Show Follows Up Padres' Big Show With a Tirade

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Pitcher Eric Show, accusing the Padre organization of abusing his talents and ostracizing him, said Sunday that he wants to be traded or released from the Padres as quickly as possible.

"I've got to go," Show said, "it's that simple. I want to start over again, get a fresh start. I don't say it out of anger or anything, it's just a fact, that's all.

"In my mind, I look back at the last three, four years, and I don't feel like I've been respected at all. Not one ounce. I think I deserve at least that.

"There's been a lot of back-stabbing, talking behind my back, and I'm really tired of it all. You feel like you're not wanted, you have no respect, no nothing, and that's when it's really hard to perform here.

"I know the grass isn't always greener on the other side. I might have problems somewhere else, but I'm willing to take chances."

Show's outburst occurred Sunday afternoon before the Padres' 9-0 victory over the Houston Astros, with Derek Lilliquist pitching a four-hit shutout, which not only was the first complete game of his career, but the first shutout.

It enabled the Padres to complete the most successful trip in their 22-year history, winning nine of 11 games during the trip, outscoring their opposition 63-37. Heck, outfielder Joe Carter drove in 21 runs by himself.

Show was the winning pitcher in two of the victories--one as a starter and one in relief--but he was angered that Lilliquist was given the start instead of him Sunday, prompting his trade request.

"It's kind of like the last straw," Show said. "You feel like you're not wanted. You get no respect, no nothing, and that makes it hard to perform."

Show, the most successful pitcher in Padre history with 98 victories, has struggled this season with a 4-8 record, 6.25 earned-run average. Although he said he was free of pain from his back surgery of Aug. 2, 1989, he opened the season with an 0-5 record in his first six starts. He was demoted to the bullpen, and has bounced back and forth until Friday when Padre Manager Greg Riddoch informed him that he's back in the bullpen to stay.

"You know, there's a lot of things I've had to overcome this year," Show said. "I wanted some slack, and I got no slack at all. I can't demand preferential treatment, but basically the message that's been sent to me is that they don't believe in me.

"I'm being systematically ignored."

Riddoch said: "If he wants to sit there and cry in the corner, he can cry alone. No one's going to go over there with him. . . . He can alienate himself or do whatever he wants.

"The team goal has to come in front of the individual goal, and if he chooses not to accept that, it's his prerogative."

The Padres, in fact, have been attempting to adhere to Show's demands long before Sunday's admonishment on the entire organization. Jack McKeon, Padre vice president/baseball operations, put Show on the trading block back in May, but no team made an offer.

McKeon, sources said, even went so far a month ago to inform Arn Tellem, Show's agent, to telephone clubs himself and bring back any trade proposals. McKeon still is waiting to hear from him.

Show, however, says that if there indeed is no interest, the Padres are to blame. He claims one of the primary reasons that he's banished to the bullpen is because of his contract.

The Padres must exercise an option in Show's contract for 1991 that would pay him a minimum of $1.1 million, and as much as $1.7 million, if he pitches 175 innings this season. Yet, by making only 11 starts, he has pitched just 76 1/3 innings this season. The Padres now are only contractually obligated to pay him a $250,000 buyout clause at the end of the season, or $50,000 if he is traded.

"The Padres essentially lied about the contract," Show said. "They never followed up on their option like they said they would.

"I have a long list of things for the last three years. I haven't been great or anything, but they've been conspicuously silent about me. I've never been on any promotional stuff, or nothing. . . .

"The thing that really bothers me the most is that you appear to be the recipient of what appears to be that the entire internal baseball management hierarchy is dominated and perpetuated by fear. Everybody's got to cover their butt because of one division or another, and the ultimate effect of that is you don't put the best team on the field a lot.

"What you end up doing is making sure you don't get the blame. That becomes the emphasis. It's sad."

Show, who didn't leave out one facet of the Padre operation in his 25-minute verbal assault, particularly was critical of Pat Dobson, Padre pitching coach.

"I felt he was a lot more tolerable when things were going well," Show said. "He has the ability to turn very quickly. This is a watch-out-for-yourself syndrome. He's not one you can trust very much.

"I don't mean to stab the guy real hard or anything, but that's the truth."

Just how does he describe his relationship with Dobson, his pitching coach of the past three seasons?

"Manic depressive," Show said.

Said Dobson: "I could say the same thing, just leave out the manic part and say depressing.

"It's pretty hard to have a relationship with somebody who has no personality."

Show's primary complaint with Dobson is that instead of spending time in the bullpen to help him correct his pitching problems, he has ridiculed him.

Dobson became incensed when he learned of Show's accusations, and said, "The whole thing is absolutely absurd. If we're going to proclaim who the idiot is, I have a whole long list of things that have happened the last three years, and then we'll let the public decide.

"What, he's going to blame me because he's pitching horse? That's perfect. The whole thing is a cop-out. For him to say any of his woes are my problem is ridiculous.

"If he would have retained one-half of what I've been beating on him . . . but he can't retain anything I'm trying to teach him.

"The thing that gets me is that when he won 16 games two years ago, and got $2.5 million, I never got any credit. Now that he's going horse . . . he blames me.

"That's beautiful, isn't it?"

It remains to be seen just what will transpire in the Show adventure once the Padres begin their nine-game home stand Tuesday against the Montreal Expos. It's possible the Padres could release him, but Riddoch said Show is capable of contributing to the team, as he demonstrated Saturday night when he pitched an inning of relief for the victory.

Yet, Show is skeptical just what the Padres have in mind the remaining seven weeks, and wonders if they even want to him succeed?

"At times it's entered my mind," Show said. "That's what it's seemed like. Lots of people have come up to me, and some are pretty important people on this team, and that's how they viewed it too.

"I still think I can pitch three to five more years, but I know it won't be here. I'm just tired of dealing with it."

So, just where would Show like to be pitching next season?

"Beggers can't be choosers, can they?" Show said, shrugging his shoulders.

Padre Notes

Padre starter Andy Benes is expected to join the Padres Tuesday after leaving the club Saturday to attend "a family problem." The Padres refuse to disclose details of his departure, only to say that it does not involve an illness in the family. . . . Derek Lilliquist's complete-game shutout was not only his first in the major leagues, but his first in professional baseball. "There was a lot of concern not only about my longevity," Lilliquist said, "but that these guys were hitting .600 off me." Indeed, Lilliquist entered the game with a 0-2 record against the Astros with a 7.50 ERA, but on this night, he allowed only two hits the final seven innings. "I've got to give a lot of credit to Pat Dobson," Lilliquist said. "He's really worked on my delivery, and he's turned me around." Said Dobson: "To tell you the truth, we were just hoping to get five or six innings from him, and hopefully keep us in the game. We never expected this." . . . Tom Werner, Padre chairman, telephoned Riddoch immediately after the game to congratulate him on the trip . . . Just how amazing is the fact that Joe Carter had 21 RBIs on the Padres' 11-game trip? He had more RBIs in 10 days than teammates Shawn Abner (12), Fred Lynn (16), Mark Parent (14) and Phil Stephenson (15) have totalled the entire season. . . . The Astros extended the contract of Manager Art Howe through the 1991 season, it was announced Sunday. "Art has done a good job given the tough circumstances during the 1990 season," said Bill Wood, Astro general manager. "The type of season we've had is misleading because we feel he's provided solid leadership right from the shortened spring training on through a difficult season. We're as confident in Art Howe and his managing abilities today as we were when we hired him in 1988."

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