Ron Schueler, general manager of the Chicago White Sox, had a private meeting with the team Wednesday morning, apologizing to the players on behalf of chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.

Reinsdorf is embarrassed how the White Sox have become completely overshadowed by Michael Jordan's retirement and apologized for the timing of the announcement.

"Jerry Reinsdorf asked Ron Schueler to speak to the players," said Gene Lamont, White Sox manager. "He was sorry it happened and that it took away from the game. He didn't want to upstage the game, and as far as he's concerned, this is the most important thing.

"Michael Jordan told him he didn't want to rain on our parade, and he felt bad about it."


Lamont was heavily criticized for not using Bo Jackson as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning Wednesday and ridiculed privately by several members of his team.

There were two out with Ozzie Guillen on first base when light-hitting Joey Cora was due up. The crowd anticipated Jackson, and heartily booed when Cora came to the plate, even chanting, "Bo-Bo-Bo."

Cora popped up, creating more boos, and leaving Jackson mystified why he hasn't started yet. Instead, he has sat while Dan Pasqua played first and Frank Thomas was used as the designated hitter.

"It's been very frustrating," Jackson said. "The last two days, we've been one man short and it shows."

Lamont, who defended himself by saying he wanted Cora to simply reach base, bringing Thomas to the plate, apparently has agreed with Jackson. Pasqua, who had two fielding blunders, will sit when the series resumes Friday in Toronto while Jackson is used at designated hitter and Thomas at first base.


There was one stockholder in the Nike organization who could not have cared less about Jordan's retirement. "He's basketball, man, not baseball," Jackson said. "I don't talk about basketball. I don't even like the game."


Despite media reports that Thomas is close to finalizing a six-year, $44-million contract with the White Sox, a source close to the negotiations says it's grossly exaggerated.

Thomas is discussing a four-year contract with two option years that would guarantee less than $30 million. Even if Thomas reached every incentive in his contract, winning the most-valuable-player award every year, he still would not exceed Barry Bonds' six-year, $43.75-million contract, the source said.


The irony of the American League's refusal to allow Carlton Fisk in the clubhouse Tuesday to congratulate his former teammates was that Jordan was roaming inside the clubhouse. . . . The most remarkable aspect of the Blue Jays' 2-0 lead in this best-of-seven series is that Rickey Henderson and Roberto Alomar of the Blue Jays are hitless in 17 at-bats. . . . Blue Jay catcher Pat Borders has hit safely in 16 consecutive postseason games, one shy of Hank Bauer's record set in the late 1950s for the New York Yankees. . . . Guillen confessed that he shouldn't have been credited with a stolen base Tuesday night, saying it should have been a passed ball on Borders. "I only ran after I saw the ball in the dirt," Guillen said. "But don't say anything because it was my first stolen base in seven months." . . . Guillen on Jordan's retirement: "If I had his money, I wouldn't be here, believe me. I don't blame him at all. There's too much pressure every day, in every city, and he can't enjoy it. I bet he never even enjoyed basketball during the playoffs."

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