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Alou Accepts Tigers’ Offer to Be a Coach

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From Associated Press

Former Montreal Expo manager Felipe Alou has accepted an offer to become the Detroit Tigers’ bench coach for the remainder of the season.

Alou, 66, joined the Tigers for the Minnesota Twins’ home opener Friday night at Minneapolis.

“It’s nice to be home,” Alou said in the visitors’ clubhouse at the Metrodome. “Once I got to the ballpark, I realize this is home for me.”

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Luis Pujols, hired Monday to succeed the fired Phil Garner as manager, was on Alou’s staff at Montreal from 1993-2000. Tiger President Dave Dombrowski was an Expo executive during part of Alou’s time with Montreal.

“I’m thrilled that he accepted,” Dombrowski said. “It’s tremendous for the organization to have somebody with Felipe’s knowledge, background and experience. I don’t think you could describe a better fit right now.”

Pujols was just as excited.

“You can see the smile on my face,” he said before the game. “He’s willing to help any way he can. I need help, I go to him. I had that gut feeling as soon as I offered it to him, that he’s going to pick me up. I’m glad he decided to join us.”

Alou, the first major league manager born in the Dominican Republic, declined an offer to stay for two additional years as a special assistant in the Tiger organization.

Dombrowski said he sought Alou because of his close relationship with Pujols, and did not consider Alou as a managerial candidate when he fired Garner.

“I don’t think it is a short-term type project,” said Dombrowski, whose mission is to turn around a franchise that hasn’t had a winning record since 1993.

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Edgar Martinez, who ruptured his left hamstring running out a grounder, was put on the 15-day disabled list by the Seattle Mariners. Surgery is planned for today.

Martinez, who as walking awkwardly in the clubhouse before the opener of a four-game series at Texas, was limited to 42 games in 1993 after he injured his left hamstring in a spring training game.

“It feels a little better than in ‘93, when I could hardly walk at home,” Martinez said. “I have movement with some pain.”

Seattle Manager Lou Piniella said he knows his designated hitter will be out longer than 15 days. He just doesn’t know how long.

“It hurts anybody to lose your fourth hitter, and one of the best hitters in baseball,” Piniella said.

Jeff Torborg was permitted to manage the Florida Marlins against Atlanta on Friday pending a review of his two-game suspension by the commissioner’s office.

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The suspension for excessive arguing was announced Thursday and scheduled to begin Friday. But Torborg made an informal appeal to Bob Watson, baseball’s vice president of on-field operations.

Torborg threw his hat, bumped crew chief Tim McClelland and was ejected after umpires reversed the ruling on a three-run home run by Florida’s Mike Lowell against the Expos on Monday.

Call it the $52,500 catch.

That’s how much--minus commissions--Charles Murphy will receive for the ball Barry Bonds hit to tie Mark McGwire’s home run record.

Last fall, Murphy rejected a “ridiculous” $100,000 offer for No. 70, which he caught in Houston. Instead, he put the ball on the auction block.

A three-week online auction that ended Friday generated only two bids for the ball.

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