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AROUND THE LEAGUE

Sanders Misses First Game

May 29, 1997|Associated Press

Deion Sanders was given permission to miss the Cincinnati Reds' game Wednesday night to attend to a personal matter.

Sanders, the only player to appear in all of the Reds' 50 games, also was given permission to miss a game Tuesday night, but showed up about an hour before the first pitch and played. He went two for four in a 2-1 loss to Philadelphia.

He was not at the stadium before the final game of a the series Wednesday.

"We've given Deion Sanders permission to not be with the club tonight so that he can continue to handle a personal matter," General Manager Jim Bowden said. "We'd given him permission yesterday not to be here, but he ended up coming out and playing and getting a couple of hits.

"We gave him permission tonight not to be here. I'm not going to get into any other specifics because it's a personal matter."

Sanders was in the Cincinnati area Wednesday. He was allowed to travel on his own to Chicago for the start of a series tonight against the Cubs.

*

Former Dodger Derrel Thomas, suspended as a minor league manager by the Cincinnati Reds last week, pleaded not guilty to a charge of possessing cocaine.

Thomas, 46, was arrested in January on the charge and released on $10,000 bail. He appeared briefly in Torrance Superior Court for his arraignment, and was ordered back for a pretrial hearing next Tuesday.

A major leaguer for 15 years, Thomas was to report next month to manage the Reds' Rookie League team in Billings, Mont., before being suspended indefinitely.

He was informed of the suspension by Chief Bender, the director of player development for the Reds, following a report in the Cincinnati Post that Thomas was serving two years' probation for pleading no contest to cocaine charges dating to 1992.

Bender said he was unaware of Thomas' probation. But Thomas said he told the team he was on probation when he was hired.

He was arrested in April 1992 at a fast-food restaurant and was charged with conspiring to buy more than 20 pounds of cocaine from undercover drug agents.

*

Cincinnati second baseman Bret Boone was scratched from the lineup before Wednesday's game against the Phillies because of a stiff lower back.

Also, the Reds optioned pitcher Brett Tomko to triple-A Indianapolis and called up infielder Jeff Branson.

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