Orioles Will Pay Alomar

From Staff and Wire Reports

The Baltimore Orioles said they will pay second baseman Roberto Alomar during his five-game suspension at the start of the season.

The second baseman was given the suspension for spitting into the face of umpire John Hirschbeck during a game in Toronto on Sept. 26.

Major league officials and the Major League Baseball Umpires Assn. discussed changes at their meetings earlier this week to make players’ suspensions unpaid. Umpires want baseball’s discipline process toughened, so players can’t take advantage of appeals to get a lighter punishment. Any changes would need approval of the players union.

“Regardless of what baseball decides, we will pay him,” team spokesman John Marroon said. “We’ve been supportive of Robbie all through this.”



American League most valuable player Juan Gonzalez of the Texas Rangers, injured last month, may be hurt more severely than first suspected. Gonzalez suffered a strained ligament in his left thumb when he slipped on wet artificial turf while running after a line drive during a winter league game in Puerto Rico.

Today, doctors will decide if he’ll need surgery that could sideline him for the start of the regular season.



Jeff Russell of the Rangers has retired, ending a 12-year career during which he recorded the most saves and appearances in club history. The 35-year-old right-hander had 134 saves in 445 appearances. . . . Outfielder Geronimo Berroa and the Oakland Athletics agreed on a $3.3-million, one-year contract, nearly triple his $1.15-million salary last season. . . . The Chicago Cubs agreed to terms with pitcher Steve Trachsel on a one-year contract, avoiding an arbitration hearing.

Pro Football

NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue will meet with Bill Parcells, the New York Jets and the New England Patriots next week in New York to determine if Parcells’ “consultant” status violates his contract with New England.

Tagliabue is to be advised by the Jets of the specific consulting arrangements with Parcells and if they are consistent with his initial ruling. Tagliabue ruled that Parcells could not coach or serve in a comparable position for any NFL team other than the Patriots for the 1997 season.

WBZ-TV in Boston reported that Tagliabue probably will approve Parcells’ deal with the Jets. The station also reported that the Jets offered the Patriots second-round draft picks in 1997 and 1998 to allow Parcells to coach in 1997, but Patriot owner Robert Kraft refused. The Patriots denied that such an offer was received, according to WBZ.

General Manager Carl Peterson of the Kansas City Chiefs is interested in quarterback Jeff George, but the team may not be able to afford him. They may be outbid by Oakland, which reportedly has offered George a contract that includes a signing bonus of more than $5 million.

Winter Sports

Kjetil Andre Aamodt of Norway won his third world title this season with a first in the men’s combined of the Alpine world championships at Sestriere, Italy. . . . Darcy Downs of Canada won the men’s combined title in the freestyle ski world championships at Nagano, Japan. . . . Magdalena Forsberg of Sweden won the 15-kilometer women’s individual event at the world biathlon championships at Osrblie, Slovakia.



In the first Women in Sports Awards announced by the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission, Julie Rousseau of Washington High received the coach-of-the-year award, Special Olympian Jenny Skinner received the Donna de Varona Spirit of Sport Award and Michele Himmelberg of the Orange County Register the journalist award. . . . The widow of late Tampa Bay Buccaneer owner Hugh Culverhouse reached a settlement that provides $3 million each to three trustees she accused of cheating her out of her share of Culverhouse’s $380 million estate. . . . Former Citadel football coach Charlie Taaffe was acquitted of drunk driving in Mount Pleasant, N.C., the second time in four years he has been cleared of such a charge.