Met Outfielder Cleon Jones was called a disgrace to baseball after he managed to get arrested for sleeping nude in a van with a woman not his wife on a street in the middle of St. Petersburg, Fla. at 5 a.m. But the man whose behavior in the matter was truly disgraceful was M. Donald Grant, the Mets' general manager.
The indecent exposure charges against Jones were dropped (the police, after all, were the only citizens who bothered to peer into the van), but Grant fined Jones $2,000, four times as much as a Met had ever been assessed before, and then had the temerity to make Jones apologize abjectly in public.
Grant, the picture of self-righteousness, hauled Jones, accompanied by his wife, before a press conference so that Jones could confess his sin. "We have to restore the Mets' image," said Grant, who meanwhile was making quite an image of himself. It seemed appropriate to Grant at one point to tell, in the presence of the chastened Joneses, a story about a man who wanted to have 11 women in one night.
The Joneses should not have been subjected to such treatment. Baseball fans should not have been subjected to such a show. It is now Grant's turn to apologize, if he can do it with dignity.
BUREAUCRACY IN ACTION
This week the spool of red tape goes to the California Interscholastic Federation for allowing a rule to stand that will prevent one of California's best sprinters, Evelyn Ashford of Roseville High School near Sacramento, from competing in the All-State girls' track meet in San Diego next month.
Evelyn, who is 18 and a senior at Roseville, has run the 100 in 10.3, only .3 off the women's world record. Since Roseville does not have a girls' track team, the boys' assistant coach, Don Hicks, invited her to join his team. And that's where the trouble arose. Because she runs with boys, Evelyn is not allowed by the CIF to run against girls, and since her times do not qualify her for the All-State boys' track meet, she is now ineligible to compete for any state high school championship.
There is another Davis, a younger sister, coming along who is said to be even faster than Evelyn. Perhaps by the time she's ready the CIF will be, too.