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BASEBALL
Peter Gammons
August 01, 1988
CLEANING HOUSE
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August 01, 1988

Baseball

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MAKING THEM COUNT
How can nine home runs be almost as good as 18? Simple. Mike Pagliarulo's nine homers have produced 21 runs for the Yankees, while Barry Bonds has driven in only 22 Pirates with his 18 dingers. Here are the players with the best and worst runs-per-homer ratios this season.

HOME RUNS

RUNS

RUN PER HOMER

BEST

Mike Pagliarulo , Yankees

9

21

2.33

Mike Greenwell , Red Sox

15

30

2.00

Ellis Burks , Red Sox

12

24

2.00

Steve Balboni , Mariners

11

22

2.00

WORST

Andres Thomas, Braves

10

11

1.10

Kal Daniels , Reds

9

10

1.11

Steve Buechele, Rangers

10

12

1.20

Barry Bonds , Pirates

18

22

1.22

Through July 23

SOURCE: STATS, INC.

CLEANING HOUSE

You've heard the horror stories before. There's the one about MVP slugger George Foster, who made $2 million a year with the Mets, then lost much of it following bad investments. Or the sorry tales of two-time National League batting champ Tony Gwynn, who filed for bankruptcy last year, or three-time Cy Young winner Steve Carlton, who sued his agent in 1983 and is still in financial straits. And that's not to mention the clients of former agent LaRue Harcourt—pitcher Don Sutton and third baseman Ken Reitz among them—who lost millions because of financial mismanagement.

But that, hopefully, should change soon, now that the Major League Players Association has put into effect a new program to certify anyone who negotiates contracts for players. The first phase of the program, which was devised by players' association director Donald Fehr and associate counsel Gene Orza after extended discussions with the players, involved gathering detailed information from agents concerning every aspect of their professional relationships with their clients.

The information will be used not only to certify agents, but also to help players make informed choices about whom they pick to represent them. One agent, in a panic, recently asked a players' association official, "What happens if one of my clients finds out that what I tell you is different than what I told him?" The reply: "That's what it's all about."

In August, Fehr will be sending each club a list of the agents who have received preliminary certification. Any team that deals with an uncertified agent will be in violation of the Basic Agreement between the players' association and the owners.

The new program also 1) limits player-agent contracts to one year, 2) prohibits agents from charging players for representation who are making the major league minimum salary or less, 3) assures that each player will receive copies of his contract written in his first language, 4) guarantees players the right to audit their agents at any time and 5) puts restrictions on what agents can do to attract new clients.

So far the program has received a generally enthusiastic reception from agents as well as players. "I'm all for it," says Bob Woolf, who represents Boston's Bob Stanley and Milwaukee's B.J. Surhoff "I've always thought anybody representing an athlete should be licensed and supervised. The stricter the better. It only takes an irresponsible few to reflect poorly on our whole industry."

BASEBALL CHATTER

? Minnesota catcher Tim Laudner on Cleveland reliever Doug Jones's changeup: "It is as dominant a pitch as Bruce Sutter's forkball used to be. It seems to stop, wait for the batter to swing, then goes on its way."

?"What year will ( Red Sox outfielder] Ellis Burks be the MVP?" asks Twins manager Tom Kelly. "In 1989, 1990? Not much later."

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