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Tuesday, August 1, 2000

O's dump Clark, Surhoff at trade deadline

AP Baseball Writer

B.J. Surhoff, Will Clark and Al Martin, welcome to the pennant race. 

All three joined first-place teams Monday, part of 11 deals that came before the afternoon trading deadline.

Rondell White, Tom Goodwin, Steve Trachsel, Todd Hollandsworth and Henry Rodriguez also moved. In all, more than 100 players changed places in the last month — Detroit was the only club that did not make a trade.

"It was a very volatile market," New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.

From now on, all trades require putting players through waivers, often a tricky proposition.

Atlanta boosted its outfield by getting Surhoff from Baltimore and St. Louis got Will Clark from the Orioles to fill in for injured Mark McGwire.

But several players mentioned prominently in trade talks — Juan Gonzalez, John Wetteland, Jeromy Burnitz and Rico Brogna — stayed put.

Brogna had heard, and hoped, he was heading to the Boston Red Sox. When the Philadelphia first baseman found out he wasn't moving, he nearly left the Phillies before their game at San Diego.

"I thought very seriously about calling the bellman and telling him to come get my luggage and then flying home," Brogna said.

The AL East-leading New York Yankees, linked to most every available star, did nothing Monday.

Then again, the two-time World Series champions had already traded for David Justice, Denny Neagle, Glenallen Hill and Jose Vizcaino in the last month.

"It's not easy trying to line up matches with people, whether it's payroll, talent or a whole lot of other issues," Cashman said. "Some big names got floated out there. I'm comfortable with the team we have."

Gonzalez, who turned down a trade to the Yankees in June, was pursued by Seattle.

"We were optimistic," Mariners general manager Pat Gillick said. "It was a decision that was made by the Tigers. The ball was in their court."

After missing out on the two-time MVP, the Mariners acquired another outfielder, getting Martin from San Diego for first baseman-outfielder John Mabry and a minor league pitcher.

The Orioles were in the middle of two big trades, sending Clark and cash to St. Louis for third base prospect Jose Leon and moving Surhoff to Atlanta in a five-player deal.

Minus McGwire, the NL Central-leading Cardinals felt compelled to add a bat at first base.

McGwire went on the disabled list July 6 with pain in his right knee, and there's no telling when he'll return. In his absence, St. Louis is 8-13.

"There's some uncertainty about Mark," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "We think he's got a chance to come back, but in the meantime Will Clark's a winning-type of veteran. He should help us."

Clark was hitting .301 with nine homers and 28 RBIs in 79 games with Baltimore. McGwire is batting .303 with 30 home runs and 69 RBIs in only 221 at-bats.

"I knew that our front office was really trying and that they were catching some heat back home because some guys were going other places," La Russa said.

The Cardinals filled another need, too. With catcher Eli Marrero likely out until September with an injured left thumb, they got Carlos Hernandez from San Diego for Heathcliff Slocumb. During the weekend, St. Louis acquired Jason Christiansen and Mike Timlin for the bullpen, making Slocumb expendable.

The NL East-leading Braves, hoping for a return to the World Series, got Surhoff and reliever Gabe Molina from the Orioles for outfielder Trenidad Hubbard and two minor leaguers.

Surhoff is batting .293 with 27 doubles, 13 homers and 57 RBIs. He owns the longest consecutive games streak in the majors at 427.

"We felt like improving the offense of our ballclub, especially in the outfield, was something we needed to do," Braves general manager John Schuerholz said.

Surhoff, also coveted by the Yankees, joined the Orioles for the 1996 season. Tears welled up in his eyes as he talked about the trade.

"I just wouldn't have expected it to happen the way it happened," he said. "It's not that I don't want to play in Atlanta. I'm sure I'm going into a great situation and I know it's going to work out. I just thought I was going to be here."

In other trades:

— the Chicago Cubs made two deals involving outfielders. They got White from Montreal for pitcher Scott Downs, then traded Rodriguez to Florida for two prospects.

— Los Angeles sent Hollandsworth to Colorado for Goodwin, who has 39 stolen bases, in an exchange of outfielders.

— Toronto tried to bolster their staff by getting Trachsel and Mark Guthrie from Tampa Bay for a prospect and a player to be named.

"The deal we made today was a classic July 31st deal," Devil Rays GM Chuck LaMar said. "We were looking to get better for the future, and Toronto was looking for major league help now."

Players that slip through waivers and move before Aug. 31 are eligible for postseason play with their new teams. Last year, Rod Beck, Harold Baines and Lenny Harris switched clubs in August.

Volleyball, football sign-ups underway

PECOS, Aug. 1, 2000 -- The Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department  is currently enrolling children for its fall volleyball league.

Boys and girls entering grades 3 through 6 are eligible to participate in the league, with a registration fee of $10 per player. The deadline to sign-up is Friday, Sept. 1. For further information, call the RCCRD office at 447-9776.

The RCCRD office is also where parents can sign up their children from the Pecos Eagle Pee Wee football program. Registration deadline there is Aug. 18, with a draft of players set for the following day.

The program is also open to those entering grades 3 through 6, and has a registration fee of $20 per player. Teams will be divided into two divisions, for Grades 3-4 and 5-6. Workouts will be held for three weeks following the player draft, with the first games scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 9 at the Pecos High School practice field.

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