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El Paso Times from El Paso, Texas • 14

El Paso Timesi
El Paso, Texas
Issue Date:
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1001 El Paso Dhblss: Ostlln cxazy at Ccshsn El Paso Times Iff I Sunday, Apnl 7. 1991 fur if mm 4 Jim Paul rips commissioner By Ray Hagar El Paso Times Diablos' owner Jim Paul is very critical of Commissioner Fay Vincent in statements made by him in the first issue of Baseball Weekly. The weekly magazine, in stores and newsstands throughout El Paso, is published by USA Today. It costs $1. Paul is quoted as saying it could cost him "about $30,000 more" to run his club this year under the new Professional Baseball Agreement with the major leagues.

He is also quoted as saying it may take years to heal the rift with the commissioner that resulted in the bitter offseason negotiations between the major and minor leagues. He also accuses Vincent of wanting to become a "czar and gain complete control of all baseball." Paul is quoted as saying: "Fay Vincent wouldn't step in during negotiations with the (major-league) players' association, but he took a side in our dispute. He tried to bring the minor leagues to their knees." Paul said he was quoted correctly by Baseball Weekly's Bill Koenig. -4 0 7 I sua Victor Calzada El Paso Times if" Diablos most powerful hitters. Part-time pinchers A few others classify themselves as recreational users, loading the bottom lip or the cheek when feeling a little stressed, maybe a little tired of the lazy routine of baseball.

David Nilsson, who hails from Australia, is one such player. But he's got added incentive to place a pinch between the cheek and gum. "It's illegal in Australia to dip and chew," Nilsson said. Craig Faulkner, Mitch Hannahs and John Byington all at one time or another find the need for tobacco refreshment, and Jim Czajkowski, well, he put it this way: "Every now and then the peer pressure is just too 'vv y- A' in inr- tdBu, Jim Tatum, who will likely split designated hitter, is one of the Some Diablos don't like taste of tobacco chewm' time between third base and And outfielder Ruben Esca-lera, well, he goes both ways. "I chew and dip," Escalera said.

"It relaxes me." "It's not as popular as it used to be," said pitcher Jim Hunter, perhaps the Diablos most experienced chewer. "And we don't chew tobacco because we're baseball players. It has nothing to do with image. The thing is, baseball players chew tobacco because thev're bored at a lot of the time. And chewing helps pass the Hunter prefers to wrap the gum around his chew, and has mastered the art of the non-splatter puddle.

But although he's a star-studded spitter, he'd like to retire and spittin' much. That's when I chew. About once a year." Seeders Just about everyone else on the team splits' time between chewing gum and sunflower seeds. The look is pretty much the same. There's the swollen cheek, the fat lip, even the same messy spit pond, especially with seeds.

The only ingredient missing is the nicotine. Reserve infielder Bobby Lat-more prefers it that way. "I hate it and I don't want it," Latmore said. "It's nasty. I'll chew gum, but that's it.

"And hey, that's sugarless gum." his wad. In fact, just about every Diablo who dabbles in tobacco would. Tom McGraw said he started dipping in the third grade, and became a full-time snuff man when he was in high school. But he only partakes during baseball season. "I grew up in Washington (state) in a logging town and everybody dipped or chewed," McGraw said.

"And we had some really long delays at baseball games. I mean, we had deer delays. They'd run out onto the field and we'd just sit around and dip and watch them." diablos Shon Ashley I Left field 6-1, 185 lbs. Last year at El Paso it Bats right I Throws right TlPat Listach Shortstop 5-9. 170 lbs.

Last year at Stockton Switch hitter Throws right Dave Jacas Center tield lbs. Last year at Portland (Twins AA) Bats right Throws right Nasty habit: By Lee Williams El Paso Times PEORIA, Ariz. For 16 years, Paul Lindblad has been spewing streams of tobacco juice from his mouth with the accuracy of a fastball. But Lindblad, following the lead of Major League Baseball, is ready to clean up his spittin' image. "It's disgusting," Lindblad, the El Paso Diablos' pitching coach, said.

"I still do it but that doesn't change my opinion. I've read this pamphlet put out by Major League Baseball and I've seen some pictures of some guys who have had lip cancer. Did you know Babe Ruth died of Players Continued from 1C possesses a strong, if not always accurate arm. He has climbed steadily up the Brewers farm system since his first year of rookie league ball in 1987. Last year, playing for the Class A Stockton Ports of the California League, he batted .290 and hit seven home runs in a season that was shortened by a broken right hand.

Still, he was the Cal League's eighth-best prospect, according to Baseball America. Nilsson started this spring on the Brewers' 40-man roster before being optioned to El Paso. It was a disappointment. But Nilsson is a realist, too. "I would have liked to played in the majors this year," Nilsson said.

