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Astros Sign Bagwell, Hire Smith

From Staff and Wire Reports

The Houston Astros signed National League most valuable player Jeff Bagwell to a $27.5-million, four-year contract with three option years.

The Astros also hired Tal Smith as team president. Smith, father of Randy Smith, the San Diego Padres’ general manager, was fired as Astros’ general manager 14 years ago. Smith has recently worked as a consultant to several teams.

Bagwell would have been eligible to become a restricted free agent in two weeks if owners implement their salary cap proposal and grant service time from the strike. But the Astros acted first and signed him to a deal with an average annual value of $6,875,000, the fifth-highest in the majors.

Bagwell, 26, was the unanimous selection as the league’s top player last month, receiving all 28 votes after a year in which he set franchise records with 39 home runs, 116 runs batted in and 73 extra-base hits. He was second in batting with a .368 average.

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The Angels and the city of Anaheim are close to reaching an agreement in principal that would provide a baseball-only stadium for the Angels by 1998.

Angel President Richard Brown and City Manager Jim Ruth met Monday night and resolved all but three issues standing in the way of a deal, but neither would say what issues remain or how a new stadium would be funded.

Golf

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Officials of the fledgling World Golf Tour offered to cut back from eight tournaments a year to six, and proposed transferring several PGA tournaments to the World Tour to avoid direct competition.

But PGA officials said television contracts and sponsor commitments probably will make conflicts between the tours unavoidable.

Jurisprudence

Outfielder Deion Sanders of the Cincinnati Reds took a day off from practicing with the San Francisco 49ers to appear in a Cincinnati court on misdemeanor charges stemming from an Aug. 8 confrontation with a police officer at Riverfront Stadium. The case was continued until Dec. 1.

For the third time in less than a month, a member of the idle San Jose Sharks has been arrested for driving under the influence. Defensemen Sandis Ozolinsh, 22, was arrested in San Jose, the California Highway Patrol said.

Henry Tillman, the 1984 Olympic heavyweight boxing gold medalist, has been ordered to stand trial on felony fraud charges for allegedly using two phony credit cards and a stolen cellular telephone in Inglewood. Tillman, 34, has pleaded not guilty and is free on $100,000 bail.

High School Football

Sylmar (11-0), already on probation for past violations of City Section rules, survived a daylong investigation into an eligibility matter.

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Sylmar faced ouster from the 4-A Division playoffs for using an ineligible player. But a section official said Tuesday night that a violation might have taken place, but that there wasn’t enough evidence to remove the top-seeded team from postseason play.

La Mirada High administrators, who informed the Southern Section office last Friday that the school might have used an ineligible football player all season, reversed their position. An investigation proved the player in question violated no eligibility rules and the team’s record was restored to 11-0.

La Mirada, the top-seeded team in Division VIII, was allowed to play a first-round game against Irvine University last Friday despite admitting it might have broken the rules. La Mirada won the game, 24-0.

Miscellany

World volleyball champion Italy defeated the United States, 15-11, 11-15, 15-11, 15-7, and advanced to the final of the men’s World Super Four in Tokyo.

Jason Kirovski, 18, scored his first international goal as the United States defeated Jamaica, 3-0, in an international soccer match in Kingston, Jamaica.


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