It’s Show and Tell Time Once Again : Padre Pitcher Says He’s Been Misunderstood by His Teammates

Times Staff Writer

No longer is it only Eric Show vs. Carmelo Martinez. It’s Eric Show vs. Tim Flannery. And it’s Show vs. Tony Gwynn. And it’s Show vs. Garry Templeton. Anyone else want a piece of this guy?

What? Everyone?

When Show and Martinez had a shoving match during Wednesday’s game here, batting coach Deacon Jones held Martinez back.

“And guys were mad at me,” Jones said.

Misunderstood again, naturally.

Just by his very nature, Show creates criticism. Often, and he’ll admit this, he pouts when things go poorly for him. Like he did when Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb’s all-time record against him. Often, and he’ll admit this too, he is much too candid, saying to the media and anyone in the immediate vicinity that he has no luck, something his teammates wish he wouldn’t do.

During the third inning Wednesday night, for instance, Martinez overheard Show speaking, and from what he gathered, Show was telling Padre pitching coach Galen Cisco that a ball hit by Dave Parker to Martinez’ territory in left field should have been caught. Enough was enough, Martinez must have thought to himself. And, just as the fifth inning was beginning, Martinez and Show had words and shoves.

Later, Flannery said, “That’s why runs aren’t scored behind him. Guys don’t want to play for him. It’s gotten to the point where it’s sickening. I’m not putting up with it anymore. I’m tired of hearing about his unlucky luck (on the field).”


Gwynn, essentially, said the same thing.

As did Templeton.

Misunderstood again, naturally.

Cisco and Show confirmed Thursday that, no, Martinez never could have caught that ball and that, yes, Martinez had overheard something, but he interpreted it the wrong way. In other words, Cisco and Show say the whole thing was taken out of context.

“It stemmed from a conversation Eric and I had about his pitching,” Cisco said. “We were talking that he was getting away from what he did best, and I said he should get back to throwing fastballs and sliders. At the time (Martinez overheard), he made a remark that there were times he was jamming guys, and they’d flair them for base hits to left field. Carmelo heard that and assumed that he was saying the ball should’ve been caught.

“Eric didn’t say that. But unless you heard the whole conversation, you could assume he said it. I can see how Carmelo thought that.”

Show, who had left without speaking to reporters Wednesday because “too much was going on (with the Rose record and fight), and I wanted to get away and think,” said: “A bit of that conversation was heard by Carmelo, and he took it against him when I wasn’t even thinking about him or anyone else. But he approached me with an aggressive manner. What do I do? Stand there? I don’t want fights, but I don’t want name-calling or animosity. I didn’t think Rose’s hit or Parker’s hit should’ve been caught. I’m not that crazy.

“But it’s amazing that that many people jumped on the bandwagon.”

Not naming names or anything, he was alluding to Flannery and Gwynn and Templeton and everyone else who had suddenly voiced their displeasure.

And their words got back to Show, who backed into Flannery in the hotel lobby Thursday morning.

Show to Flannery: “Listen, Flann. If you’re going to make unfounded statements in the press when I’ve done nothing to you . . . If you’re going to make comments like that, am I within right to make unfounded comments about you? Be ready for an open war in the papers.”

Flannery to Show: “Remember, I’ve got a radio show.”

Later, Cisco, Show and Flannery had a little meeting to discuss the matter, and though Show would say later that the air had been cleared, Flannery said, “We talked, but I don’t know if we accomplished anything. He says I’m wrong, so maybe I’m wrong. Today’s a new day.”

Martinez, meanwhile, walked close to Flannery before Thursday’s game and said, “Let me be a guest on your radio show.”

And Martinez had said earlier: “I’ve never got anything against Eric before. He’s not my enemy. It was just a reaction. If he were the enemy, we’d still be fighting. I’m not proud of this. It just happened. They cannot call me a liar, though. That’s what I overheard.”

Still, misunderstanding or not, the post-game sideshow Wednesday night astonished Show.

“So much for team unity, I guess,” he said. “I thought I had a pretty good relationship here with most people. When I heard those comments, well, I guess I don’t. They say I get upset too easy? Then, they think too much, not me. We’ve got a good group of guys here, and I like to play with them, but it’s a lot easier to criticize when everything’s going right (for them).

“I had no idea that those type of unfounded statements and irresponsible comments would take place and would appear in the press. What we have here is a situation where people talked before knowing what they were talking about. And I guess there’s safety in numbers, too. It was a chance for some people to vent their frustrations on someone else. If we were winning, I don’t think any of this would’ve happened.

“I think it was a little bit of a cheap shot. I’m shocked. I wouldn’t say anything about them in the press, and there’s plenty I could say. I think they’ve violated an unwritten law. I’m not perfect. I have problems, and one of them is that I’m a little hard on myself.

“Just because I have a wide variety of interests (such as physics), I don’t think they should speculate on my problems. They don’t have the capacity to do that anyway, and they haven’t gathered the proper information. I have faults. I’m trying to learn. But I didn’t, in my wildest dreams, imagine that Flannery and the others would say what they said. I had no idea other players would make it a cinema production.”

Misunderstood again.