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BASEBALL EXTRA | BASEBALL NOTES

Reds Allow Sanders to End Season

September 05, 1997|Times Wire Services

The Cincinnati Reds have given Deion Sanders permission to end his baseball season and join the Dallas Cowboys full-time.

The agreement takes effect after the final out in the Reds-Pittsburgh Pirates game at Cinergy Field tonight. Sanders will then fly to Dallas on Cowboy owner Jerry Jones' private jet and devote his sports attention to the Cowboys starting Saturday. The Cowboys play at Arizona on Sunday night.

"I basically told him to forget what the contract says," Cincinnati General Manager Jim Bowden said. "We respect that he's one of the best football players in the country and we made it clear that we don't want him to stay here out of loyalty toward myself or the organization."

Sanders, who leads the National League with 56 stolen bases, had an agreement with Bowden that he would continue to play as long as the Reds remained in contention for a playoff spot. Even though the club hasn't been eliminated, it has long since abandoned hope of reaching the postseason.

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Toronto Blue Jay third baseman Ed Sprague will sit out the remainder of the season because of a torn muscle in his right shoulder. . . . Philadelphia Phillie right-hander Scott Ruffcorn will require surgery to remove an aneurysm from under his right armpit.

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