The Red Sox are worried that their probable 1989 MVP, Nick Esasky, may leave as a free agent when his contract expires at season's end. He has refused to negotiate with Boston, and there is speculation that he will go to Atlanta. Braves general manager Bobby Cox lives near Esasky's home in Marietta, Ga.... One requirement for baseball's approval of Emmis Broadcasting's purchase of the Mariners is that future co-owner Jeff Smulyan move to Seattle. He has assured commissioner Bart Giamatti, Brewers owner Bud Selig and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf that he would. It's too bad the sale didn't happen last year, before the Mariners lost Mark Langston and Mike Moore, but Seattle still has some of the best young talent in the league.... Padres second baseman Roberto Alomar has emerged from manager Jack McKeon's doghouse with some superb play. When Alomar failed to cover first on a sacrifice bunt in a 3-1 loss to the Giants on June 24, McKeon exploded, singling out Alomar and catcher Benito Santiago for lackadaisical play. From that game through San Diego's three-game sweep of the Mets last week, Alomar was batting .310. In the New York series he hit two homers to double his season's total and, in Sunday's 13-7 finale, knocked in a career-high five runs.