The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 26, 1998 · Page 33
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March 26, 1998

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 33

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Thursday, March 26, 1998
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Page 33
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c THE PALM BEACH POST THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 1998 SC., Kotsay wins job; Eisenreich. Cangelosi staying lar and Dunwoody, both of whom may We'll take them in order. conversations going on, Dombrowski said. "And any deal that would happen before opening day would come completely out of nowhere." The Braves, Red Sox, Giants and Mets had expressed interest in Cangelosi, with the Braves the strongest pursuers. Kansas City and Los Angeles were the two most prominent teams that made efforts to get Eisenreich. But Atlanta decided to go with its young outfielders, and the teams that wanted Eisenreich wanted the Marlins to pick up too much of his $1.6 million guaranteed salary, so both will stay with the team. "I'm happy I'm staying, but I'm just glad it's over with," Cangelosi said. "On the other hand, it's kind of disappointing not going to Atlanta because they'll be a contender." Both players will be free agents after this season, and so the possibility remains that one or both could still be traded at some point during the season. "I'm happy to have them both," Ley-land said. "But I'm also sad because it affects some of the young players that felt they had a shot." Those young players would be Mil They made it The 13 position players who will make the Marlins' opening day roster, along with the positions they can play: Dave Berg 3B, SS, 2B Josh Booty 38 John Cangelosi LF, CF, RF Craig Counsell 2B Jim Eisenreich LF, RF, IB Cliff Floyd .... LF, CF, IB Ryan Jackson LF, RF, IB Charles Johnson C Mark Kotsay CF, RF, IB Derrek Lee 18 Edgar Renteria SS Gary Sheffield RF Gregg Zaun C Marlins position players appear set as three are sent to minor leagues. By Dan Graziano Palm Beach Post Staff Writer MELBOURNE Wednesday was decision day for the Florida Marlins. And while the roster isn't totally set, Jim Leyland has a lot better idea of who will be on his team than he had a few days ago. After Wednesday night's 5-4 loss to the Orioles, the Marlins sent outfielder Todd Dunwoody, first baseman Kevin Millar and infielder Chris Clapinski to the minor leagues, which means at least three things for certain: Mark Kotsay, the team's No. 1 draft pick in 1996, will be the starting center fielder for the 1998 Marlins. Jim Eisenreich and John Cangelosi, the veteran outfielders the Marlins have been trying to trade to reduce their payroll, will be with the team on opening day. Outfielderfirst baseman Ryan Jackson and infielder Dave Berg have made the team and will make their major-league debuts in 1998 with the Marlins. have made the team had Cangelosi and Eisenreich been traded. But instead Jackson and Berg beat out Millar and Clapinski for the two extra spots on the roster. "When you finally get that tap on the shoulder, it's pretty hard," said Millar, who hit .333 this spring. Jackson bats left-handed, and Millar bats right-handed, so Jackson is a better candidate to platoon with right-handed Derrek Lee at first base, should Lee struggle against right-handed pitchers. Jackson can also play left or right field. Berg is hitting .265 this spring and is a right-handed hitter who can play second, short or third. Eric, We Hardly Knew Ye: The news about the veteran outfielders made this one of the most interesting weeks in the life of Eric Owens. The Marlins acquired Owens on Saturday from the Reds for a player to be named later. Wednesday, they sold his contract to the Milwaukee Brewers for an undisclosed amount of cash. "It's a pretty unusual situation, to say the least," Dombrowski said. "But with the situation now with Jim and John on the club, we didn't have a spot for him ." Kotsay won a spring-long battle with Todd Dunwoody for the starting center fielder's job. Dunwoody is thought to be the better speed and power prospect of the "two and has three more years of professional experience. But Kotsay, the more polished player, only had to prove this spring that he was ready for the majors full-time, and he did that, hitting .321 with nine RBI and four stolen bases in 20 games. Dunwoody will head to Class AAA Charlotte, where he'll continue to work on improving his command of the strike zone and is likely to be the Marlins' first option should they need to call up an extra outfielder. "Obviously, I'm very excited," Kost-say said, "but at the same time, it's hard to be too happy because some of the guys you're close to are getting sent down." Before the game, Marlins General Manager Dave Dombrowski said the trades of Eisenreich and Cangelosi he'd been discussing with other teams had fallen through, and he now expects both veterans to be on the team when the regular season opens in five days. "As of now, we don't have any active White happy with Expos . . . really By Paul Pedersen Special to the Palm Beach Post PORT ST. LUCIE If there is such a thing as a throwback player, the Montreal Expos' Ron-dell White fits the description. 