"But I figure I'm still two years away. I'm still learning the game, you know." Said Bruce Manno, the Brewers' farm director: "He's got a chance to be a solid major league player." He's not the only one, either. Nor is he the best prospect who will play for El Paso. Back on track In January 1990, John Jaha was running up stadium steps getting ready for what he thought was going to be hia first year of Class AA baseball. In 1989, the strapping 6-1, 210pound first baseman had been voted the California Lentfue's most valuable player.

I'laying for Stockton, Jaha carried a .290 average with 25 home runs, 26 doubles and 91 runs batted in. Everything was according to plan. "Then I injured my knee," Jaha, who was 24 at the time, suid. "I was running steps ond I tore ligaments in my rinht knee." Julia npent mrmt of the next rehabilitating his kn-e. lli; wasn't fully recovered when hi;'d out the minor lciigue wason with Stockton, a toiini he thought he'd wen the IhhI of.

mouth cancer?" That's right. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, Ruth was an avid tobacco user. That, not gluttony, not booze, killed the Sultan of Swat at age 52. To chew, or not to chew Seven members of this year's El Paso Diablos are big-league chewers. Brandy Vann gave up chewing tobacco for snuff.

Tim For-tugno is a six-month veteran of dipping. Chris Johnson i3 a hardcore dipper who likes sunflower seeds on the side. Left-fielder Shon Ashley is a leaf-tobacco man. couldn't move very well," Jaha said. "Basically, I just wrote off last year.

I've just had to start this year all over again to get to where I wanted to be." Originally assigned as a AAA player this season, Jaha was moved down to the Class AA Diablos when the major league Brewers optioned George Canales to Denver. He took the news in stride. He still has the same two-year dream that Nilsson has. "I was disappointed, but only because Denver's in a bigger league," Jaha said. "But regardless, I figure I'm two years away from the majors.

I'm here to drive in runs and do what they want me to. And I'm confident I can make it." As is Huppert, who said there isn't a better defensive first basemanin the entire Milwaukee system. "He's the one who'll carry us wherever we go this year," Huppert said. And veteran outfielder Ruben Escalera, who broke out a big smile when saying, "That Jaha, now there's a prospect." Primarily a line-drive hitter, Jaha isn't shy with his power. In an exhibition game against Huntsville Thursday, he took an outside pitch and slapped it over the left field fence.

He could hit between 15 and 20 homers for the Diablos this season. And if so, he'll likely be in Denver next year. There's more The same has been said about relief pitcher Angel Miranda, a left-hander who has command of a 90 mph fastball and a nasty screwball. But there's a problem. Manno and Diablo pitching conch Paul Linblad eaia Miranda's a bit lazy.

The relaxed attitude is the only thing holding him back. "And it's our job in El Paso to see that ho overcomes it," Linblad said. Right handed reliever Jim Czajkowski, too, a minor league pitcher with major league arm. Manno Baid he needn, more than anything, to develop consistency, I Kenny if': Jackson Right field lbs. Last year at 4 Stockton V'; 1 Bats right I Throws right Mitch Hannahs i Second base 5-10, 170 lbs.

Last year at El Paso Bats right v. I Throws right A- i v. John Byington Third base lbs. Last year at Beloit Bats right Throws right John Jaha First base Last year at Stockton Bats right Throws right 1 I I Jim Tatum Des. hitter 6-2.

200 lbs. Last year at Canton, Stockton Bats right I Throws right Mark Kicfcr Pitcher 6-4. 175 lbs. Last year at Peoria, Stockton Bats right Throws right Dave Nilsson Catcher lbs. Last year at Stockton Bats right Throws right Third baseman John Byington, up from Beloit, where he a Midwest League all star last year, is as pure a hitter as the Diablos have.

He can hit for average. He can hit for power. He can hit to any field. II ih defense, though, is questioned daily. There's oIho Mitch Hannahs, a neeond bawman who was hitting .3.11 year for the Diablos before going down with I John Pyle El Paso Times Dave Jacas, starting center fielder: Was with the Minnesota Twins' AAA team last year.

Has great range and better-thnn-average arm. Kenny Jackson, starting right fielder: Has shown fianlies of power, but prove now ho can hit consistently at the AA level. Ruben Kricnlern, reserve outfielder: Like Ashley, must Erove his future worth to the rowers. a neck injury. As is the case for most of the Diablos, Hannahs only knows how good he can be.

Here's a look at some of the other Diablos: Vii Listach, starting shortstop: The top baseHtealing threat on the team. Will Htrug-gle from the left side of plate In junt his wcond year of switch hitting. Tim Fortugno, relief pitcher: A survivor. At 28, he'a the oldest Diablo and knows how to get batters out. Brandy Vann, relief pitcher: One of the last players released from the Brewers' major league roster.

Shon Anlilty, Btnrtinjf left fielder: One of few returning Diablon. Likely his lant year in AA. Was clime to making Denver team thi year. Could be a moke or break year. "I was wearing a brace, and.

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