North County Times from Oceanside, California on August 13, 1995 · 22
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North County Times from Oceanside, California · 22

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Oceanside, California
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Sunday, August 13, 1995
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22
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He scghE the adrce cf Ifeti oct-fielder Rjan Thoorpoon, feia coam and dwe friend, os Esimerocsi occasions daring spring training, Bel as the sprirsg c-manried and the possibility of a coCectroe bargaining agreement remained remote. Smith decided to play lor the Padres' replacement He placed in exactly nine exhibition replacement games, batting 35 and instantly adding credb bCty to a patchwork scpiad, I diAa't go into it lie, Tm the big strikebreaker and to beck with those gtrys- Fa going to take thetf job ' said Smith, a 15 graduate of the University of Maryland. 1 went into it for two main purpose It was explained to me that it would help me to be exposed to the fcig-feagne coaches, and it would help the organization because they wanted to be in contention when the strike was settled. Well, as any baseball fan knows, the strike was settled before replacement players ever took the field in the regular season. Major-league players returned to work and got started cat a 1 44-game schedule in late April Three mouths later, the R-word reared its head again, leaving Sch a bit wobbly and confused My first reaction was like a numbness, Smith said T couldn't believe what I was bearing. I was just thinking. This was my chance and because I played in those replacement games Fm not going to get the chance. I almost wanted to cry actually Since the big blip on his career track. Smith has best assured by Padres manament that his promotion wasn't blocked by the players. Rather; Ganfrocco simply filled the teams need for mere cf a utility player than Smith, exclusively an outfielder. Plus, Randy Smith said he knew he had a good chance to reacquire Phil Planner at the time, a move that had the Padres needing an outfielder even less So why did Ira Smiths name come up in the first place? I just wanted to find the temperature of the dab. and I found out, Randy Smith said. Along the way, however; information leaked out of a confidential meeting and a young mans career was thrown a curve. We did the right thing, Randy Smith said. It just came out wrong. The next bit of reality: Even if Ira Smith has a strong finish to the Pacific Coast League season, its unlikely hell get a September call-up. He isnt on the 40-man roster; meaning someone would have to be bumped off for Smith to be eligible once rosters expand Sept. L Besides, Smith has a wedding planned for October though hed probably change a few plans for the chance to play in the big leagues. After all, thats all hes wanted to do since he started this careen When I made my decision, I thought I was doing sijmething to help Ira Smith and the Padres, he. said. I just have to believe that when its my time to get there, FU get there. What I did this spring training might have hurt -me. I dont know Of course, players are going to feel . the way they're going to feel, but its not the players y who are going to call me up. Still, will his stigma as a replacement player.;.' stay with him? Witt it affect his future in the game? y He doesnt know. Nobody knows. I cant change whats been done, Smith said. I thought long and hard on my decision, and thats what I decided to do. Now that all this has happened, I cant say I have regrets. Fm sorry its having the repercussions its having but theres nothing I can do except keep playing. Replacement role still haunts Padres farmhand By John ScHegef Staff Writer LAS VEGAS To this day; lbs Smith, can. fee the eyes,. Ween lie pun on his Las Vegas Stars uniform and steps onto the field, iris as though, everyone sees the same thing, even if the perception might not tell the whole story No, he doesnt have a scarlet R stitched ton his uniform. Theres no asterisk next to his name cn the-hack of his jersey No Cashing sign attached to- his cap, beaming the words Replacement Player for the world to see. But there are times when he might as well have them aH. Taa feeing looked at as a replacement player and. not as Ira Smith, the baseball player, Smith said' on a suffocatingly hot Las Vegas day this past week as he prepared to play a game for the Padres' Gasa AAA an. ..are On July 14, the day Padres players deteramed they did not want him in