The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 5, 1996 · Page 21
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 21

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, October 5, 1996
Page 21
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THE SALINA JOURNAL SPORTS SATURDAY. OCTOBER 5, 1996 03 V BASEBALL Judge stops umps' strike ALOMAR ; November summit will I establish conduct code for baseball players ; By The Associated Press ; PHILADELPHIA — A judge ', stopped baseball umpires from ' striking Friday, saying their anger at Roberto Alomar did not justify a walkout that would violate their la- i bor contract. 1 During a 45-minute hearing that 1 appeared to be scripted — and was, according to a source involved in the negotiations — umpires .union head Richie Phillips railed at baseball officials over last week's incident in which Alomar spit at umpire John Hirschbeck, accusing them of causing "very serious decay" in the sport. After brief statements by lawyers from both sides — who hardly mentioned the law — and without hearing any witnesses, U.S. District Judge Edmund V. Ludwig barred a walkout. "To not grant the injunction would cause irreparable harm to the ballclubs," he said. After Ludwig announced his Decision, he allowed acting cominisk sioner Bud Selig to address "ithe,' court—without even swearing hiftf in. The judge didn't even specify the type of order he was issuing, deciding merely that he would "grant the relief requested," according to a clerk of the judge. "I agree with much of the arguments made on behalf of the umpires," Ludwig said. "I understand very much why the umpires have reacted this way. As an umpire myself, I understand their authority and dignity is at stake. These umpires are the best. In a way, it is a. compliment to them to issue the restraining order." Randy Levine, the owners' nego- - tiator with the players' association, ,. had arranged the scenario for the hearing Thursday during talks with Ludwig and Phillips, according to a source involved with the .talks who spoke on the condition he not be identified. Phillips said in advance that the umpires would comply with the court order, and Levine arranged it so that Phillips could have a forum to criticize baseball, then accept an injunction. Selig's address also was provided for in the arrangements, and he called for a Nov. 14 gathering in Phoenix among officials from the teams, players and umpires. "We're going to have a summit meeting in November to establish codes of conduct, so the Roberto Alomar incident never happens again," Selig said. Calling baseball's disciplinary methods too subjective, Selig said he hoped the meeting would produce an agreement on specific penalties for specific offenses, such as instigating brawls or charging the mound. "We are the honor, honesty and integrity of the game, and we are all hurt very badly. What we want to know is, what is next if these actions don't stop?" AL umpire Al Clark said before the Orioles-Indians game. With their last avenue of protest blocked, umpires worked Friday's playoff games as scheduled. But they still were angry that American League president Gene Budig suspended Alomar for only five games and that the penalty won't be served until the first week of next season. During Friday night's playoff game in Texas between the Rangers and New York Yankees, Budig told NBC-TV: "Like an umpire, I made a call and like an umpire, I'm not going to second-guess myself." Budig said he met with the umpiring crew before the game. "American League umpires know that I care for them," he said. "I very much want to be fair." Alomar was booed Friday at Jacobs Field, and the umpires were cheered. Some fans mocked him, holding up "spit shields." In the courtroom, Phillips tried to put baseball's leaders on trial. Blaming baseball's leadership, Phillips lamented the "erosion of discipline in the game today." "Baseball, your honor, is in a state of very serious decay," he said. "There is no longer social significance in baseball. The only significance is economic significance, and the only economic significance is for those who own the game." With Selig, Budig and National League president Len Coleman watching from front-row seats, Phillips chastised owners for litigating with umpires over salaries during the 1994-95 players' strike — an issue still in arbitration. Referring to his umpires as "honorable men," Phillips quoted Shakespeare and told Ludwig, "If this or : der is granted... fair is foul and foul is fair." Royals release Magnante By The Associated .Press KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals gave reliever Mike Magnante his unconditional release Friday and reinstated