The San Bernardino County Sun from San Bernardino, California on April 4, 1993 · Page 38
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The San Bernardino County Sun from San Bernardino, California · Page 38

San Bernardino, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 4, 1993
Page 38
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SUNDAY, April 4, 1993 The Sun CJ Baseball '93: A LOOK AT THE MAJOR LEAGUE SEASON I Baseball hurting for leadership By Mike Terry Sun Sports Writer The 1993 baseball season will be unlike any other, or at least since 1919. That was the last time the game did not have a full-time commissioner, a strong and independent (on the surface anyway) voice to mediate disputes between the National and American leagues, not to mention a means to punish players and owners who violate the game's rules. Francis "Fay" Vincent was the last such person. He was forced to resign last September by the owners, following a showdown over a proposed realignment of the National League. The Chicago Cubs, via the courts, successfully fought off a move from the NL East to the NLWest. With it came a judgment that rid baseball of a commissioner. And now there are other concerns facing the game, like the determination of owners to reopen the Basic Agreement negotiations with the Major League Players Association a year early, and talks with network and cable television over the next broadcasting rights fees. They could be slashed by as much as 50 percent from the $1.06 billion tab that has been choking CBS for four years. In the place of a commissioner, baseball now has a three-headed monster. Milwaukee owner Bud Selig, who helped lead the revolt against Vincent, is commissioner ipso facto, with assistants P.N.T. Widdrington and Dick Wagner. Selig heads baseball's Executive Council, made up of eight owners (including the Angels' Jackie Autry), four from each league. In assuming control, Selig said the arrangement would be temporary. But "temporary" will stretch through this season. The owners, despite protests to the contrary, have a chance to restructure the commissioner's office to further their own agendas, which includes dilution of the broad based "best interests of baseball" powers. The owners also want no interruption in the labor negotiations with the players union. Although Dodgers owner Pete O'Malley has repeatedly stressed the contract talks this time could be relatively unfettered, history suggests otherwise. Since 1972, there has never Notes Murphy signs with Colorado PHILADELPHIA Dale Murphy was released from his minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday and signed a one-year contract with the Colorado Rockies. The 37-year-old Murphy, a seven-time all-star and two-time NL MVP with 398 career home runs, was to join the Rockies in Minneapolis for games Saturday and today against the Minnesota Twins. He is 27th on the career home run list and fourth among active players, one behind Andre Dawson of the Boston Red Sox. DAVIS CUT BY BRAVES: ATLANTA Former Cy Young Award winner Mark Davis was cut by the Atlanta Braves as they got down to the 25-man roster limit. Officially, the Braves designated Davis for assignment. By dropping the left-hander, it secured spots on the pitching staff for another former Cy Young Award winner, Steve Bedrosian, and rookie sensation Greg McMi-chael. PADRES MAKE CUTS; SCIOS-CIA DISABLED: LAS VEGAS The San Diego Padres trimmed their roster to the 25-man opening-day limit on Saturday night, cutting five players and placing catcher Mike Scioscia (shoulder) on the 15-day disabled list. Left-handed reliever Juan Agosto, a non-roster invitee to spring camp, was designated for assignment to the minor leagues, as was non-roster catcher Kevin Higgins. Infielder Ricky Gutierrez was optioned to Class AAA Las Vegas of the Pacific Coast League, as were outfielders Jim Vatcher and Steve Pegues. From Sun hews Services been a contract talk where there was not some work stoppage involved, including the last time in 1990. A lockout in spring training has already been predicted for 1994. Donald Fehr, executive director of the players union, shakes his head at the notion the owners want to play fair. "Sometimes you can create your own reality," Fehr said in March at the Angels camp, during his Arizona swing of spring training facilities. "I think the owners internal and public bickering over the last year has created an awful lot of that. And I don't see much of that abating in the short time. "It's sort of amazing to me. Baseball had record revenues every year since 1976 (with the exception of the 1981 strike season), including projected 1993. You wouldn't hear about complaining from any other industry. But in baseball, 2-3-4 years, it's not that things are going to get bad, but that calamity is around the corner. It's astonishing that the complaining goes on no matter what the circumstances." Of course Fehr's main concern is the players' welfare, so he's not going to be convinced by reports that say a dozen franchises lost at least $5 million each last season. The Angels reported losses