their duhtiou.se. Smith's career took on a new dimension. Suddenly, his decision to play in replacement spring training games grew thorns. La a clubhouse meeting, Padres general manager Randy Smith told the Padres' players he was considering: calling up the 23-year-old outfielder to take the roster spot of injured Bip Roberts. He wanted to hear their opinion, and they let it be known having someone who played in spring replacement games in the clubhouse woiiid be an unwanted distraction. The Padres with Randy South, asserting he was unswayed by the players' opinion on Ira Smith then called up Archi Clanfrocco. Notably, Ciar.frocco has played an important utility role for the big-league cfob and provided a much-needed offensive boost since his promotion. Since that weekend, however; Ira Smiths came has been mentioned throughout the baseball world bi.t not for reasons hed Lke. That first morning after he heard, it was like hed been kicked La the stomach Stars manager Tim Flannery said. The reality of baseball's bad bfood fcerweea ma-jor-Ieague players and owners had stepped into the hatreds box with Ira Smith. It was awfully tough at the beginning because I felt like every perron in the stands, every player; every perron around me was Lke, Thats that guy Ira Srr.ItV Smith said. So then I thought I had something to prove. Ever since then Fm not blaming it on that Fve struggled. After earning a promction from Class AA Memphis, Smith was hitting A-') through his first 70 at-batt for Las Vegas. Since his career hit this spot of tarbulence. Smith is down to .iOb with but one homer and 14 RBls after ll7 at-bats. Said Sc.ithr After srmething Lke that, youre always going to get those Lhwights: riiTil I ever get to foe big leagues? I dont worry about it. I just keep playing.Theres a wivIe fot of guys who never made it to the big leagues, and I may fee one of those guys replacement player or not, Before anyone slaps a replacement label on Smith, it should fee lenttwn Smith was not a truck dnver before this past spring; He wasnt one fd thrse many comeback stores, a gay kxking for that second chance at ba sefiail. He hadnt even been released at the end of the previous vrori, I fe was a T exas League All-Stan ffe was afid is a professional baseball player, in 1 - 1 f M i vf USC draft pick has pro swing Padre officials figured she had aiuckod a gon when fiiey mok LSC diomiqs Gat Slrarez vw ieir secand pick in (he fiine Amto- tBar Fibs1 Sgtsir Dra4 So 4r. EK aas nven iem ngffi TTic Padres puj AiVTBEi on itic 3sl aaclt. valuing ium ai poncho CocamnnBS .if die Gasa S Caiitimna League T'lmiitr'i 3C games, the mpitiancch niten wha dsft takes hatting pracice dnm he ed Me is anting 30 wnh fiwehnmosandtS S2ls. I as dsaownnEd wawt a ddHnund pick. Alvamz ant "2uf wnra Igor the call "1 Sn "leyi, ( set offlecaed Ifttade dungs GK. Auarez is a Souduni Caumnua hey and onmniuiBS 30 minutes ill p jnctitj Cucamonga finm his paens heme m La Pueme j j grKff tyny ta break, in. A-vorez aaid. t dont have 33 220217 absur an apatment, mnmmaies arhuving Smd All thwe as do is play hail." AiVffliz signed aimnsr anmeaiaiEiy afier ihe draft, justi&y after piavmg ji die College World denes vttfa die Tmiana I dunudmewas inmnitant a aatt playmg eeiy day, M ISnif out what pin wil itail ahauz, .Sluarez aad. And ao dK ra aortoa much dil&rat finm cnilege Tie pnc-ung ihe .s innur die tame at anileae, liere'i pise mere if rtT Alvarer said. Keen you see goad arm after good am, and the pitcaere hmw a little hamec TM higges agusnneen; fining, hasnt been die pitching hut piavmg sh ay day dim have m 'earn lavor the good days and put the had ones aehmd you and aat aval' Hvemuaily die Paores dunk .Uvarez miattt aait aw t new pna-aoiL Bsi piavmg dionanp now hut aas Id enras in 4S games, Ve dunighr dalle was one of die mg wo middle nfindas n the ihaftysaid Sdvni liiwes, San Ciegn i iirenmr of Knuttng But se i really m ofiensive guy a !ms pnsooit We premised tam 1 chance mpiaa? fimisanp; and he 11 piay ttumif he pmves he cant His has a good enough atm. moves wefi and will hit ennugh to move. Padres jssnawr genemi manager Steve LaRRmch wd, Cane hag aonig-gled imes.leftnsivdy wr we aveon 'hc.ugtn of mewng him yet There no jueainn wnere ins anennha are, fiiraigB. thia young man aan iwmg die hat.' Vftnor ieague undatea la Vega (Caw AXn Outfielder Hare .Vwfieid. wha waa obtained ftnm Seattle a oait of die lady S-tsie xade a himngpia: lift after ax games with die Slam . Outfidder Bay Vfcw'i wua missed more han 0 games woh i hinlca hand, liusged i gruid dam in his second game hack Thudhaseman