minor league pitcher Kris Ralston from the 60-day disabled list. Magnante, 31, was 2-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 38 relief appearances for the Royals. The lefthander appeared in 191 games, making 19 starts, in parts of six seasons with Kansas City, which drafted him in the llth round in 1988. Ralston, 25, a righthander, had season-ending shoulder surgery in May after making just one appearance for Triple- A Omaha. He was 9-4 with a 3.56 ERA for Double-A Wichita in 1995. The Associated Press Cleveland baserunners Omar Vizquel, left, and Jose Vizcaino stand at third base as Baltimore catcher Chris Holies and third baseman Todd Zeile walk away from the play. Vizquel returned safely to third in a rundown, where Vizcaino was standing. Vizcaino was called out on the fourth-Inning play. Belle's blast lifts Tribe Grand slam in seventh snaps 4-4 tie, keeps Indians alive in series By The Associated Press CLEVELAND — It's hard to say which was louder — the cheers for Albert Belle or the jeers directed at Roberto Alomar. One thing's for sure: The Cleveland Indians aren't finished yet. Belle hit a grand slam to break a seventh-inning tie and the defending AL champion Cleveland Indians avoided a three-game sweep by beating the Baltimore Orioles 9-4 in the AL playoffs on Friday. The defending AL champion Indians pulled within 2-1 in the best- of-5 series, which continues today at Cleveland. Charles Nagy pitches for the Indians against David Wells in a rematch of Game 1. The Indians went 100-44 last year and made it to the World Series, then led the majors with 99 wins. But after losing the first two games of the divisional series at Baltimore, Cleveland stood at the brink of elimination. Belle, who hit .239 in the postseason last year, took this season into his own hands. "I remember when the count was 1-2 on Albert, I said, 'A sac fly would be nice,"' Indians starter Jack McDowell said. "He hit a sac AIVBUCAN HAGUE flv - to one of Baltimore Cleveland GAME 4: Today the fans." _ Jacobs Field 9 shook with cheers as the Indians waited at home plate for Belle, one of the most popular — and volatile — sports figures this city has known. Belle emerged from the dugout for a curtain call, waving his arms and a white towel in the air. It was a rare gesture for this private- and often controversial player. The Indians said Belle would not come into the clubhouse for interviews, as is his policy. Belle hit a 1-2 fastball from hard-throwing reliever Armando Benitez and drove it 398 feet out to left. Belle was 2-for-9 in the series before the homer, but led the AL with 148 RBIs this season. When he came to bat again in the eighth, the fans were on their feet chanting "MVP! MVP!" While the crowd cheered Belle, it was not so kind to Alomar. Fan outrage directed at Alomar started during the player introductions and continued every time he did anything. Fans booed throughout each of Alomar's at-bars, some running down the aisles behind the Baltimore dugout to taunt the Orioles second baseman. One fan held up a sign that said, "No spitting." Another placard proclaimed, "U spit, U sit." At one point while Alomar was batting, a group of fans in the bleachers turned their back on the plate, apparently in protest. Yankees rally in ninth for 3-2 win Duncan's RBI single caps comeback, gives New York series edge By The Associated Press ARLINGTON, Texas — With only three outs left, the New York Yankees picked a perfect time to change their luck at The Ballpark in Arlington. Mariano Duncan spoiled Texas manager Johnny Gates' strategy, lining an RBI single with two outs that capped a two-run rally in the ninth inning that gave New York a 3-2 win Friday night, giving the Yankees a 2-1 lead in their AL playoff series. Helped by another home run from Juan Gonzalez, Texas took a 2-1 lead into the ninth. But Darren Oliver, who had allowed only four hits, and reliever Mike Henneman could not preserve the edge in Texas' first home postseason game in its 25-year history. Bernie Williams, who homered in the first inning, hit a sacrifice AJWHCANLfAGUE «y that tied it New York 3 f* d Duncan put the Yankees 2 ahead. New York was just 3-10 at the ballpark Texas GAME 4: Today since it opened in 1994, and had lost five of six this season. John Wetteland struck out Darryl Hamilton with a runner on third to end the game, preserving the win for reliever Jeff Nelson. The AL East champion Yankees can wrap up the best-of-5 series to- day when Kenny Rogers starts against Bobby Witt of the Rangers. Rogers left Texas as a free agent in the offseason, saying he wanted to play for a winning team. Derek Jeter led off the New York ninth with a single and took third when Tim Raines