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Padre Notebook : Padres Could Send Brown Packing

Times Staff Writer

Outfielder Bobby Brown walked into Jack McKeon’s office last Thursday, the day the Padres obtained outfielder Marvell Wynne, and asked: “What’s the deal? Are you gonna release me?”

At which point, McKeon said, yes, he was thinking about it.

At which point, Brown, 31, said, “If you’re gonna release me, release me now.”

McKeon confirmed this story Saturday.

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“I told him I wasn’t in the position to make the decision (on his release) at this particular time,” McKeon said. “But I was being up front with him and saying, ‘Hey, that definitely is a possibility.’ . . . He was saying ‘If you’re gonna release me, release me now,’ but I said: ‘Bobby, I’m not going to release you now. It may come to that. It may be tomorrow (Sunday), it may be the next day, it may be the following day. But I’m not going to release you now even though that may be the way I’m leaning.”

Brown, who said he didn’t want to comment on this yet, has a guaranteed contract worth approximately $135,000. So if the Padres release him, they must pay him.

Brown, however, could be financially set for years to come anyway. He and Chicago Cub outfielder Jerry Mumphrey have started a firm called Major League Dairies. He’s opening franchises around the country, and he is also involved in distributing. So a life without baseball would be feasible for him, he says.

Now, the Padre roster sits at 25 players, and they must get down to 24 sometime today.

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The options:

(a) Release Brown.

(b) Put pitcher LaMarr Hoyt on the disabled list and operate with a nine-man pitching staff.

(c) Release Brown, put Hoyt on the disabled list and bring up another pitcher from Triple A.

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How well Hoyt pitches today, in a planned two-inning stint here against Minnesota, probably will be the determining factor. Hoyt has developed a “knot” in his right bicep muscle, and the Padres want to see how it feels.

“We have to get a better handle where LaMarr is,” Manager Steve Boros said. “That’s the key right now. That’s what is holding up the decision making.”

Catcher Terry Kennedy officially resigned as player representative Saturday.

He had decided to do it long ago, but he gave the news to the team in a meeting just before the game.

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“After this road trip (in Los Angeles next week), we’ll find an interim to take my place,” Kennedy said. “And then they’ll vote for a new player rep in June. As a regular player, I just don’t have the time (for the job). I picked the worst two years to do it. Ideally, it’s a job for a starting pitcher. They’ve got the time.

“But I learned a lot about the association and got insight into how things are between management and players. I don’t regret it.”

Did the news shock the players?

“They couldn’t care less,” Kennedy said. “Time will tell if I did a good job or not. We’ll see how the next guy does. My job was to inform, never to coerce. I just informed players of all the issues.”

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Owner Joan Kroc said in an interview Thursday that she wanted team president Ballard Smith to ask players what they thought about eliminating beer from the clubhouse and maybe from team flights.

Here’s what Kennedy thinks:

“I don’t see why they should. Not everybody has a drinking problem, and the availability of it won’t cause drinking problems.”

Also, the Padre front office has been thinking about getting players’ wives to voice their opinions on alcohol, etc.

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“I think you’d have a hard time getting guys to go for that,” Kennedy said. “It’s a touchy subject.”

Marvell Wynne joined the team for Saturday’s game, a 8-4 loss to the Twins, and he showed up wearing No. 7 on his jersey.

“Oh boy, you got the wrong number!” said Tony Gwynn.

It used to belong to Kurt Bevacqua.

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“They offered me 5 and 7 and 23 and 24,” Wynne said. “I wanted a single digit.”

Kennedy told him “Oh, you should’ve taken 23. That was Dick Williams’.”

Wynne, by the way, was second baseman Bip Roberts’ roommate in the Pirates’ 1985 spring training camp.

“I call him my son,” Wynne said of Roberts, who’s 5-foot-7. “I say, ‘C’mon son. Let’s get something to eat. Ha! Ha!”

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Padre Notes

Marvell Wynne started in center field, while regular center fielder Kevin McReynolds moved to left. Boros said he will use that combination many times during the season, especially late in a game for defensive purposes. . . . . Regular left fielder Carmelo Martinez started at first base Saturday, and regular first baseman Steve Garvey was the designated hitter. . . . Outfielder Jerry Davis, sent to Triple-A by the Padres last week, reinjured his left knee Saturday and early reports are that he’ll be out three months. Davis, 27, suffered cartilage and ligament damage in the knee back in January, had arthroscopic surgery and made it back for spring training. But he was going back on a fly ball Saturday and the knee gave out when he stepped onto the warning track in left field. . . . Davis will be replaced on the roster by outfielder Gary Woods, who was released by the Cubs last week. “It’s nice to know a guy like Gary Woods is only a phone call away,” Boros said. . . . Saturday’s game got scary for a moment. In the fifth, Padre starter Andy Hawkins was hit in the hand by a hard ground ball, and he was grimacing in pain. He took some practice pitches, though, and continued. But he gave up a double to the Twins’ Steve Lombardozzi and then a triple to Kirby Puckett. He was replaced then by Tim Stoddard, whose first pitch was hit by Mark Salas for a home run. Minnesota scored five times that inning and went on to win. “Andy was doing really well until that inning,” Manager Steve Boros said. “But the injury’s nothing serious. He could bend his fingers. He could grip his (trainer Larry Duensing) hand. There was not thought at all of a break.” . . . For the Padres, Terry Kennedy hit his third homer of the spring, and Carmelo Martinez went 3 for 4 with an RBI.


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