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BASEBALL NOTES

Molina, Erstad Win Gold Gloves

November 14, 2002|From Staff and Wire Reports

The World Series champion Angels won two American League Gold Gloves, with catcher Bengie Molina breaking the 10-year winning streak of Texas' Ivan Rodriguez and Darin Erstad replacing Seattle's Mike Cameron in the outfield.

Erstad, who also was honored in 2000, became the eighth Angel to win multiple fielding awards.

Molina led all major league catchers in caught stealing percentage (42.7%) and joined Bob Boone as the only Angel catchers to win the Gold Glove.

Gold Gloves, presented since 1957 by Rawlings, are voted on by managers and coaches before the end of the regular season.

Texas' Alex Rodriguez, second in most-valuable-player voting the day before, ended Omar Vizquel's streak of nine Gold Gloves at shortstop. The Cleveland shortstop wasn't happy about it.

"Obviously, I didn't think I was going to lose the Gold Glove this year. I don't think I gave it up. I know I had the numbers to compete," Vizquel said.

Rodriguez made 10 errors, had a .987 fielding percentage and took part in 108 double plays. Vizquel made seven errors, had a .990 percentage and participated in 98 double plays.

"I know he improved his defensive numbers. He had a good year. The voting could go either way," Vizquel said of Rodriguez. "He's on TV every day. He's in the national papers every day."

Three Mariners -- first baseman John Olerud, second baseman Bret Boone and outfielder Ichiro Suzuki -- won Gold Gloves.

Oakland third baseman Eric Chavez won his second consecutive Gold Glove, as did Suzuki and Minnesota outfielder Torii Hunter.

Texas pitcher Kenny Rogers won for the second time in three years.

Alex Rodriguez, whose $252-million, 10-year contract is the richest in sports, gets a $100,000 bonus, a day after earning $200,000 for finishing second in the most valuable player voting. The others get $50,000 each, except for Hunter, who didn't have a bonus clause.

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The Chicago Cubs acquired All-Star catcher Damian Miller from Arizona for two minor leaguers in the first trade at the general managers' meetings in Tucson. Miller, 33, batted .249 with 22 doubles, 11 homers and 42 RBIs.... Pitcher Hideki Irabu was released by the Rangers. Irabu went 3-8 with a 5.74 earned-run average as a closer, pitching only until July 15 because of blood clots in his lungs. But he also had a team-high 16 saves.

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Good as Gold

American League Gold Glove winners:

*--* Position Player Team PITCHER Kenny Rogers Texas Rangers CATCHER Bengie Molina Angels FIRST BASE John Olerud Seattle Mariners SECOND BASE Bret Boone Seattle Mariners THIRD BASE Eric Chavez Oakland Athletics SHORTSTOP Alex Rodriguez Texas Rangers OUTFIELD Darin Erstad Angels OUTFIELD Ichiro Suzuki Seattle Mariners OUTFIELD Torii Hunter Minnesota Twins

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