Lasorda popular after All-Star incident
Los Angeles A day after getting hit by the shattered barrel of a bat at the All-Star game, Tom Lasorda said Wednesday he felt fine.
Lasorda, 73, was coaching third base when he was thwacked on the left hip by Vladimir Guerrero's bat barrel. He tumbled backward as fans gasped and then laughed when they realized he was OK.
"I feel great," Lasorda said by phone from his home in suburban Fullerton, Calif. He had a mild heart attack in June 1996, and retired as Los Angeles Dodgers manager a month later after serving for 20 seasons. He was the honorary manager of the NL All-Star team at Tuesday night's game in Seattle.
After traveling to Japan and Seattle in recent days, Lasorda took Wednesday off from his job as senior vice president with the Dodgers.
Lasorda said the flying bat triggered an outpouring of concern about his health.
"Everywhere I go, in the airports, everybody is wondering how I feel. I must have talked to 20 radio stations this morning," he said. "It makes you feel good that so many people are concerned."
All-Star game ratings up 9 percent from '00
New York The Midsummer Classic drew TV ratings 9 percent higher than 2000, reversing a trend that has seen All-Star game viewership suffer big declines in the NFL, NBA and NHL.
Fox Sports' broadcast of the American League's 4-1 victory over the NL at Seattle's Safeco Field on Tuesday night produced an 11 rating and 19 share.
Last year's All-Star game wound up with a 10.1 rating the worst since the showcase contest first aired in prime time in 1967.
Ripken memorabilia headed to Cooperstown
Cooperstown, N.Y. Adding to what was a crowded Cal Ripken exhibit, the National Baseball Hall of Fame said Wednesday it was getting memorabilia from Ripken's All-Star Game appearance.
The cap and jersey the 40-year-old Ripken wore Tuesday night and the bat he used to hit the home run that gave him the Most Valuable Player award were on the way to the hall.
Ripken's second career All-Star homer made him the oldest player in the game's history to hit a home run and the first American League player to be chosen MVP twice. With his first MVP award from 1991, he joins Willie Mays, Steve Garvey and Gary Carter as the only two-time winners.
The hall already has Ripken memorabilia, including the uniform he wore Sept. 6, 1995, when he broke Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games.
Furcal begins rehab
Atlanta Braves shortstop Rafael Furcal returned to Atlanta on Wednesday to begin rehabilitation after season-ending shoulder surgery. Furcal, the NL rookie of the year in 2000, underwent surgery in Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday.
Prentice making bid for team ownership
Boston A group led by a New York businessman who owns minor league baseball and hockey teams in Texas has emerged as a sixth bidder for the Boston Red Sox. Miles Prentice has been cleared by Major League Baseball to review the team's confidential financial records, The Boston Globe reported Wednesday. Prentice, a corporate lawyer, has made unsuccessful bids for an ownership stake in three other major league teams: Anaheim, Los Angeles, and Kansas City.