, and the following year for Doug Drabek and Bonds, if he's still around. No wonder it's hard to repeat as champions.
Around the leagues: The Yankees and Mariners are talking about a swap of relief pitchers _ Greg Cadaret for Mike Jackson. The Yanks are also interested in St. Louis free-agent third baseman Terry Pendleton and are getting calls about outfielder Jesse Barfield and prospect Bernie Williams. The Expos are resigned to losing Kevin Gross, the fourth starting pitcher to leave Montreal in two years. (Mark Langston, Pascual Perez and Bryn Smith are the others.) Don't expect the Cardinals to break the bank to keep free-agent outfielder Vince Coleman. The Cubs and Mariners are interested in Texas' Pete Incaviglia; the Mariners may also seek Braves shortstop Andres Thomas. The Phillies made a reported offer of more than $6-million over three years to keep free-agent catcher Darren Daulton. Former Cardinals coach Rich Hacker may be hired by Toronto. Mets third baseman Howard Johnson (of Clearwater High) is undergoing surgery to repair his shoulder and teammate Ron Darling is having elbow surgery.
They said it: Oakland's Mark McGwire, after taking a Rob Dibble fastball: "That one sounded high." Oakland's Jose Canseco, after the A's lost Game 1: "We never said we were robots. You guys did."
Miscellany: Public relations man Mike Swanson was the 19th San Diego Padres employee to be fired since late September. Negotiations are continuing between the major leagues and the minor leagues over a new player development contract. Mets vice president Al Harazin, who faces an interesting contract battle with free-agent outfielder Darryl Strawberry, was seen carrying around a paperback titled The Art of Negotiation.