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Archive for Sunday, July 27, 2003

Employee rigged air flow to help Twins

July 27, 2003

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— A former superintendent at the Metrodome admits he tried to help the Minnesota Twins by adjusting the ventilation system during the late innings of close games in an attempt to get baseballs to carry farther.

"If they were down two runs and you're still hoping for them to have the advantage, you'd want to be blowing all the air out and up as much as you can," Dick Ericson said. "I don't feel guilty. ... It's your home-field advantage. Every stadium has got one."

Ericson, who worked at the Metrodome from the time the Twins began play there in 1982 until he retired in 1995, said he would turn on fans behind home plate and adjust the air conditioning.

Officials for the Twins and the Metropolitans Sports Facilities Commission, which operates the Metrodome, said they have no knowledge of the air flow in the stadium being manipulated and have doubts about whether it happened.

Bobby Valentine said the while he was managing the Texas Rangers his players told him that they often felt a breeze blowing out when they were in the field and felt it blowing in when they were batting.


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Brenly misses start of game: Arizona manager Bob Brenly was not with the team for the start of Saturday's game against Los Angeles at Phoenix because of a family emergency. The Diamondbacks declined to release further details. Bench coach Glenn Sherlock ran the team in place of Brenly.

The Diamondbacks changed another coaching assignment to accommodate first base coach Robin Yount's trip to Cooperstown, N.Y., for the Hall of Fame induction of Milwaukee announcer Bob Uecker.

Hitting coach Dwayne Murphy handled Yount's duties.

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Valdes placed on disabled list: Texas placed pitcher Ismael Valdes on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with patella tendinitis in his left knee. Right-hander Colby Lewis was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma to start Saturday against the Seattle Mariners. Valdes is 7-7 with a 6.27 ERA in 18 starts.

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