PADRE UPDATE : NOTEBOOK / BOB NIGHTENGALE : Draft Pick's Mother Says He Probably Won't Sign

Janet Hamilton, the mother of Padre No. 1 draft pick Joey Hamilton, said Friday that it looks almost hopeless that the club will be able to sign her son by the Thursday deadline.

"I finally talked with (Padre General Manager) Joe McIlvaine for the first time in six weeks," Hamilton said, "but it doesn't look good. Our discussions were not positive at all.

"His stance remains the same. And our stance remains the same. We're still standing in the same place as we were six weeks ago. I know what we want, and I know what he's saying, and right now the 'twain should not meet.

"I think we could make our decision right now, but we'll give them every opportunity. They have until Thursday, it's that simple."

Joey Hamilton, according to sources, is seeking a signing bonus of nearly $700,000. The Padres have offered $350,000. If they fail to come to an agreement by Thursday, Hamilton will begin his senior year at Georgia Southern University and re-enter the draft in a year.

The biggest risk involved is that Hamilton will have little leverage in leverage in next year's draft. Also, it provided a bit of a scare this week when pitcher John Burke, who shunned the Houston Astros' $400,000 offer and went back to school, broke his ankle and could miss the start of the baseball season.

"Anything can happen at any time," Hamilton said. "We realize that. But does that mean you won't cross the street because the fear of being run over. I don't think there's any use worrying over something like that.

"I also think we'll have plenty of leverage next year. This time, we won't be bound and gagged by the NCAA.

"I'm just going to be glad when this whole thing is over in a few days. It's been very stressful. It's been very frustrating. I never imagined it would be like this.

"Really, it's been a nightmare."

Right fielder Tony Gwynn said that fluid has built up in his left knee again and was considering the option of having it drained this weekend and missing the Giant series.

"It's still pretty sore," Gwynn said. "We'll have to wait and see what happens. I want to play, but I just don't know if it's possible.

Also absent from the lineup Friday was shortstop Tony Fernandez. He is in midst of one of the longest slumps of his career--hitless in his past 20 at-bats. Padre Manager Greg Riddoch said he'll rest Fernandez on a regular basis the remainder of the season.

Giant outfielder Kevin Mitchell missed Friday's game and is questionable for the series with a sore right wrist, caused last Sunday when he collided with center fielder Darrin Lewis. He was examined Friday by Dr. David White, who diagnosed tissue damage.

Mitchell, who was available for pinch-hitting duties, said he's still upset at Lewis.

"I try to do something for myself the last month," Mitchell said, "and this guy is playing battering ram. He thinks he's the police.

"My homeboys have been calling me from San Diego. They say, 'Man, what's wrong with Darrin Lewis.' I don't know, the man's just aggressive."

Padre outfielder Jim Vatcher heads a list of nine players who were selected Friday as winners of the Werner Award, presented to each of the Most Valuable Players on the Padres' nine farm teams.

The 1991 Werner winners, an award named after Padre chairman Tom Werner: Vatcher, Las Vegas; Frank Seminara and Guillermo Velasquez, Wichita; Matt Mieske, High Desert; Darrius Gash and Lance Painter, Waterloo; Jeff Brown, Charleston; Mark Anthony, Spokane; and Manny Cora, Scottsdale.

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