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NOTEBOOK : PADRES UPDATE : Padres Still Seeking to Deal Lefferts to the Boston Red Sox

The Padres successfully passed reliever Craig Lefferts through waivers, according to sources, and still are hopeful of trading him to the Boston Red Sox for third baseman Scott Cooper.

The Padres, in fact, cleared everyone through waivers except starting pitcher Bruce Hurst.

Hurst, sources said, was claimed by the Chicago White Sox, and the Padres immediately pulled his name off the waiver wire.

It’s standard procedure to pass most players through waivers, even someone such as Hurst, whom the Padres have no interest in trading. Yet the White Sox apparently wanted to take no chances that the Oakland Athletics or Minnesota Twins were going to overwhelm the Padres with an offer for him.

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Although the Padres can make trades any time the rest of the season, there’s a 9 p.m. deadline Saturday by which all playoff rosters must be set. Players involved in trades after Saturday will not be eligible for the playoffs.

What kind of support is Padre Manager Greg Riddoch receiving these days? Even Larry King, the nationally syndicated talk show host, provided him a vote of confidence.

“I hope the Padres decide to keep Greg Riddoch as the manager next year,” King said in his USA Today column. “The rumors are that he’d be replaced, but I think he’s a super baseball man (as well as an individual) who deserves another year because of all the injuries in 1991.”

Matt Mieske, of the Padres’ Class-A High Desert team, was honored as the Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year in the California League.

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Miekse, who’s batting .340 with 15 homers, is the second Padre farmhand to win both awards in the same season. Paul Faries also accomplished the feat in 1988.

Jay Gainer and J.D. Noland also were selected to the All-Star team. Gainer hit .264 with 31 homers and 119 RBIs, and Noland batted .279 with four homers, 68 RBIs and 80 stolen bases.

Padre starter Dennis Rasmussen made a quick detour from the team when he spent Sunday night at his home of Omaha, Neb. He shelled out his own money for a flight to Omaha from Chicago, and another from Omaha to Pittsburgh.

What was so important that cost Rasmussen about $500 in airfare?

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“It was the twins’ first day of school,” Rasmussen said, beaming. “I couldn’t miss that. I had the video recorder going and everything.”

Rasmussen’s 5-year-old daughters enrolled in kindergarten Monday.

The Padres have used 15 different players in the No. 8 hole in the lineup this season. . . . Padre second baseman Bip Roberts, who’s trying to recover from his arthroscopic knee surgery, threw on the field for the first time since his surgery nine days ago. “It’s still swollen,” Roberts said, “but it’s coming along. Time will tell when I’ll be back.”


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