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Irabu Struggles in Double-A

Associated Press

New York Yankee farm hand Hideki Irabu, signed to a four-year, $12.8-million contract after contentious negotiations with the San Diego Padres and Japanese baseball, finally struggled in American baseball after three superb outings.

Irabu, throwing fastballs clocked at 90-95 mph for Norwich, Conn., in the double-A Eastern League, was hammered for five earned runs and nine hits--five for extra bases--in five innings of work Wednesday night by the Binghamton Mets and suffered his first loss.

Irabu had not allowed a run in 14 innings entering the game.

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The Yankees and Adidas asked a federal judge to keep their antitrust suit against baseball in Tampa, Fla., rather than move it to New York.

The team and the sportswear company also asked U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams Jr. to reject baseball’s request that the court order the Yankees to arbitrate their case in front of baseball’s ruling executive council.

The Yankees and Adidas, who signed a $95 million, 10-year sponsorship agreement in March, claim baseball violated antitrust laws when the sport ordered them to stop selling T-shirts with the team and Adidas logos at Yankee Stadium. In addition, they claimed baseball illegally is prohibiting the Yankees from outfitting their grounds crew in Adidas uniforms.

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Yankee outfielder Darryl Strawberry will be out four to six more weeks after arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. . . . Larry Doby has been named to throw out the first ball at the All-Star game, July 8 at Cleveland’s Jacobs Field.


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