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FSU hopes stars pick school over pros

By Times staff writer, Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 23, 2002


It appears Florida State will be significantly stronger than expected with three key players poised to bypass the major leagues. Ace left-hander Matt Lynch, a seventh-round pick of San Diego, and signees Mark Sauls, a right-handed pitcher taken in the third round by Minnesota and outfielder Eddie Martinez-Esteve, a third-round pick of Seattle, are ready to attend classes Monday.

It appears Florida State will be significantly stronger than expected with three key players poised to bypass the major leagues. Ace left-hander Matt Lynch, a seventh-round pick of San Diego, and signees Mark Sauls, a right-handed pitcher taken in the third round by Minnesota and outfielder Eddie Martinez-Esteve, a third-round pick of Seattle, are ready to attend classes Monday.

"If we were to keep those three kids, it would be the biggest surprise for me in 23 years as a head coach," FSU coach Mike Martin said.

Martin figures the threat of a strike is a factor in a number of high-round picks not signing.

CUBS-ASTROS TRADE: Chicago traded closer Tom Gordon for a Houston minor-league pitcher and two players to be named. Gordon is 1-1 with a 3.42 ERA since coming off the disabled list July 2. The Cubs get left-hander Russ Rohlicek (9-5, 2.98 ERA at Class A Michigan). "This is a good team, a good organization," Gordon said. "This will be good. I'm just glad somebody wanted me."

ANGELS: Rightfielder Tim Salmon went on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised left hand.

ATHLETICS: Reliever Jim Mecir was suspended for three games for hitting Royce Clayton with a pitch after a warning had been issued. Mecir, who also was fined an undisclosed amount, will appeal. ... Minor-league right-hander Jeremy Bonderman was sent to the Tigers to complete a three-team trade made last month. Bonderman, 19, was a first-round pick in the 2001 draft. At Class A Modesto he was 9-8 with a 3.61 ERA with 160 strikeouts.

BREWERS: A change that had Richie Sexson hitting third and Jose Hernandez cleanup resulted in the two going 0-for-7 with five strikeouts. ... The Miller Park design firm and construction manager must develop and pay for a plan to fix roof leaks that have occurred since the stadium opened two seasons ago, the executive director of the stadium board said.

D'BACKS: Leftfielder Luis Gonzalez returned after missing seven games with a strained rib cage. "It feels good," Gonzalez said. "There's no tightness."

DODGERS: Though he didn't get the win, Omar Daal continued his hot stretch in a 4-3 10-inning win against the Marlins on Wednesday. Daal allowed 2 runs, 9 hits and 0 walks in seven innings, leaving for a pinch-hitter. He has a 2.01 ERA in his past six starts.

GIANTS: Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Babe Ruth's grandson Tom Stevens are scheduled to help celebrate Barry Bonds' 600th home run today. Willie McCovey and Orlando Cepeda also are expected to attend.

INDIANS: Ricky Gutierrez's neck problems may have predated the second baseman signing as a free agent last winter. Gutierrez is out for the season with a neck injury that doctors told him could be career-threatening. Indians GM Mark Shapiro did not know Gutierrez, who signed a three-year, $11-million deal, twisted his neck while with the Cubs last season. Gutierrez kept his injury a secret until last weekend.

PHILLIES: Bobby Abreu is the first Phillie since Ed Delahanty in 1895-97 to hit at least 40 doubles in three straight seasons.

RED SOX: Centerfielder Johnny Damon dislocated his finger sliding back into first and is day-to-day.

TIGERS: A judge ruled outfielder Bobby Higginson must pay $6,000 per month in child support to his former fiancee.

YANKEES: Outfielder Bernie Williams argued to play but got a day off because of a mild left hamstring strain. He tweaked the hamstring trying to beat out a double play Wednesday and is day-to-day.

-- BRIAN LANDMAN, TIMES WIRES

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