were nearly $10 million and, despite reducing the payroll from $30 million to $25 million this season, California does not expect to see a profit this year either. Just as scary, however, is how baseball will decide problems on the field. The Executive Council, directly and indirectly, will be pulled by Selig's strings. It does not promote the image of swift decision-making. The Marge Schott debacle was a solid test case for the Selig-and-committee, and it nearly hemmed and hawed itself into a public relations disaster before suspending the Cincinnati owner because of her unin-telligent brand of "color" commentary. What happens if one of Selig's players must be disciplined for an infraction not as clearly defined as drug use or fighting? And can you imagine the teeth-gnashing if the White Sox or Royals have a problem with the Brewers on how business was conducted? Like we said, a baseball season unlike any other. . , ' - . t ' ii , X , ' ' 'i i ' i ) f " f r" r'4 , ' ' rt APWIREPHOTO HE'S OUT Rickey Henderson of the A's reacts after striking out during Saturday's game in the Bay Series against San Francisco. Holzemer out to make most of stay in bigs By Bill Plunkett Gannett News Service ANAHEIM Mark Holzemer jumps at small noises these days. For the past month, the California Angels' left-hander has been waiting for someone to tap him on the shoulder and tell him he doesn't belong. "The first (roster) cut came and I didn't take my clothes olT when I got to the clubhouse that day," the 23-year-old Holzemer said. "I just kind of waited by my locker. (Angels pitching coach) Chuck Hernandez came by and I said, 'Do I need to talk to you?' He said, 'No.' Then, the next cut came and the next and the next cut. "If you'd come up to me on the first day of spring training and said I'd be in Anaheim in April with a 50-50 chance of making the Opening Day roster, I'd have said you were crazy. No way." Yes, way and Holzemer can thank genetics for this opportunity. "He's shown us that he's left-handed, number one," Angels manager Buck Rodgers said. "None of our left-handers have stepped up this spring." The Angels went to spring training with four left-handers vying for spots in the bullpen Steve Frey (a holdover from last season who will make the team), Tim Fortugno (another holdover who gave up 14 runs and 14 hits in 4 innings this spring and was released), Jerry Nielsen (one of the three prospects obtained from the New York Yankees in exchange for Jim Abbott) and Holzemer. "I came in to spring training and had never even been to a big-league camp before," Holzemer said. "1 figured I'd be there three weeks, until the first cut. Then, I'd go down to the minor-league camp and open the season in the starting rotation at (Triple-A) Vancouver." Instead, Holzemer has become a reliever for the first time in his life (except for one inning in the final game at Triple-A last season). In seven spring appearances, he's posted a 3.48 earned run average. 1 "Being a starter, you can manage your arm differently because you know when you'r going to pitch and you know it's only going to be that one day.'' Holzemer said. "If I make it (with the Angels), 1 think 1 11 have a lot to learn about that. "Last night, I got up in the 'pen at Dodger Stadium (during the first game of the Freeway Series) and 1 was really airing it out. (Angels bullpen catcher) Kick Turner came up to me and said, 'Hey, take it easy. You've got to puce your arm.' That's something I'm sure I can learn to do." It would be an important lesson for Holzemer who had surgery on his pitching shoulder just over two years ago. A fourth-round pick of the Angels in 19(17, Holzemer had reached I)ouble-A but finished the 191)1 season with the Single-A Palm Springs Angels plagued with shoulder pain. ' After off-season surgery, he opened li)!)2 in Palm Springs again. He proved he was healthy, winning his first three starts, and quickly moved up to Double-A and Triple-A before the year was over. "I remember thinking last year, 'Man, this is happening quick,' " Holzemer said. "Now, I'm here. This is weird." The Angels blurred the bullpen picture a little more Saturday when they signed Otis Green to a minor-league contract after claiming him off the waiver wire. A former outfielder in the Toronto Blue Jays farm system, the lefthanded Green was converted to pitcher by the Milwaukee Brewers two seasons ago (going 9-1 wilh a 1.92 K.KA for the Stockton Ports of the California League) but was released last week with a 3.24 KKA in 8", spring innings. According to Kodgers, the Angels will continue to scan the waiver wire right up to Opening Day. Holzemer understands that and knows his joyrule could end at any moment. BUILT IN AMERIC, Compare Saturn To rno competition 93 Saturn' AVjnvocfvrr's SvaomtHd ffafoit Prfn... 9400-I4000 I PICTURE PERFECT ENTERTAINMENT ftp- j A SETTER CAR FO A Bf TTf U M'Cf lyTVT4 LIVE SPORTS PAY-PEH-VlfcW SUPER SYSTEM 0 With Built -In DOWN PAYMFNT YEARS OF CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE 714882-2351 1200E.HIghln) Avt. 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