Dick Williams Mends at Least One Fence : Ex-Padre Manager Apologizes to Coleman but Not to Front Office

Times Staff Writer

When last seen, Dick Williams, former Padre manager, was on the rampage. He called Jack McKeon, the Padre general manager, and Ballard Smith, the team president, "liars." And when Padre broadcaster Jerry Coleman asked Williams to do an interview, Williams declined.

"You're one of them, aren't you?" Williams said.

But on Saturday, when Williams' Seattle Mariners played the Padres here, Williams played humanitarian.

He walked across the field to find Coleman.

"I want to apologize, Jerry," he said.

"Accepted," Coleman said.

Later, Coleman explained: "Listen, I told him, 'We've known each other for 40 years.' Dick and I have always gotten along. He probably had a bad taste in his mouth before, and I was the person that happened to be there.

"I was never mad about it. It's done. It's over. Frankly, I was going to go up to him and say, 'Are you still mad?' But he beat me to it."

By the way, Williams didn't apologize to Smith and McKeon.

The Mariners defeated the Padres, 4-2, Saturday. Alvin Davis' bases-loaded double off Storm Davis in the fifth inning drove in three runs. Davis, 0-2 this spring, gave up 10 hits and 4 runs in 6 innings.

"I'd like to see (Davis) being more aggressive," said Padre Manager Larry Bowa. "He's too laid back. That's my opinion. He's got to take charge, get after people."

Bowa said he will decide on his fifth starting pitcher Monday. It will be either Ed Wojna, who is will start today's game in Palm Springs against the Angels, or Jimmy Jones, who will start Monday's game in Palm Springs.

"I'll make the decision after Jones pitches Monday," Bowa said. "I'm not leaning toward anybody. I've got an open mind."

Bowa, however, has changed his mind. Previously, he had said Wojna could be his 10th pitcher if he doesn't make the rotation. But now he's saying the loser of the Wojna-Jones battle will be sent to Las Vegas. Why? Because if any of the Padre starters suffers an injury, the team wants to bring in a replacement who has been starting. Wojna wouldn't get many opportunities if he were the 10th pitcher.

So the 10th pitcher will be either left-hander Tom Gorman or right-hander Greg Booker. It'll probably be Gorman, according to Bowa, because Booker has been bothered by a forearm injury. Booker likely will begin the season on the disabled list, though Bowa said he will use him in today's game to see if he's feeling better.

Dick Williams on George Argyros, current owner of the Mariners and pending owner of the Padres:

"George is a good man. He called me before he announced it (the purchase of the Padres). We'll meet for dinner after he gets back from London (where Argyros is now), and I'll give him some input. . . . Whatever I know about the San Diego club, I'll be glad to tell him."

Williams, by the way, was one of the people who suggested to Argyros that the Mariners sign free-agent outfielder Tim Raines.

"You're talking about a quality player," Williams said. "Anyone who says they wouldn't want him would be lying."

Williams, in fact, says he is the person who gave Raines' home phone number to Argyros. Raines' agent, Tom Reich, was upset that Argyros called Raines at home.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World