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Borchard Can't Call Audible

VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | PRO BASEBALL

August 13, 2000

There's no turning back for Joe Borchard.

He's now a baseball player. Nothing else.

The two-sport athlete from Camarillo High and Stanford signed a record $5.3 million deal with the Chicago White Sox and reported to the team's training facility in Tucson last week.

No more talk about being the starting quarterback as a senior at Stanford.

"It's finally a done deal and football is no longer an option," said Borchard, an outfielder selected 12th overall in the June draft.

Borchard, who was working out with Stanford's football team two weeks ago, hadn't played competitive baseball since he played for Stanford in the College World Series on June 17.

He made his professional debut on Wednesday, playing for Chicago's rookie-level Arizona League team.

In four games, he is batting .400 (six for 15) with five runs batted in.

Two months of negotiations landed Borchard a deal that surpassed any other by a player who eventually signed with the team that drafted him.

Despite preparing for the football season, Borchard said he knew deep down he would sign with the White Sox.

"I knew something would be worked out," he said. "To be picked that high and then slip away would have been an injustice."

Borchard will probably stay in the Arizona League just long enough to get his arm back in baseball shape.

He has been his team's designated hitter while participating in a supervised throwing program.

Jim McDowell, Borchard's agent, said he expects Borchard to be assigned soon to Winston-Salem, Chicago's Class-A affiliate in the Carolina League.

White Sox officials have said Class-A Burlington in the Midwest League also is an option.

Borchard says he doesn't want to speculate. All he wants to do is focus on baseball and put football behind him.

"I don't think I've had time to absorb the whole thing," he said. "I think it's best that I'm out here right away, playing and not thinking about anything else.

"Otherwise, I'd probably start thinking about playing football again."

*

Outfielder Terrmel Sledge of the Lancaster JetHawks, the California League's batting leader, was scheduled to return to the club Saturday after visiting Seattle Mariner team doctors this week in Washington.

Sledge, formerly of Kennedy High and Cal State Northridge, had an MRI on his left, throwing shoulder and has missed the JetHawks' last four games. Results of the tests were unknown on Saturday.

Sledge, who had surgery on the shoulder last year, is batting .339 with 11 home runs, 75 RBIs and 35 stolen bases.

He was selected the league's player of the week for the second time on Tuesday after going 13 for 26 and scoring 15 runs from July 31-Aug. 6.

*

Lancaster's loss to Bakersfield on Wednesday snapped a 22-game home winning streak.

The Class-A California League hasn't kept records for such streaks, but league personnel are guessing it's a league record.

*

Mike Schultz, former Cleveland High and Loyola Marymount pitcher, was removed after one inning for Class-A High Desert against San Bernardino on Thursday after he was hit on his right, pitching elbow by a line drive.

Schultz, a second-round selection of the Arizona Diamondbacks in June, is 1-1 with a 3.38 earned-run average.

Opponents are batting .197 against him.

Schultz is expected to make his next start.

*

It was just a formality, members of the Montreal Expos' organization said last week after the club put infielder Jon Tucker on the restricted list, a procedure that forces any team interested in signing him to get the Expos' permission.

Tucker, formerly of Chatsworth and Alemany highs, retired during spring training after playing parts of six seasons in the Dodger and Expo organizations.

Last season, he helped the Harrisburg Senators claim the double-A Eastern League championship.

Brad Sparesus, an official with Harrisburg, left the door open for Tucker to return.

"Tell him if he wants to play again, we sure could use him," said Sparesus, whose team is 13 games out of first place in the Southern Division.

*

Infielder David Newhan, formerly of Pepperdine, was sent to the Philadelphia Phillies as the player to be named in the deal that brought infielder Desi Relaford to the San Diego Padres.

Newhan, batting .254 for triple-A Las Vegas, was assigned to Scranton-Wilkes Barre, the Phillies' triple-A team.

*

Infielder Matt Franco of Westlake High was designated for assignment by the New York Mets on Tuesday. He was expected to report to triple-A Norfolk this weekend. . . .

The Buffalo Bisons, the Cleveland Indians' triple-A affiliate, is pulling away in the International League race and left-hander Andrew Lorraine of Hart High has played a major role. He pitched a five-hit shutout last week and has combined with teammate Jim Brower to allow only two earned runs in their last 42 2/3 innings. . . .

Greg Wooten, a former JetHawk, was named the Eastern League's pitcher of the month for July. Wooten was 5-0 with a 0.76 ERA last month for New Haven, the Seattle Mariners' double-A affiliate. . . .

Outfielder Juan Silvestre of the JetHawks leads the minor leagues with 121 RBIs. . . . Jon Schaeffer of Harvard-Westlake was 20 for 45 during a 12-game tear, improving his batting average from .197 to .295 for Modesto, the Oakland Athletics' Class-A affiliate. . . .

Shane Monahan, former JetHawk outfielder, joined his sixth team and fourth organization last week when he signed with the Colorado Rockies and was assigned to their triple-A club in Colorado Springs. He began the season in the Mariner organization but has since played for affiliates of the San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds.

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