fvd Rasa lad t weed and vised ms werace V pnims J3& Meaipmi Cam Ult Eard-dunwing 'cftxiander Snook Series, who has amepted with hut anmtrsi n die huilcen. saded raunlay agamst Bummgnam aid direw a imerjit He fhnned 14 Secketr n 3-!, iiutTis ESA s 33T. He las 75 arkaais and SI walks n 3 aairngi Bancim Cucamonga (Gas A E ra: baseman Dmk Lae at hitting fill wth Z1 homer and V 8 Eta after HI games He an pace if I 31 SEts. .. Lefthander Matt LaOappa teat Eikemfieul and at w,w L0-3 CSntwt (Com If After dime tan, rtr-hander kan Sail a 33 wth an 4 30 ESA. He Strew eight akuKur innings Thuriday against Cane Ctunry hi X mnai. he ha Sacnerf 13 and waied Jtuc Idaoo fait FOma Aje Cacsa Ben Dwfin, e fewnund draft pick m fane a rD our wth rcec u5nma. The mm war 2-5 wrti-out him ksr week Oeeanaide'i Kea Hunt was Mr-Ifi wuh a hraner and iiir EEts 'ast week s suae ais average fcm 130 f sorla Tfomkiee Left-hander Ke1a Waiker craincues ae dune. 3kbeatdieErasarjiaiiciw4-2dha23 ESA a eight aara. iarSei 14 mux Scesrfy Smciia Cucamonga outfielder Cart .Johanna, who had a tpraned ankle, was lemacantd ftrjr, die DC after trussing almost tree weeks. ... iffieider Traaa Laagthw a summer soyerafter U game and a 174 awenge at CImti-31. He headed back an I Jte Ltti'erur where he's a rafxg guard on he Sasketfcail asam. .. Cinntn a sow 2I-2fi ite VEdwest League s second half and J-77 owerail, meaning if lie fine sme n aimrat three tnniuhs, ie Lumber ILngs don t have (he wont tecord m haaetaiL Taat thstxcsoo gras 00 he Bokoty a Hite Sox of die South Adarrx Leagxt -John Maftai hij sixth searon roiling m the nunors. And hes good: In I4, he piysted the fifth-fcest batting average in all of Class AA ball at 321. Hes a ballplayer; and hes a class act, said Flannery, the former Padres infieldet. What I think gets lost in this whole thing is that each guy is an individual and everybodys story is different. Heres Ira Smiths story, at least the latest and most compelling chapter: Cincinnati uses waivers to block Braves By Tracy Ringolsby Rocky Mountain News The Cincinnati Reds have pretty well taken care of matters in the NL Central. N'rw general manager Jim Bowden is trying to position his team for the postseason, which, he said, means he has to make sure he keeps Atlanta from improving. That, said Bowden, is why he claimed second baseman Mariano Duncan on waivers from Philadelphia last week. Bowden claim Duncan is no more than our 24th or 21th player. But Bowden knew the Braves wanted the versatile right handed hitter to give their bench more balance, and add to their infield depth. It is not unlike the move Atlanta CM John Schuherote made in August of l'J i when hi Braves were trying to catch San Francisco in the NL West. The Braves put in a waiver claim for Dennis Martinez of Montreal. Even though Martinez exercised his veto power to block the move because he would have been a fifth starter in Atlanta, the Braves accomplished what they wanted they blocked him from getting to the Giants. "Youre always trying to upgrade your roster, he said. Ive studied the great general managers John Bchuerholz, Pat Gillkk, Sandy Alder-son and they all do what their teams need to do to give them a chance to win. And then there is the Philadelphia approach. A team that went into the weekend having lost eight in a row and 31 of 42 since their June 25 high point (37-18) lost center fielder Lenny Dykstrn for the season two weeks ago, and then last week lost Duncan to the Reds, and dealt outfielder Dave Gallagher to California. In return, they got 26-vear-old AA infielder Brian Koelling from Cincinnati, and Kevin Flora, a one-time promising second baseman who has never recovered from the emotional jolt of his wife's death in a 1903 car wreck, from the Angels. Not bad moves for a team that is waving the white flag, but amazingly IhifS s president Bill Giles has tried Talkin Baseball to sell the fans and media on the idea that getting rid of veteran role players made the Phillies stronger. Rangers at Witts end Having been in existence since 1961 when they were created as the expansion Washington Senators and having never appeared in postseason play, the Texas Rangers arent picky about how they get there. All that matters to them is to play a meaningful game in October for the first time in their existence. And while the AL West title would seem out of their reach at this point they went into the weekend 10 games back of California the Rangers are very much alive in the AL wild-card race. They went into the weekend with a half-game lead on New York and Seattle. And they are determined