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Ausmus Sits Out Only One Game

<i> Associated Press</i>

Detroit catcher Brad Ausmus’ suspension for “aggressive arguing” with an umpire May 31 was reduced from two games to one by American League President Gene Budig, and Ausmus sat out Wednesday’s game.

Budig left in place the $500 fine against Ausmus. He eliminated the $500 fine against Detroit Manager Larry Parrish but did not change his two-game suspension. Parrish will miss games at Minnesota on Friday and Saturday.

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Someday soon, Willie McGee might move from the outfield to the dugout.

As McGee’s career winds down and he spends more time on the bench watching the game and bouncing ideas off St. Louis Manager Tony La Russa, he’s getting a feel for what it would be like to be in charge.

La Russa gives him an unqualified endorsement, and McGee is intrigued.

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“I don’t see myself doing it, but this man has been doing it for a long time and that makes me feel good that he thinks I’m capable of doing it,” the 40-year-old outfielder said. “I love the game, in any capacity. Whether it’s coaching, playing, whatever it is.”

La Russa said McGee has served an apprenticeship of sorts as an unofficial coach since the Cardinals reacquired the former National League most valuable player in 1996. Young players continually seek him out for advice, and even contemporaries such as Eric Davis, 36, want to know what makes him tick.

“He’s one of those guys who asks a lot of questions, and that’s probably why he’s been picking my brain,” Davis said. “I pick his brain as well. I think it’s easy for him to talk to me because I’ve been around for so long.”

Davis thinks McGee would be an excellent manager.

“Absolutely,” he said. “He’s knowledgeable about the game, he has great instincts, and he communicates.”

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Hall of Famer Joe Morgan has withdrawn from a group of investors bidding to buy the Oakland Athletics. Andy Dolich, head of the investment group, said they were unable to put together a deal with Morgan to make up for financial losses he could suffer by giving up his broadcasting contracts to avoid conflicts of interest. Morgan works for ESPN and NBC.

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Texas Ranger outfielder Juan Gonzalez, last year’s American League MVP, says he won’t play in the All-Star game if fans don’t elect him a starter. Gonzalez is unhappy that Cleveland Indian players have dominated the voting, leaving him a distant fifth among AL outfielders. Cleveland Manager Mike Hargrove and General Manager John Hart expressed concern with the inconsistency of starter Dwight Gooden. Both said the right-hander’s next start, Friday against Kansas City, will be “important.”

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Boston Red Sox third baseman John Valentin was placed on the 15-day disabled list after being hit in the head by a pitch Friday by Chicago White Sox starter John Snyder. Valentin underwent an MRI Monday that revealed he has a small bruise on the front of his brain. Although Valentin has felt no dizziness since last weekend, Pappas said he is at risk if he is hit by another pitch. Valentin will have another MRI in about 10 days.


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