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Archive for Monday, October 8, 2001

Baseball briefs

October 8, 2001

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Struggling Rangers fire general manager

Arlington, Texas Doug Melvin, the architect of Texas' only three division championships, was fired as general manager Sunday after the Rangers finished in last place even with Alex Rodriguez.

After also finishing last in 2000, the Rangers signed Rodriguez to a record $252 million, 10-year contract that was negotiated by owner Tom Hicks. Rodriguez did his part, hitting over .300 with more than 50 homers, but Melvin was unable to upgrade a weak pitching staff.

Texas finished 43 games behind Seattle in the American League West.

Blue Jays ax coaches Gaston and Bevington

Toronto Toronto fired hitting coach Cito Gaston and third-base coach Terry Bevington on Sunday.

"It's not OK to go home 80-82. As an organization, that's not acceptable," said first-year manager Buck Martinez, who inherited the coaches.

Gaston, who guided the Blue Jays to World Series titles in 1992-93 and was fired as manager in 1997, rejoined the team as the batting coach last year. Martinez said Gaston will be offered another position in the orginization.

Martinez said his small-ball philosophy conflicted with Gaston's approach.

Devil Rays can pitching coach

St. Petersburg, Fla. Pitching coach Bill Fischer, in his 54th season of professional baseball, was fired Sunday by the Tampa Bay.

Fischer joined the Devil Rays in April 2000. He was hired by former Devil Rays manager Larry Rothschild.

"Every manager should have the right in bring in some coaches," Tampa Bay manager Hal McRae said. "I have great respect for Fish. He was fun to work with and easy to work with."

McRae, who replaced Rothschild on April 18, said the position will be filled as soon as possible.

Reds fire Oester, Doran in coaching shake-up

Cincinnati Ron Oester, who felt he was tricked out of getting Cincinnati's managing job at the end of last season, was fired Sunday. The Reds decided not to renew the contracts of Oester, their third-base coach, and first-base coach Bill Doran.

Oester, 44, was offered the managing job first, but balked at the salary. He insisted that GM Jim Bowden had told him privately to reject the offer because the club was willing to make a better one. Instead, the Reds turned to Bob Boone.

Oester, a Cincinnati native, spent 27 years in the organization.

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