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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : AROUND THE MAJORS : Traded Erickson Calls Twins a Joke

July 08, 1995| Associated Press

Scott Erickson wanted out of Minnesota for two years. He got his wish Friday when he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for Scott Klingenbeck.

On his way out of the Metrodome, he couldn't resist taking a parting shot at his former team.

"I feel bad for the guys, it's like the organization has given up on the team. It's a joke," said Erickson, who was traded a day after the Twins sent closer Rick Aguilera to Boston.

"They're pretty much cheating everybody who's a fan. They're making fools out of everyone."

The trades weakened an already dismal pitching staff and added disappointment to what has been a trying season. On Friday night, Aguilera earned a save against his former team as the Red Sox beat the Twins, 5-4.

But first-year General Manager Terry Ryan, making the first two trades of his tenure, had little choice but to look to the future.

Even with Aguilera and Erickson, Minnesota had a major league-worst 21-44 record. The Twins now have trimmed their payroll by more than $5.5 million while getting two pitching prospects in return.

"The safe thing for me to do is just sit tight and blame the economics and say we're young," Ryan said. "I haven't been a general manager that long, but I've been one long enough to know that when you get a chance to do something good, you'd better do it."

The trade leaves the Twins with only five players from their 1991 championship season: Kirby Puckett, Chuck Knoblauch, Scott Leius, Kevin Tapani and Mark Guthrie.

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Dave Fleming, a 17-game winner with Seattle in 1992, was traded by the Mariners to the Kansas City Royals for right-hander Bob Milacki.

The trade came one day after the Mariners demoted Fleming to triple-A Tacoma. He was 1-5 with a 7.50 ERA in seven starts.

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Brian McRae of the Chicago Cubs received a two-game suspension for bumping and screaming at umpire Brian Gorman during a game last week. McRae appealed the suspension by National League President Leonard Coleman, so he is eligible to play pending a hearing. . . . Chicago White Sox reliever Rob Dibble was suspended for three games for throwing at Milwaukee's Pat Listach in a game last week. Dibble also appealed the suspension by American League President Gene Budig, so the penalty won't go into effect until after a hearing. . . . Cleveland pitcher Orel Hershiser has been activated from the 15-day disabled list and rookie Chad Ogea has been optioned to triple-A Buffalo. . . . Oakland outfielder Ruben Sierra went on the 15-day disabled list because of tendinitis in his right knee.

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