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Billy Gardner Fired as Manager of the Twins

June 22, 1985

The Minnesota Twins, losers of 20 of their last 25 games, fired Manager Billy Gardner Friday and named pitching coach Ray Miller of the Baltimore Orioles to succeed him. Gardner had been with the club since 1981.

Miller, 40, becomes the Twins' 10th manager. Club President Howard Fox said Miller's contract extends through 1986.

Miller spent 10 years pitching in the minor leagues after signing with the San Francisco Giants in 1964. In 1974, he became Baltimore's minor league pitching instructor. He was appointed major league pitching coach of the Texas Rangers after the 1977 season, but rejoined the Orioles in 1978.

Lorne Henning, coach of the Springfield, Mass., team in the American Hockey League, has been hired as coach of the Minnesota North Stars.

Henning, 33, is a former assistant coach of the New York Islanders and played nine years for the Islanders, including 1980 when the team won the Stanley Cup championship.

Henning, who replaces interim Coach Glen Sonmor, was reportedly the North Stars' third choice.

Herb Brooks, the former Univer ity of Minnesota and U.S. Olympic coach who was fired by the New York Rangers last season, was the first choice, but he and the North Stars could not agree to terms. Then the North Stars set their sights on Ted Sator, an assistant with the Philadelphia Flyers, but Sator was picked to coach the Rangers earlier this week.

The Detroit Red Wings removed Nick Polano as coach, named him assistant general manager for player development, and will have a news conference Monday to introduce his successor.

There are reports that the Red Wings will hire Harry Neale, former general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, to coach the team. Neale was fired by the Canucks after the 1984-85 season.

Polano, 44, coached the Red Wings the last three seasons. They finished third in the Norris Division each of the last two seasons and made their first consecutive playoff appearances in 20 years.

The Women's Tennis Assn. will lodge a complaint over the decision to list defending champion Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert Lloyd as co-No. 1 seeds for next week's Wimbledon tournament.

The WTA said that Wimbledon officials should have followed the computer rankings, in which Lloyd has held top place since beating Navratilova in the French Open final.

Owner George Steinbrenner of the New York Yankees reportedly has given orders to some club personnel not to speak to reporters.

The New York Times reported that, according to two club officials who asked not to be named, the only team representatives permitted to be quoted are Manager Billy Martin, the players and Joe Safety, director of media relations.

The newspaper said that among those included in the gag order are three of Steinbrenner's top executives--Clyde King, the general manager; Woody Woodward, vice president of baseball administration, and Bobby Murcer, assistant vice president.

General Manager Jerry Colangelo of the Phoenix Suns said that he will try to trade veteran forward Maurice Lucas because Lucas does not want to be a part of the team's rebuilding process.

Lucas, 33, has an option year remaining on his contract worth a reported $650,000, but it is not guaranteed.

Sebastian Coe outkicked Steve Cram to give England a 1-2 finish in the 800-meter event against the United States in an international track meet at Birmingham, England. On a rain-soaked surface, Coe finished in 1:46.23. Cram was timed in 1:46.46, and American Stan Redwine was third in 1:48.18.

Steve Ovett, running competitively for the first time since breaking down at last summer's Olympic Games, won the 3,000 meters easily over Dave Lewis, with Jim Spivey well back in third place.

Names in the News

Cleveland Indian pitcher Bert Blyleven's three-game suspension for making obscene gestures to Orioles' fans April 28 at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium has been rescinded, the American League announced.

Holdout wide receiver Trumaine Johnson reportedly has agreed to buy out the remainder of his contract with the United States Football League's Arizona Outlaws for $1 million in order to sign with the National Football League's San Diego Chargers.

Ayrton Senna of Brazil drove a Renault-powered Lotus through the downtown streets to the provisional pole for Sunday's Detroit Grand Prix. Senna completed the 2.5-mile circuit at an average speed of 88.191 m.p.h.

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