A flip brought outfielder Kal Daniels back into the Cincinnati fold. A flippant remark sent outfielder Darryl Strawberry out of the New York Mets' camp.
"It's just another day in paradise," said Al Harazin, the Mets' vice president of operation.Daniels' contract dispute was settled Thursday when he won a coin toss made by Reds' owner Marge Schott. Reds' spokesman Jon Braude said Schott called heads, but the coin came up tails. Consequently, Daniels - who had walked out of training camp Wednesday - will be paid $325,000, the lowest figure he said he would accept.
Daniels, 25, received $185,000 last season. The Reds reportedly offered him no more than $300,000 for 1989, but Braude refused Thursday to confirm the team's offer.
"It was mutually agreed on," Braude said of the coin flip. "Kal said he's looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow."
Daniels has not been in the major leagues long enough to qualify for salary arbitration.
Strawberry walked out of the Mets' camp in a contract dispute after he took a swing at teammate Keith Hernandez. The Mets were assembling for the team picture when Hernandez reportedly shouted at Strawberry, "Why are you being such a baby bout this?"
Strawberry replied with an obscenity, the two then pointed fingers, and Strawberry swung at Hernandez before several teammates restrained the players.
"Something grazed me in the cheek, a backhand," Hernandez said. "I don't think he (Strawberry) wanted to hit me."
Strawberry, Hernandez and Manager Davey Johnson met with the team psychologist, and afterward Hernandez brushed aside the incident. "Everything's straight," the first baseman said. "We met and talked and straightened out our differences . . . if there were any."
Strawberry left camp, saying, "I'll be back when I feel like it."
Strawberry and his new agent, Eric Goldschmidt, want to renegotiate and extend a five-year contract signed in 1985 that pays the All-Star right fielder $1.4 million this year, with an option for $1.8 million in 1990.
Strawberry, who led the league with 39 homers, drove in 101 runs and was second in MVP voting last year, has sometimes talked of becoming a free agent and returning home to Los Angeles. He most recently said it just before the Mets and Dodgers met in the playoffs last year.
"We're happy to continue the discussions but I can't really say I'm terribly optimistic, given what they are looking for," Harazin said. "He left with his agent. I would like to think he would be back tomorrow, but I would be foolish to predict."
Despite the walkout, Goldschmidt said Strawberry would honor the 1989 contract.