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Monday, June 22, 1998

Little League announces All-Star team

Fourteen players were selected for the Pecos Little
League's 1998 All-Star baseball team on Saturday, at the
close of `A' division regular season play.

The team will compete in the District 4 Tournament
beginning in July. Pecos finished second in District 4 a
year ago, losing to Ballinger in the finals.

Eight of the nine `A' division teams had players selected
to the squad, with the Rangers putting the most on, with
three. Eliario Bustamantes, Isiah Juarez and Jacob Marquez
were the Rangers selected, while the Cubs, Braves, Giants
and Red Sox each had two players chosen.

Jesse Gonzales and Jose Alfredo Reyes were named from the
Cubs; Zo Serrano and Joseph Jaquez were chosen from the
Braves; Victor Reyes and Joshua Anchondo were named from the
Giants, and Rigo Ramirez and Oscar Parada from the Red Sox.
Geraldo Mendoza of the Padres; Robbie Saldana of the Red Sox
and Jaime Tarango of the Cardinals make up the remainder of
the squad.

Dodgers oust Russell, Claire in shakeup

AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers, mired in the
standings and wracked by injuries, fired manager Bill
Russell and general manager Fred Claire in a shakeup
confirming tradition is out under new Fox ownership.

Team president Bob Graziano announced the firings of
Russell, a 32-year veteran of the franchise, and Claire, a
30-year employee, late Sunday night in a conference call
with reporters.

Russell will be replaced by Glenn Hoffman, manager of the
Albuquerque Dukes, the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate, and
Claire will be replaced by Tom Lasorda, a team vice
president and the club's longtime manager.

Both Hoffman, the older brother of San Diego closer Trevor
Hoffman, and Lasorda will serve on an interim basis,
Graziano said.

``I felt a change needed to be made in order for the team to
improve and get back on track,'' he said.

Last year, the Dodgers went 88-74 in Russell's first full
season as manager and finished second in the NL West,
failing to make the playoffs. They are 36-38 this year, 12½
games behind first-place San Diego.

Graziano said he made the decision to fire Russell and
Claire in consultation with former owner Peter O'Malley, who
sold the team to Rupert Murdoch and his Fox Corp. in a deal
completed in January.

``Peter and I have spent a lot of time meeting over the last
few days talking about how to improve our team and get it
back on track,'' Graziano said.

``I did let the people at Fox know about the decision I was
making. They fully support it.''

The firings are the latest major changes under the Fox
ownership. The Dodgers recently traded fan favorites Hideo
Nomo and Mike Piazza, who had spent his entire career with
Los Angeles. Both are with the New York Mets.

The team has been troubled by injuries to staff ace Ramon
Martinez, Bobby Bonilla, Todd Hollandsworth, Eric Young and
Jose Vizcaino. Bonilla was part of the blockbuster
seven-player trade with Florida involving Piazza.

``You can't just answer every injury. You lose your No. 1
starting pitcher and you can't go out and just find another
starting pitcher,'' Claire said before being fired. ``You
can't go out and find a starting third baseman.''

Martinez went on the disabled list Friday because of a torn
rotator cuff in his right shoulder. A day later, Bonilla
joined him on the DL because of an intestinal infection.

Los Angeles had already lost Hollandsworth to the 60-day DL,
while Young has missed time twice because of a strained
right quadricep muscle. Vizcaino is out with a sprained
right ankle.

The Dodgers inserted Dennis Reyes into Martinez's spot in
the rotation and had rookie Paul Konerko take over for
Bonilla at third.

``Those two are doing the best they can, but they have yet
to establish themselves,'' Russell said before being
dismissed. ``You don't replace a Bobby Bonilla, a
left-handed bat in the middle of the lineup. You don't
replace a Ramon Martinez. They are your everyday starters.''

Graziano said Lasorda will help the team search for Claire's
permanent replacement.

``I didn't know anything about it,'' Lasorda, 70, who
retired as manager in 1996 and was succeeded by Russell,
told reporters during the conference call.

Graziano said Russell and Claire ``always gave 100 percent
to their jobs so they were disappointed that that effort
wasn't enough.''

``Fact of the matter is we haven't been getting our job
done,'' Graziano said.

After the Piazza trade was engineered by Fox executive Chase
Carey, Claire openly complained that he had no knowledge of
the deal until it was done.

Graziano said he decided on Hoffman as interim manager after
recommendations from several people, including Lasorda.

``I think Glenn was a natural,'' he said.

Hoffman, 39, led Albuquerque to a 62-79 record in his first
season. He was forced to play 49 different players because
of injuries and promotions. He oversaw the development of

Hoffman played nine major league seasons as an infielder
with Boston, the Dodgers and the Anaheim Angels.

Russell, 49, was an All-Star shortstop three times during
his 18 seasons as a player for the Dodgers. He was the
team's infield and bench coach from 1987-91 before managing
Albuquerque from 1992-93.

Claire, 62, was in his 12th as general manager. He took over
after the late Al Campanis was fired in 1987 for
controversial remarks about blacks lacking ``the
necessities'' to become managers or executives. Campanis
died earlier Sunday at age 81.

