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American League Supports New Format

From Staff and Wire Reports

Baseball’s proposed switch to a three-division format got American League support Wednesday when the Cleveland Indians agreed to be in the AL Central.

That would allow the Detroit Tigers, who had expressed reservations about a move to the Central Division, to remain in the AL East.

Bill White, president of the National League, said various alignments still were under discussion in his league, and others said the talks involved Atlanta and Pittsburgh, which both prefer the East.

While each league requires 10 votes for approval, the Braves could veto the plan because they would be moved from the West to the Central. Pittsburgh could also block the plan if the Pirates are moved from the East.

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Owners will attempt a formal vote today in Boston but probably won’t be able to take one because they didn’t give clubs the required 20 days notice and need unanimity to waive it.

The proposal, after Wednesday’s change, calls for the following alignment:

AL West--Angels, Oakland, Seattle, Texas.

AL East--Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, New York Yankees, Toronto.

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AL Central--Chicago White Sox, Cleveland, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minnesota.

NL West--Dodgers, Colorado, San Diego, San Francisco.

NL East--Florida, Montreal, New York Mets, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh.

NL Central--Atlanta, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati, Houston, St. Louis.

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Soccer

Stig Inge Bjornebye scored a fluke goal off a corner kick in the 14th minute to give Norway a 1-0 victory over the United States at Oslo. “We played a team most likely to qualify for the World Cup and we played them on their home ground,” Coach Bora Milutinovic said. “We know we can compete.”

The U.S. team is 6-11-9 this season.

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French soccer officials picked Monaco to replace defending champion Olympique Marseille for the European club championship season. Marseille was banned because of charges that the team was involved in an attempt to fix a French league match.

Motor Sports

Promoters of the Italian Grand Prix motorcycle race said Wayne Rainey’s spinal injury probably resulted from a hit by his motorcycle in a spill.

Rainey, a three-time world champion, was paralyzed in the legs in an accident last weekend.

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“Slow-motion tapes of the accident show that Rainey was almost certainly hit in the back by his bike as both skidded off the bend into the sand,” the promoters said in a statement.

Rainey, who is in stable condition, is expected to be airlifted to a hospital in the United States to begin rehabilitation.

Names in the News

Jim Trinkle, a retired sportswriter who was nationally known for his golf writing, died in Ft. Worth. He was 71.

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Longtime trainer L.J. Brooks died Tuesday night at Daniel Freeman Memorial Hospital in Inglewood. He was 86. Brooks saddled Finalista to a victory in the Cinema Handicap at Hollywood Park in 1972.

The Phoenix Suns signed first-round draft pick Malcolm Mackey of Georgia Tech to a multiyear contract.

The Detroit Pistons signed free agent Greg (Cadillac) Anderson, a 6-foot-10, 230-pounder who played last season in Italy.


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