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BASEBALL EXTRA | BASEBALL NOTES

Indians Put Their Faith in Wright for Playoffs

September 26, 1997|Times Wire Services

Cleveland's Orel Hershiser will start Game 1 of the AL division series against New York and will be followed by rookie Jaret Wright, chosen over staff ace Charles Nagy to pitch the second game at Yankee Stadium.

Hershiser, 39, is 8-1 with a 1.83 earned-run average in the postseason.

"Orel has been a big-game pitcher his entire career," Indian Manager Mike Hargrove said. "He is very difficult to intimidate no matter what the circumstances are."

In a move that shows confidence in Cleveland's young pitcher, Wright, 21, will make his first appearance against the Yankees in the second game. He will face Andy Pettitte.

Wright pushes Nagy back to Game 3. Nagy is 0-2 with an 18.00 ERA in three starts against the Yankees in 1997. Yankee Manager Joe Torre has not yet decided whether to start David Wells or Dwight Gooden in Game 3.

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Cal Ripken isn't about to let the streak end just yet. He just plans on resting a bit for the playoffs.

In keeping with Manager Davey Johnson's plan to give Ripken and his sore back some rest, baseball's iron man will get only two or three at-bats per game during the final three games of the season.

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The Chicago White Sox told veteran shortstop Ozzie Guillen they would not exercise the option on his contract for 1998.

Guillen, 33, had asked the White Sox for a decision because he wanted to invite his family and friends to what will likely be his final game Sunday after 13 seasons in Chicago.

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Florida Manager Jim Leyland will start Kevin Brown in the Marlins' first ever playoff game, but will wait until the NL West race ends before setting up the rest of his rotation.

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The Montreal Expos, who cut ticket prices only to see attendance drop, said they expect to lose more than $13 million this year and may consider chopping their payroll next season.

The Expos are expected to draw a major league-low home attendance of 1.4 million, of which 300,000 will be promotional give-away tickets.

"There's no hiding it, we're last in everything," club President Claude Brochu told the Journal de Montreal. "We're last in ticket sales, parking, television, etc.

"Our survival depends on getting a new stadium and we're sticking with that plan."

Cutting the payroll would likely mean trading the team's top two players--star pitcher Pedro Martinez and second baseman Mike Lansing, both due for big raises in arbitration.

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Umpire Bruce Froemming was picked Thursday as crew chief for the NL championship series and Joe Brinkman was picked as crew chief for the AL championship series.

In the first round for the AL playoffs, Dave Phillips will be the crew chief for the start of the Mariners-Orioles series, working with Jim Joyce, Larry McCoy, Durwood Merrill, John Hirschbeck and Mike Reilly.

Rich Garcia's crew will work Games 1-2 of the Yankees-Indians series. Tim Tschida, Dan Morrison, Rick Reed, Dale Scott and Derryl Cousins are part of that crew.

In the NL, Harry Wendelstedt's crew will work Games 1-2 of the series starting in Atlanta. Joining Wendelstedt will be Steve Rippley, Greg Bonin, Ed Rapuano, Charles Reliford and Angel Hernandez. Terry Tata will head the crew starting in Miami, working with Dana DeMuth, Tom Hallion, Gary Darling, Mark Hirschbeck and Brian Gorman.

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