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Gagne Probably Won't Be Back in '98

September 29, 1997|STEVE SPRINGER

Shortstop Greg Gagne has all but decided not to return to the Dodgers.

"I probably won't be back," said Gagne, 35, who no longer wishes to play on the West Coast because his wife and three children are in Massachusetts. "It's tough to play when you don't have the support of your family because they're not here. This game is tough enough to play with people you care about around you.

"The Dodgers have been great to me and they gave me a great opportunity."

A possibility for Gagne if he wishes to come back for a 16th big league season, would be to play closer to home, someplace such as Boston or New York. But he still has an option year with the Dodgers and there is no need for a starting shortstop in either Boston or New York.

"I know I'd have to be a backup," he said, "and I don't know if I want to do that."

If he gets out of baseball, Gagne said he would like to help the disadvantaged or work with youngsters through his church.


When Sunday's starting pitcher was announced as Rick Gorecki, there were some eyebrows raised and brows furrowed in the Korean contingent traveling with the team.

Korean-born right-hander Chan Ho Park had been scheduled to pitch Sunday's regular-season finale against the Colorado Rockies.

Park might have lost as much as $75,000 by not pitching. He has an endorsement deal with Nike that would have paid him $25,000 for winning 15 games (he's 14-8), $25,000 for starting 30 games (he has 29 starts) and $25,000 for pitching 200 innings (he has 192).

There were about 25 Korean media members on hand for the game, including one reporter who arrived from Korea on Saturday night.

In addition, the game was being televised live to Korea, where an anticipated audience of 10 million was planning on awakening at 4 a.m. to watch.

"Chan Ho Park had thrown a lot of innings," Dodger executive vice-president Fred Claire said. "There was no reason to take any chances. He had a very good season."


The highlight of Sunday's 13-9 loss to the Rockies was the two home runs hit by Mike Piazza, giving him a career-high 40 and a career-high 201 hits. He batted .362, breaking the L.A. Dodger record of .346 he shared with Tommy Davis.

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