Richie Phillips, the head of the umpires’ union, criticized Baltimore Oriole owner Peter Angelos for his support of second baseman Roberto Alomar.
Alomar spit at umpire John Hirschbeck after being ejected during a September game in Toronto. Alomar, suspended for five games by AL President Gene Budig, issued a written apology, and Hirschbeck later said that all was forgiven.
But Angelos said this week that Hirschbeck owes Alomar an apology for calling him a profane name during their initial confrontation at home plate. The owner also said he will pay Alomar during the suspension, which starts on opening day.
“The outrageous and preposterous position of Peter Angelos, condoning the behavior of Roberto Alomar, reinforces the commonly held belief that if you have enough money and/or you are a good enough player, you can get away with anything,” Phillips said.
After leading the New York Yankees to their first World Series title in 18 years, Manager Joe Torre was rewarded with a $2-million, two-year contract extension through 1999. Torre is due to receive $550,000 this season as part of a $1.05-million, two-year contract.
The Philadelphia Phillies signed outfielder Danny Tartabull to a one-year contract worth a reported $2.3 million. Tartabull, 34, hit .254 with 27 home runs and 101 runs batted in for the Chicago White Sox last season.
Dennis Martinez, 41, who has 240 victories, agreed to a minor league contract with the Seattle Mariners.
Toronto pitcher Bill Risley lost in the final salary arbitration case of the year and will get $380,000 instead of his request for $550,000.
The 80 players who filed for arbitration last month saw their salaries increase to an average of $2,014,460 from an average of $793,196.
Cleveland Indian catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. could become a free agent after the season in light of the team’s decision to decline a $3-million option for 1998. The decision was made in November but became known only when Alomar mentioned it this week.
Mo Vaughn said his outburst against Boston Red Sox management hasn’t left hard feelings between him and General Manager Dan Duquette.
“Sometimes you get mad, man,” Vaughn said. “We’re not machines. We’re human.”
A week earlier, he suggested that Red Sox management was lying about whether it was in a rebuilding phase or contending for a pennant.