1000 NATIONWIDE MINUTES J99" A MONTH Marlins report HIGHLIGHT: Gary Sheffield, starting in right field for the second straight day, showed no signs of lingering foot or back injuries in the sixth inning. Sheffield singled to lead off the inning, then stole second but was called back on batter's interference. The next batter, Ryan Jackson, lined a double into right field, and Sheffield scored all the way from first to give the Marlins a short-lived 2-1 lead over the Orioles. LOWLIGHT: Relief pitcher Klrt Ojala gave away the lead in the top of the seventh, when he gave up four runs on three hits and two walks Left fielder Cliff Floyd went O-for-3 with three strikeouts and is now hitting .117 for the spring with 24 strikeouts in 60 at-bats. PROSPECT WATCH: Jackson went 2-for-2 with a walk and an RBI double, raising his spring batting average to .429 Starting pitcher Brian Meadows looked sharp against Baltimore's veteran lineup, giving up one run on two hits with four strikeouts and no walks In five innings. Meadows' spring ERA is now 2.45, with 1 1 strikeouts and no walks in 18Vi innings. QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Not only will I be changing diapers at home, I'll be changing them in the clubhouse, too." Outfielder Jim Eisenreich, who will turn 39 next month, has a three-month-old son, and is 17 years older than four members of the Marlins' opening day lineup. Dan Graziano Despite playing for a team that seemingly conducts a yearly fire-sale, the 26-year-old center fielder refuses to get frustrated. "I knew when I signed White f'f tfK l9.! ii mm mmm mum nifc'ir I V" my contract that (Montreal) does not really keep players around much," said White. In fact, White is appreciative of the Expos' willingness to have him. i "I'm grateful they drafted me (24th pick in June 1990 draft) and gave me a chance to play," said White, who led National League outfielders with a .992 fielding percentage last season. "I do hope they build a stadium so they can keep and sign more players and we can eventually make the playoffs. But I'm just Sprint PCS has the largest 100 digital, 100 PCS network in the country. That means clearer calls in over 600 cities across the U.S. And that's just the beginning: You'll get rates as low as lOtf a minute. y There are no roaming charges on the Sprint PCS nationwide network. The first incoming minute is free on our network. Make all your long-distance minutes toll-free for an additional $999 a month. Act now and get a mail-in rebate of up to $100 on a selection of Sprint PCS Phones;" II Till VJm. U ! l Ga? run, : t 1,1 ' !Ui 1-800-480-4PCS www.sprintpcs.com Sprint PCS" happy to play the game. White, in his third season of a five-year contract (the longest in Montreal history), passed some of the $10.3 million on to his family. "Signing my contract allowed me to do a lot for my parents," said White, whose biggest gift was a new home for them in Georgia. "I appreciate what I got, especially when compared to my dad," said White, whose father makes $30,000 per year as a 25-year supervisor for Georgia-Pacific. "I'm happy with what I'm making so I just take it." Despite contentment, he has had an off month in Florida. "This is the worst spring I've ever had," said White. "My knee has really held me back from working and playing." White, who played in a career-high 151 games, had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in the offseason. He has two goals for 1998. "Last year I played the most I've ever played, missing only 11 games," said White. "This year I want to play 11 more. "I hit terrible with runner in scoring position last year," said White who had 82 RBI in 1997. "I think I'm capable of (100 RBI). I just have to be more patient at the plate, believe in myself and quit PLAY THE BEST! $60 MONDAY -THURSDAY $65 FRIDAY-SUNDAY & HOLIDAYS $40$45 TWILIGHT RATES AFTER 2 P.M. (M0N.-THURS.FRI.-SUN.1H0LIDAYS) The Sprint Store At RadioShack. South Florida Business Sales 18881 245-4"2" Sprint PCS Centers: MIAMI The Prado 8"43 SMI 136 Si and IS. 1 North or the Falls Mill. Suite 2 (3051 259-1800 DELRAV BEACH The Plan it Delrav 1652 S. Federal Hv. it the corner ot Linton Blvi and Federal Hwv. 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