Under Claire's tenure, the Dodgers produced five of the last
six NL rookies of the year -- Eric Karros, Piazza, Raul
Mondesi, Nomo and Hollandsworth.

Los Angeles won the World Series in 1988, Claire's second
season as general manager. He joined the team in 1969 as
director of publicity and was appointed vice president of
public relations and promotions in 1975.

Stewart's missed putt gives U.S. title

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- From the time he walked off the 13th
tee toward a sure-fire birdie that would give him a share of
the lead in the U.S. Open, Lee Janzen never looked at
another scoreboard.

He didn't need to. There were signs all over The Olympic
Club in the final round Sunday that made it obvious how it
would end.

Only when Payne Stewart's 25-foot birdie putt to force a
playoff slid by the hole on the 18th green did Janzen allow
himself to believe.

``I guess it really didn't dawn on me that I could actually
win the tournament until that moment,'' Janzen said.

By playing the last 15 holes in 4-under while Payne Stewart
was hanging on by the seat of his plus-fours, Janzen closed
with a 2-under-par 68 on Sunday to win the U.S. Open, the
only player to match par for 72 holes against formidable

``Nobody in contention shot under part except Lee Janzen,''
said Stewart, whose 74 left him at 1-over 281 and one stroke
behind. ``He deserves to be the champion.''

Just five years ago, Janzen again combined rock-steady
play, nerves of steel and a little luck at Baltusrol to win
his first U.S. Open.

All the components were in place again on a day when Tom
Lehman finished disappointed, Tiger Woods finished out of
contention for the fifth straight major and Casey Martin
finished making history in a cart.

Janzen's victim in 1993 also was Stewart, who at least had
the lead this time, but not for long.

And then there's the tree.

At Baltusrol, Janzen was headed for double bogey when he
risked hitting a 5-iron over a tree. He caught it low, the
ball split through two branches and Janzen escaped with par.

He was lucky to get his ball back this time. After his tee
shot didn't come down from the tree, Janzen turned around
started back to the fifth tee to play another shot.

``I thought, `This isn't right. My ball is stuck in a
tree,''' Janzen said. ``I'm going to be lucky to make a

He was lucky the wind picked up off the Pacific Ocean,
jostling the ball loose into the rough. Janzen hacked it out
to the fairway, flew the green into the first cut of rough
and then chipped in for par.

Remember his chip-in at No. 16 that gave him control of the
'93 Open?

``I started thinking,'' Janzen said. ``Payne Stewart, a
chip-in and a ball in the tree. Where have I heard this

But the U.S. Open requires much more than a break or two.
Janzen took the gift and repaid Olympic with perhaps the
most grittiest final round of U.S. Open golf since Tom Kite
beat the wind at Pebble Beach in 1992.

``My greatest emotion right now? I would say complete
satisfaction that I went out and played my absolute best,
and then won in the one championship I love more than any
other,'' Janzen said.

After his improbable par at No. 5, Janzen never came close
to another bogey. He made three birdies, all inside 8 feet,
and made a par on No. 17 after playing it in 5-over the
third three rounds.

Stewart was trying to become the first player since Tony
Jacklin to win the Open wire-to-wire. History also was on
his side -- when Stewart won the Open in 1991 at Hazeltine,
he had at least a share of the lead all four days.

He also had a solid game for four days, which wasn't the
case Sunday.

U.S. humiliated, loss to Iran

AP Sports Writer
LYON, France -- Both sides came in peace. The Americans
left in humiliation.

Sunday night's 2-1 loss to Iran left the reputation of U.S.
soccer reeling. After all the success the Americans enjoyed
during 1994 World Cup, they became first-round losers this
time, eliminated by one of the weakest teams in the
32-nation field.

``This is very disappointing,'' goalkeeper Kasey Keller
said. ``When you lose to a better team like Germany, it's
OK. But tonight, that didn't happen.''

Two and out. Even the 1990 team did better than that en
route to a next-to-last-place finish.

``It's not easy. It kind of sits in your stomach,''
midfielder Claudio Reyna said. ``It's a bad feeling.''

As U.S. players spoke, thousands of Iranians were outside
Stade Gerland, chanting with joy following the first World
Cup win in the nation's history. That sound is sure to stay
with American players in coming years -- along with the
clank of the ball hitting the post and the crossbar.

U.S. players hit the post three times and the crossbar
once, unable to score until the game's final minutes --
after they trailed by two.

``I think kids in American tonight will be disappointed,''
Keller said.

The U.S. players put on maximum spin, trying to convince
themselves they weren't that bad. Coach Steve Sampson shook
up the lineup, changing five starters, and the Americans
outshot the Iranians 27-15.

But they didn't connect until it was too late. It's not a
surprise, given that the United States has scored just 15
goals in 14 games this year.

``You play that game 10 times and we are going to win it
nine times,'' U.S. Soccer Federation president Alan
Rothenberg said. ``Unfortunately, this was the 10th.

``You tell me what Steve did wrong tonight? I don't think
it was the coach's fault, I don't think it was the players'
fault. We played our hearts out. We played a perfect game.
We didn't put the ball in the back of the net.''

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