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Giants Sign Snow to 4-Year Deal

<i> Associated Press</i>

First baseman J.T. Snow agreed to a $24-million, four-year contract extension as the San Francisco Giants locked up the middle of their batting order into the next century.

In an unusual move, the Giants also exercised options on Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent, extending their contracts for one more year. Bonds now is under contract through 2001 and Kent through 2002.

“It’s important for us not only to satisfy the players but also to show the Bay Area and our fans that we’re serious about our future too,” General Manager Brian Sabean said. “While we’re focused on winning now, it was the right timing to do something like this.”

The moves came one week after the Giants traded two minor-league pitchers to the Florida Marlins for starter Livan Hernandez to improve their chances of making the playoffs.

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Terry Tata, one of the National League umpires let go this week, said the minor-league umps taking over are the equivalent of “scabs” and blamed two American League umps for splitting the union.

Tata, a National League crew chief who is among the 22 umpires being forced out Sept. 2, said American League umps Joe Brinkman and John Hirschbeck caused the union’s strategy of mass resignations to collapse.

“We have to be solid as a rock, and these guys have turned into pebbles,” said Tata, a 27-season veteran.

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Tata’s crew was the hardest hit, losing three of its four umpires. Tom Hallion and Bill Hohn also were among the 13 umps told Thursday that their resignations had been accepted.

Brinkman said in Toronto that he stands by his actions: “I feel sorry for Tata, but I can’t support a flawed strategy. I know they are hurt, but they had a window to come back.”


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