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Mets Reportedly Fire 3 Over Death

June 23, 1997|Associated Press

The accidental death of a minor league player has reportedly led the New York Mets to firing the manager and two coaches of their Class A team in Columbia, S.C.

The New York Times reported in today's editions that the Mets on Wednesday asked for, and received, the resignations of the manager of the Capital City Bombers, Doug Mansolino; the pitching coach, Dave Jorn; and another coach, Tim Leiper.

A New York Times source described as a high-ranking official in the Met organization said the three were fired because they "did not appropriately address the issue of whether players had been drinking on the team bus in the hours before" Tim Bishop died in an auto accident April 18.

Rather, the Mets official said, the Columbia manager and coaches accepted the players' insistence that no alcohol had been consumed on the bus.

A county coroner's autopsy report showed that the 20-year-old Bishop's blood-alcohol level was "fairly high," the paper said.

Bishop, an outfielder, signed with the Mets as a 57th-round draft pick in 1994. Last year, Bishop batted .325 for the Class A Kingsport team and was an Appalachian League all-star.

On April 18, Bishop and his Columbia teammates were scheduled to play a South Atlantic League game in Hagerstown, Md. However, the game was postponed.

The Capital City players returned home on the team bus, and then scattered for their homes. According to accounts provided by the Mets and the police after the accident, Bishop left in the car of teammate Randy Vickers.

The car blew a tire and Bishop was killed when he got out and was struck by an oncoming car.

The newspaper quoted Frank Barron, the Richland County coroner, as saying Bishop's blood-alcohol level tested at .096, or .004 below the South Carolina limit for intoxication. Vickers said Bishop had not been drinking.

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