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Baseball briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 5, 2000


Williams spirited as ever

Sounding fairly strong and typically feisty, Ted Williams spoke Saturday from his hospital bed in Gainesville, where he is battling congestive heart failure.

"I'm pretty good," the 82-year-old Red Sox icon told the Boston Globe. "I don't know where everybody's getting the news that I'm at death's door and all that crap."

Williams, who lives in Citrus County, was listed in fair condition in the intensive-care unit of Shands at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Doctors are considering implanting a permanent pacemaker to control his heart rate.

"I really don't need it," Williams said. "But I'll do whatever they want me to do."

Doctors were expected to decide this week. Williams has been in the hospital since Monday, when he had trouble breathing. "I'm not in any pain," he said. "I just ate a hamburger."

METS: Pitcher Mike Hampton filed for free agency.

"The decision ... was made only after we were informed that the Mets had no current intention of improving on the offer the club made to Mike in February," Mark Rodgers, Hampton's agent, said.

The Mets were believed to have offered Hampton, a Crystal River High product, $12-million a year; he wanted $15-million.

Rodgers had refrained from filing to give the Mets an exclusive shot at signing Hampton. He said he would begin talking to other clubs "in earnest" today when he arrives at Amelia Island for the annual general managers meetings. He can negotiate only with the Mets until Saturday, after the 15-day filing period ends.

RED SOX: Gene Lamont accepted an offer to become third-base coach. He was fired as manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates last month after three seasons.

U.S. 7, JAPAN 5: The major-leaguers won at Tokyo on a two-run homer by the Indians' Omar Vizquel in the bottom of the ninth. Red Sox reliever Derek Lowe got the win after pitching a scoreless ninth. The Diamondbacks' Randy Johnson started, allowing 2 runs and 2 hits and striking out 7 in three innings. The U.S. team has won the first two games of the eight-game all-star series.

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