to do whatever it takes to win that battle. Welcome back Bobby Witt The Rangers first-round draft pick in 1985, who was dealt to Oakland in the Jose Canseco trade three years ago, was reacquired in a deal with the Florida Marlins last week. We are too close in this thing to throw in' the towel, general manager Doug Melvin said. And by the way ... San Franciscos upper management bristles at the suggestion that owner Peter Magowan is a a meddler who gets his kicks out of treating the Giants like his own rotisserie league team. Thats incredibly inaccurate," executive vice president Larry Baer said. The baseball side is making all baseball-related calls. Then explain how general manager Bob Quinn got his contract extended through 1996 last v&ek after overseeing a team that has gone from 103 victories in 1993 to the NL West basement in 1995. Obviously, ownership doesnt place this record at Bob Quinns doorstep, Baer said. Then who gets the blame for the decisions that have gutted the pitching staff from 1993, the latest of which was trading pitchers Mark Portugal and Dave Burba, and outfielder Darren Lewis to Cincinnati for outfielder Deion Sanders? Lewis for Sanders straight up was a steal for the Reds, one NL scout said. The only thing Sanders can do better than Lewis is get headlines. Manager Dusty Baker is also in the dark. He didnt even know about the Sanders deal until Houston first base-man Jeff Bagwell told him during batting practice the day it was made. Hot comer blues The Dodgers are hoping rest and a cortisone shot will work wonders for the aching back of third baseman Tim Wallach, 38. He went into the weekend having played only two innings in the last eight games. Hes a very important part of this team, general manager Fred Claire said. I believe Tim will be back, but if not well see what our options are. They include signing twice-released Steve Buechele or trading for Jeff King of Pittsburgh, Sean Berry of Montreal or Robin Ventura of the Chicago White Sox. Ventura is intriguing, but expensive. Hes a young left-handed hitter, which LA. needs, but is guaranteed $18 million the next three seasons. Needed: All-Star shortstop California general manager Bill Bavasi was scrambling last week to find a replacement for shortstop Gary DiSarcina, who underwent surgery for torn ligaments in is left thumb. For now, the Angels are moving second baseman Damion Easley to short and bringing up Jose Lind, hoping he wont walk out on the them like he has done each of the past three seasons in Kansas City, prompting the Royals to release Lind. Just in case, Bavasi also signed Dick Schofield, the Angels No. 1 draft choice in 1981 who was sitting 9X home in North Carolina, to a mindr- league contract. Rio blames it on Reds Fellow general managers arent the only ones who arent happy with the antics of Cincinnati GM Jim Bowden. Reds pitcher Jose Rijo has accused Bowden with keeping him from hairing surgery to remove a bone growth from a ligament in his right elbow. Bowden wants to use me in the playoffs and I want to pitch in the playoffs, Rijo said, but Fve tried all their suggestions and it ends up getting worse. Around the horn Randy Myers may finish the season with the Chicago Cubs, but his days in Wrigley Field are numbered. The Cubs have brought up doser-of-the-future Terry Adams, 22, who had 23 saves and a 126 ERA at Class AA and AAA. The plan is to work him into pressure situations in the final weeks, with Myers as a safety net Houston made a move to beef up its bullpen by adding Mike Henne-mann from Detroit, but what about the offense, which scored 36 runs in the first 11 games, seven of which the . Astros lost, after Jeff Bagwell suffered his broken hand? Having added Bobby Bonilla and Scott Erickson, Baltimore continues to fade in the AL East, adding to speculation that first-year manager Phil Regan is about to become the scapegoat for impatient owner Peter Angelos. Montreal is fading in the wildcard race, and manager Felipe Alou sounds exasperated with the lack of ' help via trades by general manager Kevin Malone. Asked about .211-hit-ting infielder Dave Silvestri, acquired . from the Yankees, Alou replied: He . must be a good player. We called a press conference when we got him didnt we? Milwaukee originally wanted to ' hold Jim Gantner Night during a weekend series, but Gantner requested it during a series with Toronto so Paul Molitor could attend, along with retired Robin Yount. Gantner, Yount and Molitor were Milwaukee teammates a major-league record 15 seasons. 4 I

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