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Baseball briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 29, 2000


Mayor encourages kids for parade

NEW YORK -- Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has encouraged parents and teachers to give children a unique educational experience: Take 'em to the New York Yankees victory parade.

Giuliani, the city's highest-profile Yankees fan, said he has no problem with youngsters taking a day off from school to watch the Bronx Bombers in the parade through lower Manhattan's "Canyon of Heroes."

"I get in trouble for this every year," Giuliani said. "Yeah, I think it's okay."

In the past, Giuliani has allowed his own children -- Andrew and Caroline -- to play hooky to see the parade. This marks the third year in a row, and the fourth in five, that the Yankees have won the World Series and earned a parade.

This year's festivities were set for Monday, when it conflicts with classes for school children in and around the city.

"Baseball can be an educational experience," Giuliani said. "Teachers and parents should use it for educational purposes ... have classes come and see the parade, and have them write an essay about it."

The city's top educator, schools chancellor Harold Levy, disagreed with the mayor's position.

"Everybody likes baseball," Levy said. "The World Series was very exciting for all of us. But that is no reason to skip school."

Levy's advice extended to adults working for the Board of Education: "School will be open, and I expect both students and teachers to attend."

He was certain at least one group would pose no absentee problems: "I particularly expect Mets fans to be there."

The mayor, ordinarily a strict law-and-order type, was unmoved by Levy's comments.

"My advice?" Giuliani said. "My advice is let the kid be part of the parade."

CUBS: President/general manager Andy MacPhail set a Nov. 11 deadline for negotiations with Sammy Sosa on a contract extension.

"That's the absolute latest," MacPhail said. "We have to agree or disagree by then."

Nov. 11 is the first day teams are permitted to sign newly declared free agents. It follows a 15-day window in which free agents can negotiate only with their current club.

MacPhail plans to be active in the free-agent market, pursuing players such as Todd Hundley, Mike Hampton and Darren Dreifort.

"I have to go in knowing my obligation to Sammy after 2001," MacPhail said.

JAPANESE SERIES: Sadaharu Oh, who hit 868 homers as a player, will have to wait until next year for another chance to beat former teammate Skigeo Nagashima as a manager in the Japan Series.

Former major-leaguer Darrell May struck out nine batters as Nagashima's Yomiuri Giants won the Japan Series with a 9-3 defeat of Oh's Fukuoka Daiei Hawks. The Giants won four straight after opening the best-of-seven series with two losses.

During their playing careers, Oh and Nagashima were the stars of the Giants.

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