followed with a single, finishing Oliver. Henneman relieved, and Williams hit a sacrifice fly that made it 2-all. Cecil Fielder grounded out, moving Raines to second. With left-handed Mike Stanton warming up in the bullpen, Gates ordered an intentional walk to lefty Tino Martinez. Instead, it was left up to the right-handed Duncan, who lined a single to center that scored Raines. LEYLAND Leyland chooses Marlins Astros fire Collins, hire longtime broadcaster Dierker to guide team By The Associated Press MIAMI — Jim Leyland paused during his news conference Friday to try on a new Florida Marlins jersey, then jokingly complained that it was a bit big. To the Marlins, it looks like a perfect fit. Florida finished first in a furious four- team race for Leyland, who flew down from Pittsburgh early Friday and signed a five-year contract to manage a team that has never had a winning season. "We're here to get better and better, and to one day win a world championship," said Marlins president Don Smiley. "We believe we've increased our chances dramatically today." Leyland, 51, decided late Thursday to choose Florida over two American League teams, the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox. He had earlier rejected an offer from the California Angels. Financial terms weren't disclosed, but Leyland's contract was believed to be close to the $1.5 million earned annually by St. Louis' Tony La Russa, the highest-paid manager in baseball this season. Leyland picked the team that he felt could become a championship contender the quickest. Despite a hurdle known as the Atlanta Braves in the NL East, he likes Florida's mixture of youth (shortstop Edgar Renteria, catcher Charles Johnson) and experience (slugger Gary Sheffield, pitcher Kevin Brown). Hiring stuns Dierker HOUSTON — The Houston Astros admitted to an unusual move, but did it anyway on Friday by firing manager Terry Collins and replacing him with broadcaster Larry Dierker. "It is an unconventional decision, but being in a small market and being forced to compete with the best revenue teams, if we have to do everything they're doing, we're not going to get it done," owner Drayton McLane said. Dierker, a former Astros pitcher and the teams' first 20-game winner, has no coaching experience. He's been the Astros color commentator since 1979 and admitted he was stunned. "It's like someone says, 'we're putting you in a rocket ship and sending you to the moon,'" Dierker said. "You may not want to get on a rocket ship, but to go to the moon, how could you refuse?" McLane agrees the move could lead to a wild ride. "We have to try to be a little smarter and we have to take risks now and then," said McLane, who was supportive of Collins after the season ended. "This is risky and unconventional, but we feel it's the right move." T COLLEGE FOOTBALL Yet another big game for Buckeyes, Nittany Lions By The Associated Press " COLUMBUS, Ohio — The shelf life of Ohio State's victory over Notre Dame last week was exactly two days. "Sunday was a great day. We all got to enjoy it," safety Rob Kelly said of the third-ranked Buckeyes' 29-16 victory. "Monday came and . we watched the film a little more. Then it was on to Penn State." f : When No. 4 Penn State travels,tb' t Ohio State today, it's both te£lftiB' misfortune that they don't get ,t<f enjoy their victories from last week. Penn State improved to 5-0 with a 23-20 victory at Wisconsin on Brett Conway's 25-yard field goal with 1:23 left. Even though Penn State has played one conference game and Ohio State hasn't played any, both know an early loss would severely cripple any chances of booking flights to Pasadena in December. "This is the big game right here," Kelly said. "This is going to determine the Rose Bowl." That might be jumping the gun a little, but not much. National rankings are on the back burner in what has become an increasingly heated, if relatively new, rivalry. Thirteen Ohioans are on the Penn State roster; Ohio State recruited many of the Nittany Lions. Ohio State cornerback Shawn Springs not only made a recruiting visit to Penn State, he verbally committed to the school before changing his mind and ending up at Ohio State. Penn State rides a defense that allows just 102 yards rushing a game and an offense led by former Ohio Mr. Football Curtis Enis, who averages 138 yards rushing. The Lions are smaller than Ohio State, particularly on defense, but that isn't necessarily a liability. The Buckeyes have only had two turnovers in three games, and tailback Pepe Pearson is good for 132 yards a game. Ohio State has scored 22 touchdowns and given up just three. 1 OCTOBER FINAL CLEARANCE! 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