Padres Name Towers to Be GM

From Staff and Wire Reports

Kevin Towers, the San Diego Padres’ first-round draft pick in 1982, became their general manager Friday.

Towers, the club’s scouting director since August 1993, was given a two-year contract with a club option for 1998. He replaces Randy Smith, who left in October and has become the Detroit Tigers’ general manager.

Before becoming Padre scouting director, Towers was a regional and national scout with the Pittsburgh Pirates and an area scout for the Padres.

As a player, Towers never made the majors. He pitched in the minors for seven seasons before a series of arm operations ended his career.



The World Series champion Atlanta Braves are raising ticket prices. Dugout seats will go up $5, to $25; club level seats will be $20, up $2, and field-level seats will be $17, up $2.

The team already has said it will increase prices again in 1997 to help cover the costs of its new stadium, the reconfigured Olympic Stadium.


Cleveland pitcher Dennis Martinez has undergone successful arthroscopic knee surgery, the Indians said. Floating cartilage was removed from Martinez’s right knee.


Switzerland’s Michael von Gruenigen overcame nearly a full-second deficit on the second run and won his second consecutive men’s World Cup giant slalom race.

Skiing at Vail, Colo., von Gruenigen reeled in first-run leader Lasse Kjus of Norway, finishing in 1 minute 15.25 seconds for an aggregate time of 2:28.88. Kjus had a second run of 1:16.51 for 2:29.24. Urs Kaelin of Switzerland was third as the threesome duplicated the finish of last week’s season opener in France.

Italy’s Alberto Tomba, the defending World Cup overall, giant slalom and slalom champion, finished seventh.


Michael Chang defeated Jim Courier, and Boris Becker defeated Yevgeny Kafelnikov, the winners joining Pete Sampras and Thomas Enqvist in the semifinals of the ATP Championships in Frankfurt, Germany.

Chang won, 6-2, 7-5, and Becker, needing to beat Kafelnikov in two sets to edge Wayne Ferreira out of the semifinals, did exactly that, winning, 6-4, 7-5.

Becker, Sampras and Ferreira all finished round-robin play in the White Group with 2-1 records, but Sampras and Becker advanced because of better set averages. Sampras and Ferreira were idle Friday.

Enqvist defeated Thomas Muster, 6-4, 6-7 (7-3), 6-4, and was the only player who finished the round-robin portion of the event with a 3-0 record.

Chang will play Sampras today and Becker plays Enqvist.

Brenda Schultz-McCarthy of the Netherlands and Natasha Zvereva of Belarus gained the semifinals of the season-ending WTA Tour Championships in New York, Schultz-McCarthy ousting second-seeded Conchita Martinez, 7-5, 6-2, and Zvereva defeating defending champion Gabriela Sabatini, 6-2, 5-7, 7-5.

Since going to a 16-player format in 1983, the championships has never had two unseeded players reach the semifinals, but this year there are three: Zvereva, Schultz-McCarthy and Anke Huber, who will face Schultz-McCarthy. Top-seeded Steffi Graf meets Zvereva.

College Basketball

Louisville center-forward Samaki Walker will be ineligible for three games, and three coaches will receive official letters of reprimand for violations of NCAA rules. Walker, a 6-foot-9 sophomore who averaged nearly 14 points a game last season, will sit out an exhibition game Sunday, as well as the first two games of the San Juan Shootout beginning next Friday in Puerto Rico. . . . North Carolina’s Ryan Sullivan has been charged with possession of marijuana. Police in Chapel Hill, N.C., said Sullivan, a redshirt freshman, was arrested Wednesday, issued a citation and released. . . . Ferris State Coach Tom Ludwig said he would resign after the Big Rapids, Mich., school accused him of using ethnic slurs against a player in 1994.


UCLA’s second-ranked men’s team will play Cal Poly San Luis Obispo at 1 p.m. Sunday on the North Field in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Bruins, champions of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, have a 17-2-1 record, Cal Poly SLO an 11-5-1 mark.

UCLA is led by seniors Eddie Lewis, Ante Razov, Greg Vanney and Robbie LaBelle. Senior goalkeeper Chris Snitko has shut out 11 opponents and has a goals-against average of 0.56.

Motor Sports

As a final tuneup for the annual Turkey Night Midget Grand Prix, most of the midget car drivers who will be at Bakersfield on Thursday will race tonight in a 30-lap main event at Ventura Raceway.

The fourth California Hot Rod Reunion will be held today and Sunday at Bakersfield Raceway, featuring exhibition runs by vintage cars and the presentation of heritage awards to drag racing pioneers. . . . Guest drivers in the Chrysler Grand Prix of Palm Springs for vintage cars this weekend include Brian Redman, Danny Ongais, David Hobbs and Pete Lovely.


Quarterback Tim Couch of Leslie County High in Hyden, Ky., threw for 219 yards Friday night to break the national high school record for career passing yards. Couch needed 49 yards to break the record of 11,700 yards held by Josh Booty of Shreveport, La.