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Steinbrenner rips rookie vote

wire services
Published November 12, 2003

NEW YORK - George Steinbrenner called the voting for AL Rookie of the Year a "farce" and ripped two writers for leaving his outfielder, Hideki Matsui, off their ballots.

The Yankees owner castigated Bill Ballou of the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette and Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, who said veterans who come from the Japanese leagues shouldn't be eligible for the award.

Royals shortstop Angel Berroa won the award by a vote of 88-84 Monday, the closest rookie race in 24 years. Matsui and Berroa both were left off two ballots.

"I firmly believe that a great injustice has been done to Hideki Matsui," Steinbrenner said in a statement Tuesday, adding that the two reporters "made up their own rules."

Meanwhile, the Yankees hired former outfielder Roy White as first-base coach and said Luis Sojo will replace Lee Mazzilli as third-base coach. The team had to reshuffle its staff after Baltimore hired Mazzilli as manager.

Also, manager Joe Torre testified at the grievance hearing in New York on Bubba Trammell's attempt to regain a large part of his $2.5-million salary. The former Devil Ray was put on the restricted list June 30, with the Yankees saying he left the team without permission. New York then terminated the contract.

BREWERS IN RAYS TERRITORY: Brewers general manager Doug Melvin has been asked to cut the team's payroll to $30-million next season, which could wind up as the lowest in baseball.

The target was recommended last weekend by the team's board of directors and reported Sunday by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The payroll level could force Melvin to deal both of his All-Stars, first baseman Richie Sexson and leftfielder Geoff Jenkins.

GM MEETINGS: Team officials emphatically denied a New York Newsday report that the Red Sox, Rangers and Angels had discussed a trade that would send shortstops Alex Rodriguez to Boston, Nomar Garciaparra to Anaheim and David Eckstein to Texas. The Boston Globe, however, reported that Rangers GM John Hart has approached the Red Sox and Yankees about Rodriguez. The Yankees reportedly have shown interest in Arizona ace Curt Schilling, and Sexson is being pursued by several teams.

BARTMAN BALL ON SALE: A Chicago lawyer plans to auction off the foul ball Cubs fan Steve Bartman tipped during an NLCS game last month. Bidding will start at $5,000 Dec. 1 through Internet auction house MastroNet Inc. ... The Cubs hired former NL rookie of the year Vince Coleman as a minor-league instructor and former Indians coach Dave Keller as a roving hitting instructor.

DODGERS SALE: The proposed sale of the Dodgers to real estate developer Frank McCourt probably won't be put on the agenda for next week's owners' meeting as McCourt tries to complete the paperwork for the deal, the Associated Press reported.

GIANTS GM HONORED: The Sporting News named Brian Sabean its Executive of the Year for leading the Giants back into the playoffs after they lost their manager and several everyday players.

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