Rickey Henderson says he's sorry. Darryl Strawberry says he may leave. And the Boston Red Sox just have a lot to say about everything.
The Grapefruit League started Thursday as Boston was scheduled to play the Chicago White Sox in Sarasota, Fla. But most of the baseball news is being made off the field.
Strawberry said Wednesday he would walk out of the New York Met camp in Port St. Lucie, Fla., today if there is no progress on his demand to renegotiate his contract.
Eric Goldschmidt, Strawberry's agent, previously had set deadlines of late February to guarantee the All-Star outfielder $7 million through 1992. Goldschmidt met with Met vice president Al Harazin in the New York two weeks ago to discuss an extension and was to meet with him again today.
"He (Strawberry will come to practice tomorrow (today)," Goldschmidt said. "Whether he remains or comes the next day will be determined by our meeting."
Meanwhile, Henderson said he made a mistake when he claimed that excessive drinking hurt the Yankees' chances last season, and his teammates said Wednesday they would forgive and forget.
"Now I can say I stuck a foot in my mouth. Whatever we do as a team we should keep to ourselves," Henderson said at the Yankees' camp in Fort Lauderdale. "Maybe I didn't do it right," he added. "Maybe it was right for them to get upset."
Henderson specified that drinking by some players - he named ex-Yankees Bob Shirley, Neil Allen and Tim Stoddard - disrupted the team the last two years and hurt its pennant chances.
"It's going to affect family lives," reliever Dave Righetti said. "It's going to affect outside people coming in asking questions. Right now we're all being labeled alcoholics. I don't like to be labeled like that. Maybe we're just not good enough."
In Winter Haven, the Red Sox took their numerous gripes to management Wednesday in a meeting designed to open a line of communication between players and the front office. "It was brought on by all the stuff said during the off-season," player representative Rich Gedman said.
Gedman and pitcher Roger Clemens met behind closed doors for one hour with Red Sox co-owner Haywood Sullivan, general manager Lou Gorman, public relations director Dick Bresciani and traveling secretary Jack Rogers.
Clemens sharply criticized the club in a Boston television interview in December, complaining about ballpark seating for families, the players' wives' waiting room, parking, the lack of clubhouse phones and other things.
Bresciani said the Clemens' refusal to talk to the media in Florida since he signed a three-year contract worth $7.5 million also was discussed briefly.
"Roger said he is sticking to his decision not to talk during spring training," Bresciani said. "However, he said that once the season starts he will talk after games he pitches."
Wade Boggs' highly publicized affair with Margo Adams, detailed in her lawsuit and in Penthouse magazine, has topped the Boston soap opera and left many players edgy in the clubhouse.
"I think it was a very productive meeting," Gedman said. "We just talked over a lot of things. They said they would see what they can do on many of the issues we brought up."