Mattingly Expected to Retire After Sitting Out 1996 Season

From Staff and Wire Reports

Don Mattingly, the greatest New York Yankee never to reach the World Series, will never get that chance.

Mattingly, who sat out last season when New York won the Series, will announce his retirement today at Yankee Stadium.

A six-time all-star and a nine-time Gold Glove-winning first baseman, Mattingly, 35, batted .307 in a 14-season career. He was voted the American League's most valuable player in 1985, later became only the 10th player to be named captain of the Yankees and earned the nickname "Donny Baseball" as a fan favorite in New York.

Mattingly became a free agent after the 1995 season, saying he did not intend to play in 1996. He left open the possibility that he would return.

In his last two years combined, Mattingly hit only 13 homers and drove in only 100 runs.

Last September, during a charity golf outing in his hometown, Evansville, Ind., Mattingly said he had "90%" made a decision on whether to play again. At the time, though, he did not say what that decision was.

"If and when I go back, I want at-bats, and it doesn't matter where I'm getting them from," Mattingly said then.

Mattingly recently said some teams had contacted him about a comeback, although no clubs publicly indicated they would offer him a contract.

Mattingly hit 222 home runs and had 1,099 RBIs in his career. He led the AL in batting at .343 and was the MVP in 1985, when he hit .324 with 35 homers and league-leading totals of 145 RBIs and 48 doubles.

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The Angels and pitcher Allen Watson avoided arbitration when the left-hander agreed to a one-year, $1.2-million contract. He earned $240,000 with the San Francisco Giants last season when he went 8-12 with a 4.61 earned-run average.

Watson, acquired with minor league pitcher Fausto Macey for first baseman J.T. Snow in November, can make an additional $100,000 in incentives.

The Angels also signed outfielder Bernardo Brito, 33, to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.

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Texas signed all-star pitcher Roger Pavlik to a $2.85-million contract. Pavlik, 29, was 15-8 with a 5.19 ERA last season and pitched a one-hitter in May. . . . The Kansas City Royals signed first baseman and designated hitter Bob Hamelin to a $700,000, one-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration.

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Bernard C. "Bert" Kuczynski, a Philadelphia native who in 1943 became the first to appear in major league and NFL games during the same year, has died in Allentown, Pa. He was 77.

Figure Skating

Russians moved into the lead in two events in the European Figure Skating Championships in Paris.

Olympic and world champions Oksana Gritschuk and Yevgeny Platov led in ice dancing, and world pairs champions Marina Yeltsova and Andrei Bushkov took first in the short program.

Russian and French couples shared the top five positions in the ice dance.

Angelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsiannikov of Russia were second, with France's Marina Anissina and Gwendel Peizerat third.

Last year's pairs winners, Oksana Kazakova and Artur Dmitriev, are not competing because they failed to make the Russian team, finishing fourth in the national championships.

Soccer

Sixteen players from Ethiopia's national soccer team dropped from sight during a stopover in Rome while on their way to the African National Cup tournament in Morocco, Italian officials said.

It was not immediately clear why the players had not made their flight. The Foreign Ministry said it had not received any request for political asylum.

Two players, the coach and four staff members remained behind in a hotel in Ostia, near Rome's international airport.

Boxing

Richie Giachetti has replaced Jay Bright as Mike Tyson's trainer for the Evander Holyfield heavyweight title rematch May 3 in Las Vegas.

"I got a call last week, and I've been in camp for two days," said Giachetti, training Tyson at promoter Don King's camp at Orwell, Ohio.

"We're going to work on sharpening his skills up. He's become a one-dimensional fighter."

Bright had trained Tyson for the first five fights of his comeback after being released from prison March 25, 1995. Giachetti declined to comment on what, if any, role Bright might retain.

Oscar De La Hoya's 12-round decision over Miguel Angel Gonzalez was bought in 400,000 pay-per-view homes Saturday night, generating more than $14 million, Time Warner's TVKO announced in New York.

Miscellany

James Potter of New York was arraigned in Newton, Mass., on charges that he ran a sports gambling ring using Boston College student bookmakers.

Potter, 33, pleaded not guilty to charges of organizing and promoting gambling services, using a telephone for gaming purposes and conspiracy to organize and promote gambling services.

Thirteen Boston College football players were suspended last fall for violating NCAA rules against gambling. No evidence of point-shaving was found.

Tiger Woods, golf's youngest million-dollar man, and his father, Earl, have started the Tiger Woods Foundation to promote minority participation in golf and related activities. The announcement was made at a junior golf clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz. The foundation's activities will include other junior golf clinics, with six tentatively scheduled this season.

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