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Baseball briefs

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 25, 2000


Outfielder deals with outbursts

SEATTLE -- Oakland's Terrence Long has heard the comments before in centerfield, and he's tired of them. For the third time this season, Long had to endure racial remarks while playing the outfield.

He's no more accustomed to it than the first time. In the second inning of the A's 8-2 win against the Mariners Saturday, he told security that some fans in the centerfield bleachers were yelling racial epithets at him.

"I'm a grown man about it," said Long, who is black. "I have heard everything. But why do they need to get personal? I told them to meet me back at my hotel if they wanted to talk in private. It's only a few blocks away. I just felt it was best for me to tell security before I got out of control."

Security ejected some fans who apparently were yelling the remarks. According to Long, some other fans who had to endure the constant chattering -- Long said he was called several other names -- pointed out the guilty parties so they could be removed.

"They say baseball is for the fans, but definitely not all of them," he said. "You can yell anything you want to me, but don't get personal. Don't talk about my race. I am just trying to do my job, why can't you respect that? I'm just glad they ejected them, because it was starting to really bother me."

Long said he had heard remarks twice before Saturday, at Pacific Bell Park and Network Associates Coliseum.

"I'm from Alabama," he said. "I have heard those things, but you never get used to it."

Indians face Sox, Twins

Indians manager Charlie Manuel, his head still spinning from back-to-back day-night doubleheaders at Fenway Park last week, is none too thrilled about Cleveland having to play two games today at Jacobs Field, an afternoon makeup date with the White Sox and the scheduled night game against the Twins.

The Athletics, competing with Cleveland for a wild-card spot and still in the AL West hunt, have a makeup game against the Rays scheduled Oct. 2, the day after the regular season, which is when the Indians wanted to play the White Sox, if necessary.

"Something smells fishy," said Manuel, sounding not the least bit interested in making history. "We're playing a doubleheader that Oakland doesn't have to play. I don't understand that."

The last three-team doubleheader occurred Sept. 13, 1951, in St. Louis, where the Cardinals beat the New York Giants 6-4, then lost to the Boston Braves 2-0.

According to research by the Hall of Fame, the only other three-team doubleheader involved the Chicago Orphans in 1899 against the Louisville Colonels and the Cleveland Spiders.

Also, when Bartolo Colon reached the 200-strikeout mark (202) in Saturday's game, he became the first Indians pitcher to do so in 24 years. Dennis Eckersley struck out 200 in 1976.

RANGERS: First baseman Rafael Palmeiro said after hitting his 400th career homer Saturday night that he can focus on what he considers a more significant milestone: 500 homers. "There's a lot more career ahead of me," he said. "Hopefully, I can do a lot more in this game."

RED SOX: The clubhouse was quiet a day after manager Jimy Williams suggested general manager Dan Duquette should fire him if he wasn't going to back him in enforcing team rules. Before Sunday's 1-0 loss to Baltimore, Williams refused to comment on his standing with Duquette. He answered repeated inquiries with a terse "in house," indicating the issue was now being handled internally. He stopped short of saying he'd resign. After Boston's final home game Sunday, Williams was asked if he thought it was his last game as manager at Fenway Park. "Last game? No," Williams said. "I'm fine. You move on here."

TIGERS: Rightfielder Juan Gonzalez missed his fourth start in a row because of a sore back; he'll have an MRI today. "The symptoms are now going down his leg," manager Phil Garner said. "There's some swelling, and the nerve is irritated." Garner said he didn't know whether Gonzalez will play again this season. "We need more information and we hope to get that (today)," Garner said.

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