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BASEBALL EXTRA | AROUND THE AMERICAN LEAGUE

Managers' Sons Caught in Their Draft

June 08, 1997|ROSS NEWHAN

It's apparently in the genes.

The sons of three current managers were selected in Tuesday's amateur draft, but only one team, the San Diego Padres, picked the son, high school pitcher Greg Bochy, of its manager, Bruce Bochy.

The interesting twist occurred in the third round, when the Detroit Tigers, with the first pick, passed on Ricky Bell, the youngest son of Manager Buddy Bell, who has two other sons playing professionally, and selected Matt Boone, the youngest son of Kansas City Manager Bob Boone, who also has two other sons playing professionally.

Ricky Bell, a shortstop from Cincinnati's renowned athletic factory, Moeller High, was drafted later in the third round by the Dodgers. Brothers David and Mike, both infielders, play in the St. Louis and Texas farm systems, respectively. Their father was a longtime major league third baseman and their grandfather, Gus Bell, had a distinguished major league career.

The Dodgers will meet with young Bell and his parents in Detroit on Monday. He has the option of a scholarship to Tennessee.

"We think he's the best of the brothers, but time will tell," said Terry Reynolds, Dodger scouting director. "He has great hands, as good as any infield hands I've seen this summer. He's [6 feet 2, 180 pounds] and not a great runner, but we'd send him out as a shortstop and see if he has the quickness to stay there."

Matt Boone enjoys a similar lineage, stretching to grandfather Ray Boone, father Bob, and brothers Bret, the Cincinnati Reds' second baseman, and Aaron, a third baseman knocking on the door with the Reds' triple-A team.

The youngest Boone, also a third baseman, played at Villa Park High in Orange County and has signed a letter of intent with Pepperdine.

Bob Boone said Matt is the most advanced hitter of his sons at that age and must decide what he wants to forgo the "college experience."

Friends of the family suggest that about $300,000 might influence Matt to pass on Malibu.

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Major league owners will hold a quarterly meeting in Philadelphia, starting Tuesday. The principal item deals with a continuing discussion of major realignment for 1999. Sources say acting Commissioner Bud Selig intends to crack some heads, telling obstinate owners they have to give up selfish interests and accept realignment in the best interest of the game--even if it means changing leagues.

"When we talk about growing revenue, the most important part of that is the schedule--who plays, when they play and where," Selig said from his Milwaukee office. "We have structural problems that only realignment solves. I feel strongly that we need changes and we need them now."

It takes only a majority vote in each league to approve realignment, but any club that is asked to move has a veto right.

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First-round draft choices do not carry a guarantee, but no one has been more successful in recent years than the Seattle Mariners. The recall of left fielder Jose Cruz Jr. gives the Mariners three No. 1 picks in their regular lineup. Cruz joins Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez.

Cruz is also the 49th left fielder that center fielder Griffey has played with since his 1989 debut.

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