Baseball notes

Miley, Francona hired as managers

Posted: Friday, December 05, 2003

CINCINNATI Dave Miley's 24 years of loyalty to the Cincinnati Reds were rewarded Thursday with chance to keep managing.

The Reds gave Miley a one-year contract with a one-year club option, dropping the interim label from his title.

Miley, 41, took over when the Reds fired Bob Boone last July and guided the clubhouse through a tough time. Payroll-saving trades slashed stars from the roster, and injuries decimated what was left.

After an extended deliberation, the Reds decided to let Miley keep the job. Three other candidates also were interviewed two weeks ago, but Miley's history with the organization stood out.

''To be in the same organization as long as I have and to get this opportunity is really beyond words,'' Miley said.

Former Chicago White Sox manager Jerry Manuel, Pittsburgh Pirates director of player development Brian Graham and Tampa Bay Devil Rays bench coach John McLaren also were interviewed.

The delay in choosing a manager became a major topic among Reds fans, who figured Miley had the inside track. He was called in Thursday one day before the team's annual fan festival to meet owner Carl Lindner and receive the contract offer.

The club called a news conference for 9 p.m. EST a late hour for such an announcement. Miley didn't mind, joking about the delay as he put on the home jersey he wore for the last two months of the season.

''It could have been at midnight and I'd be standing here,'' he said.

The Reds are the last major league team to fill a managing vacancy.

Red Sox hire Terry Francona as manager

BOSTON Success-starved fans, prima donna players, swarms of media and bad karma that has surrounded his new team since 1918 Terry Francona figures he's prepared for just about everything a Boston manager can face.

''Think about it for a second: I've been released from six teams. I've been fired as a manager. I've got no hair. I've got a nose that's three sizes too big for my face, and I grew up in a major league clubhouse,'' Francona said.

''My skin's pretty thick. I'll be OK.''

The Red Sox hired Francona on Thursday, more than a month after letting Grady Little go for failing to get the last five outs Boston needed to vanquish the New York Yankees and reach the World Series. Francona, 44, was given a three-year deal with an option for a fourth; financial terms were not disclosed.

Yankees acquire Vazquez for Johnson, Rivera, Choate

NEW YORK The New York Yankees didn't take long to respond to Boston's latest challenge.

Less than a week after the Red Sox upgraded their pitching staff, the Yankees added another ace to their collection, acquiring hard-throwing Javier Vazquez from the Montreal Expos on Thursday for first baseman Nick Johnson, outfielder Juan Rivera and left-hander Randy Choate.

Vazquez joins a starting rotation that already includes Mike Mussina, Jose Contreras, Jeff Weaver and possibly Andy Pettitte, a free agent negotiating with the Yankees and Houston.

Bonds, Santiago appear before grand jury

SAN FRANCISCO Barry Bonds became the highest-profile athlete to appear before a grand jury focusing on possible tax and drug violations by a California lab that supplied nutritional supplements to Bonds and other sports stars.

The six-time National League MVP entered the grand jury room late Thursday morning accompanied by attorney Mike Rains and left the room nearly 5 1/2 hours later, though it was unclear how long he testified.

''It went fine,'' Bonds said as he was led by two bodyguards and two federal marshals to a freight elevator that was held for him. He was taken directly to the garage of the federal courthouse, then driven away as a marshal stopped traffic.

Bonds' wife and mother sat in a nearby hallway during most of his appearance. At one point, Bonds who wore a sports jacket and tie stuck his head into the hallway and asked, ''Is my mother here?''

Benito Santiago, a free agent who spent the past three seasons as Bonds' teammate with the San Francisco Giants, testified for 45 minutes later in the afternoon.

His attorney, David Cornwell, said he fears athletes who appear before the grand jury will be unfairly ostracized.

''My only concern is that there seems to be almost an undercurrent that stigmatizes these guys, which I think is inappropriate,'' Cornwell said.

Bonds has attributed his muscular development over the years to intense weight training, proper diet and a regimen of nutritional supplements from companies such as the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO, that is at the heart of the grand jury probe.

Bonds repeatedly has denied using steroids.

Thursday's appearance gave grand jurors the chance to ask the Giants slugger under oath whether his growth has been entirely natural.

Other athletes that already have appeared before the grand jury include track star Marion Jones and her boyfriend, 100-meter world record-holder Tim Montgomery, four Oakland Raiders and Olympic champion swimmer Amy Van Dyken.

An appearance before the grand jury, or being subpoenaed to testify, does not mean an athlete is a target of the probe.

Two people have been named so far as targets of the grand jury BALCO founder Victor Conte, and Greg Anderson, Bonds' personal trainer.

Bonds, 39, became a BALCO client just before his record-setting 2001 season, in which he hit 73 homers, and has praised Conte for giving him a personalized nutritional program.

Anderson's home was raided by the Internal Revenue Service and a drug task force Sept. 5, two days after a similar raid at BALCO.

Bonds posed with Conte and Anderson for this past June's issue of Muscle & Fitness magazine and heaped praise on both.

''I visit BALCO every three to six months. They check my blood to make sure my levels are where they should be. Maybe I need to eat more broccoli than I normally do. Maybe my zinc and magnesium intakes need to increase,'' Bonds told the magazine.

''Victor will call me to make sure I'm taking my supplements, and my trainer Greg will sit near my locker and stare at me if I don't begin working out right away. I have these guys pushing me.''

Bonds brought Anderson, a childhood friend, on a major league tour of Japan after the 2002 season, when the trainer met players such as Jason Giambi who also has been subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury.

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