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BASEBALL EXTRA | AROUND THE LEAGUE

Quebec Cool to Expos' Demands

June 21, 1997|Times Wire Services

Claude Brochu, Montreal team president, said the Expos would be put up for sale unless the government agrees to construct a $250-million stadium.

"The Expos cannot survive at Olympic Stadium," Brochu said Friday. "We have the choice of a new ballpark downtown or no ballclub in Montreal."

Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard said this week the government won't invest in stadiums while it is closing down hospitals in Montreal.

"I'm very aware of our social problems," Brochu said. "but don't forget social costs are paid for by economic activity."

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Rice first baseman Lance Berkman, who led the NCAA in homers and runs batted in this season, signed a minor-league contract with the Houston Astros for a $1-million signing bonus.

Berkman, the 16th pick of the first round of June's amateur draft, was voted player of the year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Berkman, 21, batted .438 this season with 41 homers, 134 RBIs, 110 hits and 109 runs.

"Lance clearly has a chance to be an impact player in the major leagues," Houston General Manager Gerry Hunsicker said. "Not since the signing of Glenn Davis in 1980 has this organization signed a player with this much offensive potential."

Berkman will report to the Astros' Rookie League team at Kissimmee, Fla., on July 1.

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Dave Montgomery took over as managing partner, president and chief executive officer of the Philadelphia Phillies, replacing Bill Giles, who became the team's chairman.

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The Chicago Cubs recalled infielder Miguel Cairo from their triple-A Iowa farm team to replace injured shortstop Shawon Dunston.

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