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Fielder, Hayes Tell Yankees of Demands

From Staff and Wire Reports

In a sign that the euphoria surrounding the New York Yankees’ World Series title may be evaporating, Cecil Fielder and Charlie Hayes filed formal trade demands Friday.

Unless the demands are withdrawn, baseball’s rules give the Yankees until March 15 to trade them. If they aren’t traded by that date, the players could declare immediate free agency. If they do that, however, the Yankees won’t have to pay their 1997 salaries.

Fielder hit .252 last season with 39 homers and 117 RBIs in 160 games, including 53 with the Yankees after his trade from Detroit on July 31. He provided New York with a power threat it was lacking, and hit .391 in the World Series.

With Tino Martinez at first base, and Bernie Williams and Paul O’Neill in the outfield, it appears Fielder would compete with Darryl Strawberry for time at designated hitter next season if the Yankees don’t make further moves. He is seeking assurances of playing time.

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Fielder, 33, is signed for 1997 at $7.2 million, the final season of a five-year deal worth $36,187,500. The high salary makes him hard to move, unless the Yankees are willing to pay a large part of it.

Hayes, acquired from Pittsburgh on Aug. 30, is signed for 1997 at $1.5 million. Bothered by being a backup to Wade Boggs at third base, he wants a contract extension.

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Acting baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has been sued over the makeup of an arbitration board that will decide how much the Florida Marlins must pay for displacing a minor league team when the expansion franchise was added to the major leagues four years ago.

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The New York Times reported that the suit filed in Manhattan Federal District Court also asks Selig to produce documents relating to his role in the departure of the last full-time commissioner, Fay Vincent.

Vincent resigned under fire in 1992, setting the stage for the baseball labor war that resulted in two strike-shortened seasons and cancellation of the 1994 World Series.

Marvin Goldklang, a limited partner of the New York Yankees, and his partners in the Greater Miami Baseball Club, contend Selig permitted members of the seven-member arbitration board to be appointed improperly.

After Vincent’s forced departure, Selig became acting commissioner and said baseball would not seek a permanent replacement until it resolved labor issues with the players. The owners ratified a new collective bargaining agreement Tuesday. The Goldklang suit was filed Wednesday.

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The lawsuit asks the court to remove two members who have been appointed, Robert DuPuy, who is Selig’s lawyer in Milwaukee, and Richard Bloch, an arbitrator the Marlins wanted on the panel.

Tennis

Thomas Enqvist saved the Swedish Davis Cup team after Stefan Edberg couldn’t do his best because of a twisted ankle.

Enqvist, who won consecutive ATP Tour titles in Paris and Stockholm in the last month, downed Arnaud Boetsch, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2), to even the Davis Cup final against France 1-1, at Malmo, Sweden.

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Edberg twisted his right ankle early in the opening match and lost to Cedric Pioline, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3, before a sellout crowd of 5,600.

Sweden’s Nicklas Kulti and Jonas Bjorkman are scheduled to meet Guy Forget and Guillaume Raoux in doubles today.

Olympics

Japanese television rights for the Olympics of 2000 to 2008 were awarded by the International Olympic Committee for $545.5 million.

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The agreement, the latest in a series of long-term TV rights deals negotiated by the IOC, means all major markets--the United States, Europe, Japan and Australia--have been signed up through 2008.

Miscellany

Colin Montgomerie of Scotland completed the rain-delayed first round in seven-under-par 65, then fired a one-under 71 for a one-shot lead in the Million Dollar Challenge at Sun City, South Africa.

The 12 players vying for the richest first prize in golf--$1 million--were tightly bunched at the halfway mark, with only six strokes separating Montgomerie and last-place Tom Lehman.

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Ian Woosnam and Ernie Els were tied for second at 137, one stroke ahead of Nick Price and the trio of Steve Stricker, U.S. Open champion Steve Jones and U.S. PGA champion Mark Brooks.

Names in the News

Richard Childress, seeking ways to boost Dale Earnhardt’s bid for a record eighth Winston Cup championship, has lured crew chief Larry McReynolds away from Robert Yates Racing. . . . Defending champion Billy Boat of Glendale, Ariz., won his second consecutive Turkey Night Grand Prix before an estimated 6,000 fans at Perris Auto Speedway. Boat qualified on the pole and led all 100 laps in the 56th running of the traditional U.S. Auto Club midget car championship race. . .. . Ronald Wilfred Smith, who played football at USC and coached at East L.A. College, died at 54.


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