PADRES UPDATE : NOTEBOOK / BOB NIGHTENGALE : Pendleton Praises Riggleman as a Motivator, Players' Manager

They spotted one another by the batting cage, and within seconds were in a warm embrace, congratulating one another.

They first met in 1982 in Little Rock, Ark. The infielder was in his first year of professional baseball at St. Petersburg, Fla. He was playing for a first-year manager.

Now, nine years after working together, Terry Pendleton is the defending National League Most Valuable Player. Jim Riggleman is on the third day of his job as Padre manager.

"I'm happy to see him here," the Atlanta Braves third baseman said. "He's worked his butt off. I played for him in A ball, and believe me, I'm happy as anybody for him.

"He's the type of guy who's always going to stick behind his players. Right or wrong, he'll always stick by you, and players know that.

"He's done everything ever asked of him, and he's won all the way up. He's a great motivator. He'll really get your butt in gear. If you get out of line, he'll get you right back in line."

Pendleton still remembers his indoctrination to Riggleman. There was a loud argument between two teammates, and Riggleman quickly summoned them into his office.

"He said, 'I want to talk to you both of you right now. Do you want to talk about this, or do you want to fight about it?' He was very sincere about it, too."

End of argument.

Pendleton and Riggleman later found themselves together in St. Louis. Pendleton was the starting third baseman, and Riggleman was manager Whitey Herzog's first-base coach. Pendleton knew he soon would see Riggleman as a big-league manager.

"He's worked hard to get here," Pendleton said. "He learned baseball, believe me, when he was around Whitey Herzog.

"He definitely learned baseball."

Said Riggleman: "He's a class act, all the way. I told him I'm real happy for him, and he expressed the same to me."

It had been three years since he last set foot into San Diego Jack Murphy, but there he was sitting in the visitor's bullpen, wearing familiar No. 48.

His name?

Mark Davis, the Padres' 1989 Cy Young winner.

"It's been three years," Davis said, "but things have changed quite a bit for that team. Shoot, not even the uniforms are the same color."

Nowadays, the Padres' bullpen closer is Randy Myers, who has 36 saves. And just like Davis three years ago when he had 44 saves, Myers too is a free agent and expects to be departing.

"I really would like to pitch while I'm here," said Davis, who signed a free-agent contract with the Kansas City Royals. "It's just so nice to come back. It was just such a good feeling because we played as a team. I probably pitched as consistently here as anywhere."

Davis struggled in Kansas City the past 2 1/2 years, losing his closer's role to Jeff Montgomery, and was traded July 21 to the Braves.

"When I first got here, they were on such a roll," Davis said of the Braves. "I had never been on a team with that much confidence, but that '89 (Padre) team came about as close."

If the Padres are worried about the Atlanta Braves now, just wait 'til next year.

The Braves, according to a source, are expected to strongly pursue free-agent outfielder Barry Bonds.

"It's going to be their No. 1 off-season priority," the source said.

Don't be surprised if the Braves also try to lure free-agent catcher Benito Santiago of the Padres.

The Padre organization announced the eight winners of the second annual Werner awards for the Most Valuable Players of each farm team:

Triple-A Las Vegas: Second baseman Jeff Gardner, .335 and 82 runs scored.

Double-A Wichita: Outfielder Darryl Sherman, .332 and 60 runs scored in only 64 games before being promoted.

Class A High Desert: Outfielder Ray McDavid, .276, 24 homers, 94 RBIs and 43 stolen bases.

Class A High Desert: Second baseman Billy Hall, .356, 92 runs and 49 stolen bases.

Class A Waterloo: Second baseman Jason Hardtke, .304, eight homers, 47 RBIs.

Class A Charleston: Left-hander Jeff Huber, 8-3, 2.91 ERA, nine saves.

Rookie League Spokane: Shortstop Sean Drinkwater, .301, 41 RBIs, 35 runs.

Arizona League: Right-hander Todd Erdos, 3-4, 2.65 ERA.

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